Race Recap: PNE Donut Dash

Race Recap: PNE Donut Dash

Do you like running? (Yes) Do you like mini donuts? (YES YES YES!) Well then the PNE Donut Dash was the race for you. It is a 5K fun run hosted by Try Events. This year was the inaugural year for the Donut Dash and it was a sold out event. Clearly Vancouver and beyond couldn’t resist their sugary and cinnamon-y goodness. The run started at Empire Field and went through the Playland and PNE fairgrounds. At $35 ($40 for late/walk up registrations), it was an affordable fun run for any runner with a sweet tooth. There were 3 aid stations, one had volunteers handing out little bags of cotton candy, another had water, and the last one had bags of mini donuts. There were lots of people crossing the finish line with hands full of treats. At the finish line, runners were handed bottles of water and chocolate dipped mini donuts.

PNE Donut Dash Starting Line

What I liked…

  • The medalLively and fun ambience – costumes, tutus, inflatable donuts, and PNE characters cheering you on throughout the course was pretty awesome.
  • Food stations – it was pretty cool that they gave out cotton candy and mini donuts but they could’ve used another water station
  • The medal – it’s super cute and they had red or blue lanyards available so you can choose which colour you wanted.
  • It’s cheap – $40 (max) included a t-shirt, medal, entry to the PNE and your race bib
  • The last part of the course – it ended on a fast downhill which made for a pretty awesome sprint to the finish
  • Free entry to the PNE – It made it into a full day event rather than just a morning. Seeing the Superdogs and eating some Hunky Bill’s perogies really hit the spot after the workout.

Photo by Carmen MarinWhat I didn’t like…

  • The course – it was hillier than I thought it would be and I didn’t like that it kept psyching me out. I thought I was getting close to the end and suddenly, we turned back into Playland.
  • No kilometer markers – where were they?
  • Timing chips were extra – why not just include it in the price like in other races?
  • Not enough donuts at the finish – I chose not to get the bags of cotton candy and donuts in the hope that I would PB (nope it didn’t happen) so I was expecting that there would be more at the end. They did hand out small chocolate dipped donuts but I think that was it. Or did I miss the stall with all the mini donuts? Please tell me if I was just being oblivious. Either way, I left disappointed. They could’ve easily given out more donuts at the end.
  • PNE wasn’t open early – Unfortunately the faster runners had a lot of time to kill after the race because the PNE didn’t let us in until 11am (and the race started at 9am).

How did I do?

I came into this race hoping to beat my last 5k time but long story short, that didn’t happen. I had a busy workout week which included the Seawheeze the weekend before and a Grouse Grind the day before. Needless to say, my legs were already pretty beaten up. It was still very hot that morning, I had to stop a few times… had absolutely no gas. My redeeming factor was that I made a strong sprint for the finish and still ended up under 30 minutes! Next time!

Sprinting to the finish - photo by Carmen Marin

Would I do this again?

Yeah I would… I just wouldn’t treat it as a serious race and actually stop and take the treats along the course. It’s a fun race for non-runners and PB-seekers alike. With the event being sold out this year, I hope it will be an annual event for years to come. It gives us another reason to look forward to the PNE.

View this race on my Strava.