Love it or hate it, an Alberta man is racing to save Tim Hortons’ walnut crunch


An Alberta man is racing towards his goal of keeping his favourite Tim Hortons walnut crunch donut in stores permanently by launching a campaign where he’s doing one simple thing: running.

Calgary’s Zacary Jeaurond said he was “super excited” upon learning the baked good was returning on May 31 after being out of production for a decade, but was later disappointed when he found out it was only for a limited time.

“I started brainstorming ideas and ways in which I could try and make sure that it doesn’t stay for limited time, and it comes back for good and so I started running and biking to raise awareness and to advocate for the walnut crunch,” he told Global News on Monday.

The runner said he’s done three “main events,” including a 30-kilometre bike ride, a half marathon and a “tour de Airdrie,” when he ran to each Tim Hortons location in Airdrie, Alta. and ate a walnut crunch at each. He then tagged the company in an Instagram posted of his run in the hope of getting a response, though none has come so far.

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His love of the donut is more than just because of the taste, but he said it also helps with his runs because it “encompasses everything a donut should be.”

He said in addition to the chocolate, the walnuts provide protein and it’s a good calorie snack while running to ensure he doesn’t run a calorie deficit.

Jeaurond said he’s been training for a 100-mile race, and while his training runs traditionally are between 10 and 50 kilometres, one upcoming run will see him go from the Tim Hortons in Canmore to the store in Banff and back which he anticipates will be about 50 kilometres.

The campaign is not just about keeping the donut, however, as Jeaurond said it’s also given him the ability to bond with his nine-month-old daughter Lili-ane, who sleeps in the stroller that he takes with him on his runs and cycling adventures.

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Click to play video: 'What to know about changes to Tim Hortons, Starbucks loyalty programs'

What to know about changes to Tim Hortons, Starbucks loyalty programs

“It’s offered me a lot of opportunities to have her on camera and doing stuff like this is something we’re going to be looking back at very fondly for a long time,” he said. “I think it’s a good lesson to look back on, whether serious cause or not, to take things maybe to the next step and don’t be afraid to work a little harder for something that you love.”

The hope, Jeaurond said, is that Tim Hortons will give him a challenge such as a run, a petition or fundraise money for one of the company’s charities to keep the donut, either permanently or seasonally.

Global News reached out to Tim Hortons for comment on Jeaurond’s quest, but did not hear back by the time of publication.

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