ARCANUM – The forecast of storms scared off some riders, but more than 1,500 people finished the 10th annual Tour de Donut on Saturday.
Approximately 2,000 people signed up for the Tour de Donut – a bicycle race beginning in downtown Arcanum in which riders consume doughnuts to have time deducted their finishing time. While some participants decided not to compete because of the forecast, the event finished without any storms or other big issues, Head Donut Roger Bowersock said.
“It went great,” Bowersock said. “We really lucked out on the weather for the riders. The two weeks leading up we had a pretty dire forecast that pretty much held up until Friday.
“We had a lot of people that didn’t show up. It’s funny because we had a lot of people who didn’t show up, but we had a ton of registrations on Friday and Saturday morning, which we don’t normally allow, but we did this year.”
The number of doughnuts consumed by the average rider has decreased in recent years, Bowersock said, so organizers decided to keep the registration window open a little longer than in past years. The Tour de Donut had 14,000 doughnuts waiting for the riders, who range from serious bikers to casual competitors.
Riders came from 30 states this year including Alaska for the first time. Large groups also came from Florida and Illinois.
“It’s just fascinating to hear people talk about it and how much fun they have,” Bowersock said. “It’s fascinating that it continues to be the biggest event around. The only explanation I have that it’s so popular that it’s simply fun.”
Riders had a choice of competing in the 16 mile mini race, 32 mile full race or 64 mile Double D. Each race had doughnut stops including at Gordon United Methodist Church, Lewisburg Park and Kennedy Winery where they could eat doughnuts.
Across all divisions, a total of 79 competitors joined the Dozen Club by eating 12 or more doughnuts. Each doughnut they ate deducted five minutes from their finishing time.
Multiple riders finished Saturday’s races with negative times after accounting for their doughnut consumption.
Yasir Salem, who is ranked No. 9 in the world by Major League Eating, again ate the most doughnuts of anyone. He ate 36 doughnuts this year in the men’s 19 to 50 full race, down from his 44 last year and record 48 two years ago when he competed in the longer Double D competition. Salem finished in an adjusted time of negative-32:45.0.
Kyle Hanner won the men’s 19 to 50 mini race with an adjusted time of negative-7:46.0 after he ate 18 doughnuts. Holly Titus won the women’s 19 to 50 mini race after eating 14 doughnuts and finishing with an adjusted time of negative-0:31.3.
Cole Janzow won the boys 18 and younger mini race, eating eight doughnuts and finishing with an adjusted time of 42:25.0. Jeff Kemp won the men’s 51 and older mini race with an adjusted time of 27:46.9, consuming seven doughnuts.
Madelynn Palmer won the girls 18 and younger mini race in an adjusted time of 39:12.6 with nine doughnuts consumed. Chris Tomlinson won the women’s 51 and older division after eating nine doughnuts and finishing in an adjusted time of 27:30.0.
Logan Ott won the boys 18 and younger full race in an adjusted time of 1:23:32.9 after eating six doughnuts. Richard Carr won the men’s 51 and older full race, eating 20 doughnuts and finishing with an adjusted time of 14:52.9.
Brooklyn Raddin won the girls 18 and younger full race with an adjusted time of 2:15:16.7 after consuming one doughnut. Teresa Rowley-Asher won the women’s 19 to 50 full race in an adjusted time of 1:23:37.1 with six doughnuts consumed. Deb Merritt won the women’s 51 and older full race after eating six doughnuts and finishing with an adjusted time of 1:28:43.6.
Rob Morrison won the boys 18 and younger Double D race with a time of 4:16:29.9. Carlos Hernandez won the men’s 19 to 50 Double D race in an adjusted time of 1:54:13.1, eating 16 doughnuts. Steve Boyce ate seven doughnuts and finished with an adjusted time of 2:01:46.1 to win the men’s 51 and older Double D race.
Shelia Hauk-Measley won the women’s 19 to 50 Double D race with an adjusted time of 1:52:56.5 after she ate six doughnuts. Chris Burris won the women’s 51 and older Double D race, eating three doughnuts and finishing with an adjusted time of 2:54:14.0.
Michael Kammer won the men’s mini easy chair division in an adjusted time of 55:39.0 after he ate three doughnuts. Sharon Bond ate six doughnuts and won the women’s mini easy chair race in an adjusted time of 56:18.0.
Rob Pretzinger ate three doughnuts and won the men’s full easy chair race with an adjusted time of 55:25.6. Renee Mote won the women’s full easy chair race in an adjusted time of 1:15:02.6, consuming four doughnuts.
Richard Young won the men’s Double D easy chair race with an adjusted time of 3:10:48.6, eating five doughnuts.
Kathy Root won the men’s mini tandem division in an adjusted time of 7:20.2, eating 11 doughnuts. Jack Schumacher II won the men’s full tandem race by eating 19 doughnuts and finishing with an adjusted time of 1:11:00.1. Jim and Amy Costello won the Double D tandem with an adjusted time of 2:45:03.0, consuming 16 doughnuts.
“Cyclists are very appreciative of the effort that is put into these events,” Bowersock said. “That makes it somewhat worthwhile.”
Bowersock was glad that the stormed held off and the cyclists remained dry. It started to rain just as the organizers were finishing tearing down all their equipment.
“We got really wet,” Bowersock said. “The participants didn’t get wet. I guess that’s the good part.”
Organizers already are starting to plan for next year’s Tour de Donut.
“We have a good time,” Bowersock said. “Some of the jobs are hard, physical or intense with counting, but they’re fun, and you get to interact with the riders from all over and everybody is smiling and having a good time.”
No date has been set but the 2017 Tour de Donut will be later in the fall, Bowersock said, to avoid clashing with Eldora Speedway’s World 100. Having the two major events on the same day, like this year, is a burden for local law enforcement and emergency services.
With the event moving later into the fall, Bowersock said he anticipates emphasizing a festive fall atmosphere with bonfires, pumpkins and apple cider. It also should be cooler later in the year, which should benefit the cyclists.
The Tour de Donut began with just 106 riders in 2007. Bowersock wasn’t sure the event would even see a second year let alone the 10 it reached in 2016 with no signs of slowing down.
“It’s really cool that we started this year 10 years ago now and it was just a little bike ride,” Bowersock said. “We had no idea or no intention of it being what it is now. We just thought it would be fun to do.”
Kyle Shaner may be reached at 937-569-4316. Follow me on Twitter @KShanerAdvocate or get updates on Facebook by searching Darke County Sports or Advocate 360. For more features online go to dailyadvocate.com.