Donut dash dazzels downtown Monroe

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ULM Hawkeye

The Downtown Donut Dash was held in the downtown area in Monroe Saturday morning. Each runner had to run a mile and eat a donut for every mile.

One more dash until the finish line. One more donut. Jason Parks, Ainsley’s Angels’ local director, was drenched in sweat as he pushed through to finish for first place.

emily-reed-and-jason-parks-1Even though he was exasperated from the glazed roads, it was one of the main Angels, Emily Reed, who pulled him right across the finish line.

For once, Reed no longer felt like an outsider during races. She now participates—with a little roadside assistance.

“Instead of sitting on the sidelines and watching people, I was able to be a part of something,”said Reed.

Reed was diagnosed with spina bifida and hydrocephalus at birth. Hydrocephalus causes a fluid buildup in the brain that enlarges the head and can sometime result in brain damage.

Spina bifida is a condition in which a piece of the vertebrae is exposed and underdeveloped. This can cause paralysis of the lower limbs and a possible mental handicap.

Fortunately, Reed discovered Ainsley’s Angels of America during a trip to Houston to get motor equipment. Ainsley’s Angels is a nonprofit organization that spreads awareness about America’s special needs. This is their second year participating in the race.

Donut Dash is an extension of the Dirty South dashes that are held in Northeast Louisiana. According to Dirty South director, Tara Knight Daniel, she makes sure that all of her races involve twists, tutus and charity.

“You’re not gonna just run your typical 5K and sweat and die,” said Danie.

“There’s all types of fun parts of my race…all costumes. It just brings a different type of race to the twin cities.”

After every race, Daniel donates the proceeds to local charities. The earnings from the Donut Dash will be donated to the flood victims of Louisiana.

Daniel’s next race under works will be the Cottonland Marathon which is the only marathon in the Northeast and also a preliminary to the Boston marathon. Though this race might not be a pastry pace.

The Cottonland Marathon will consist of 13 and 26 mile races. Proceeds from this race will be donated to Smiles Park, which will be a section in Kiroli Park for disabled children.