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Sandy’s Donut Run set for Saturday

Sandy’s Donuts owner Mark Ostlund (left) and Go Far Events owner Mark Knutson worked together to bring the Donut Run together for the first time in the spring of 2012. Daniel Determan

The third annual Sandy’s Donut Run -- a joint effort between Go Far Events and Sandy’s Donuts -- is set for Saturday morning.

The 5k and 10k run/walk event is a fall race that starts and ends near Sandy’s Donuts, and donuts are provided by Sandy’s for runners at the halfway point and end of each race. Runners who eat a donut at the halfway point will have a minute deducted from their final time.

It is in its second year in the community -- a run was held in both the spring and fall of 2012 -- and has seen solid growth with each race.

“The first time, we did it in the spring by the seat of our pants, but we only had 100 runners or so,” Go Far Events owner Mark Knutson said. “We ultimately decided that donuts are better in the fall. It has been fun, and last fall we had about 250 people. Lo and behold, after today (Thursday, Oct. 24) we have about 400 runners for this year. That’s great growth for us.”

The run got its start when a few runners in Knutson’s running circle would make a trip to Sandy’s after a run every fall.

“I kind of jokingly said ‘you know, we should host a run called the Sandy’s Donut Run,’” Knutson said. “Eventually, I ended up coming to Mark (Ostlund, owner of Sandy’s Donuts) for a marathon sponsorship. One thing led to another and we ended up giving it a shot.”

Last year’s November run went off without a hitch -- except for the fact that Sandy’s did not have a roof at the time.

“We ended up closed the weekend of the race,” Ostlund said. “The construction had to be done then. I made a bunch of donuts and froze them, and it all worked out.”

Weather reports indicate that the temperature will most likely be in the mid to high 30s for the start of the run.

“It is bound to be chilly,”Knutson said, “but that makes it fun.”

Go Far Events also is planning a “charitable component” for the run. Last year, proceeds from the event went to Team Ian, but they are currently uncertain as to which organization they will contribute to this year.

Only 500 registrations will be accepted this year, with roughly 400 already accounted for. Knutson and Ostlund would like to see that number grow at a manageable rate -- hoping to hit 1,000 runners by the event’s fifth year -- but agree that the Donut Run shouldn’t be taken too seriously.

“It’s just a fun event, and that is what it is meant to be,” Ostlund said. “I don’t think donuts are necessarily associated with health and fitness, but after the run, you can have a donut and not feel so guilty. There were also a lot of kids last year with their parents, just looking to have fun.”

The 10k will begin at 8 a.m. on Saturday morning, with the 5k starting five minutes later. Runners can find more information, including a detailed course map, at

Those interested in participating must register online or at Sandy’s Donuts.