State Superintendent Mark Johnson Successfully Completes the Entire Krispy Kreme Challenge in Raleigh

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NCDPI News Release

For immediate release

Feb. 2, 2019



State Superintendent Mark Johnson Successfully Completes the Entire Krispy Kreme Challenge in Raleigh 

Mark Johnson

State Superintendent Mark Johnson has now joined the ranks of those who have successfully completed the entire Krispy Kreme Challenge. He was one of thousands who participated in the 15th Annual Krispy Kreme Challenge in Raleigh this weekend. Johnson announced he would participate after a record number of teachers responded to a survey on working conditions last year.  


The Krispy Kreme Challenge consists of running 2.5 miles from the Memorial Bell Tower at N.C. State to the Krispy Kreme located at the intersection of Peace and Person Streets in Raleigh, eating one dozen doughnuts, and then running 2.5 miles back to the Memorial Bell Tower. Johnson was registered as a “Casual Runner,” meaning he was not required to eat the entire dozen doughnuts. However, in the end, he not only ate all 12, but also finished in less time than the one-hour goal. 


“I originally promised to complete the Krispy Kreme Challenge, including all 12 doughnuts, if 95 percent of educators responded to the survey,” Johnson said.  “When we achieved a record 91 percent response rate I decided to go ahead and participate as a fun thank you. I didn’t plan to eat the entire dozen, but I ended up doing just that.” 


Superintendent Johnson’s official time was 58 minutes, 41 seconds. 


“It was tough, but nothing compared to what our teachers do day-in and day-out,” said Johnson.  “This was a fun way to thank our teachers for all of their hard work.” 


The event benefits UNC Children’s Hospital. As a part of his participation, Johnson is asking people to support him by donating a new book to the hospital for the patients being treated there.  Information on how to donate the books can be found at   


“Since I actually completed the entire Challenge, I hope people will be even more inspired to donate a new book to UNC Children’s Hospital,” said Johnson. “I will personally deliver the books to the hospital this spring.”  


Soon after the Krispy Kreme Challenge, Johnson will also launch the NC Reads Book Drive statewide, encouraging civic groups, schools, churches and other organizations to collect donated books to be distributed to children in their own communities.  Organizations will be provided with a “how to” guide on organizing a book drive and getting the books to the appropriate nonprofits for distribution.  


For more information on the Krispy Kreme Challenge, visit