7th Annual NYC Cupcake Run

I’ve been training for this my entire life. Well, the “eating-too-much-sugar-without-getting-sick” part, that is. The running? Not so much. 🧁

The NYC Cupcake Run, dubbed “NYC’S Sweetest 5k”, has runners stop and scarf down 3 full-sized cupcakes at various points during the course. If there is anything that can convince me to get off my couch and run in public, it’s sugary carbs.

Race volunteers handing out cupcakes to runners. Bless these angels 🙏🏻
I mean with cupcakes like these, I’d run to the ends of the earth… ¯\_(ツ)_/¯

When I discovered that the run would take place at the park in my resident town of Astoria, I decided it was fate. I tried to convince my fiancé to suffer with me (as they say: misery loves company), but as he is neither a sweets guy nor a cardio guy, it was a hopeless cause.

I went back and forth for about a week, wondering if the cupcakes and cute swag would be worth the public humiliation that would surely accompany them. The day before the race, I checked the website one last time and saw that there were only 2 tickets left. Panicked, my mind acted on its own and signed me up for the race before I realized what was happening. I had immediate regrets.

What if the sugar was just too much for my feeble, untrained body and I spewed sprinkles all over the sidewalk? What if everyone else was a pro runner and left me and my cherry-red face in the dust? Sure, the website said that anyone of any fitness level was encouraged to take part, but was that actually the reality? I messaged the official NYC Cupcake Run Instagram page and asked as much. They assured me that there were indeed people who walked/jogged the race, and I relaxed a bit.

Charming chalk drawings led the way around the course. Such cute cupcakes!

The morning of the race (which, to my relief, was held at a very reasonable 11am), I arrived at the north side of Astoria Park and was a bit intimidated. It was clear that many of the participants were seasoned runners, equipped with fancy gear and donning sweat-slicking fabric shirts with logos of previous marathons they’d run. I positioned myself near the back of the pack, fully intending to stick with the powerwalkers and parents burdened with baby strollers.

Runners eagerly awaiting the starting whistle! That East River view though… 👌

Strangely enough, when the whistle blew and everyone started moving, I felt my worries disappear in the crisp autumn air. The group started slow, and it was easy to keep up. Of course I googled “How to Run a 5K With No Training” the night before, and everyone advised to conserve energy with a slow pace in the beginning. Even so, I was able to pass a few people and it was quickly clear that this was a casual, no-stress race. I simply let myself enjoy the music in my headphones and the lapping of the waves from the East River, eagerly anticipating the cupcakes to come.

Runners eating our first cupcakes halfway through mile 1–still bright and bushy-tailed!
What do you think–should I frame my race bib!? Really enjoyed this blueberry cupcake 😋

Once we got to the first cupcake station, the group started to spread out more. I took my time at each of the 3 cupcake stations, trying to find flavors I liked and taking several photos. The number of cupcakes I saw with just a single bite taken out of them in the trashcan was truly heartbreaking (fun fact: the first woman to finish was actually disqualified because she didn’t eat the 3rd cupcake!). I vowed to eat all of my cupcakes in their entirety to respect Butter Lane and did so with little effort. I guess my body is just used to consuming copious amounts of sugar (which might be concerning, to be honest)! Though, I will admit that it is disheartening to have gained back all of the calories I lost running a 5K by eating cupcakes…

This strawberry cupcake with banana bread(?) was to die for! (And I basically did)

Of course, a 5K is no walk in the park. I was completely out of breath by the end of it, even with the three cupcake stops. However, I didn’t walk nearly as much as I assumed I would, and I was actually able to enjoy myself! The cupcakes brought me to the run, but the overall experience has convinced me to try more 5Ks in the future (and actually train for them next time!).

The full-price admission of $60 includes a T-shirt, race bib, tote bag, 3 cupcakes during the race, and 1 free drink voucher and lunch for the afterparty at Rocky McBrides. Early-bird ticket prices are $45, and I also received a 40% discount through a coupon code on WEHEARTASTORIA‘s blog (I assume they will be doing this again in the future, so check there before getting your ticket next year!).

Cupcakes for the event are provided by Butter Lane, a bakery in the East Village specializing in cupcakes baked fresh with all-natural ingredients. They brought a wide variety of flavors to suit every sweet tooth, including: Caramel, Honey Cinnamon, Maple Pecan, Blueberry, Strawberry, Raspberry, Chocolate, Vanilla, Coconut, and Espresso.

To make the event even sweeter, a portion of the proceeds are donated to New York Cares, a volunteer service supporting the city.

P.S., if you aren’t much of a sugar lover (and if so, why are you on my blog?!), don’t fret! The same people also put on a Pizza Run every September. Perhaps I’d have an easier time convincing my fiancé to participate in that one? 😉🍕

So, what do you think? Would you run a 5K for these delicious cupcakes? Is this not the cutest race you’ve ever seen? Let me know below!

💖 Cat

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