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Wildcat Welcome Week: Freshman Cake Race – 75th Anniversary

On your mark...get set...go for Cake!

This year marks the 75th Anniversary of the Cake Race at Davidson College! We’re planning on making the race something really special with the return of previous winners, a cake decorating contest, and other festivities to recognize this unique tradition.

In 1934, incoming students endured a mandatory 1.7 mile race because the track coach, Heath Whittle, hoped to uncover hidden talent in the class and ask them to come out for the track team. He realized there needed to be an incentive, and that is where the "cake" in Cake Race comes from. The race, which has been held every year since 1934 (except during WWII and 1972), has become a hallmark of Davidson College and its incoming new students. Participation today is now voluntary; whereas, in the beginning "The race was mandatory unless you were in the infirmary or had only one leg."

As part of the tradition, people in the Davidson community donate the cakes awarded to the winners. Staff, faculty, students and community members are asked to bring their cakes to the Baker Sports Complex lobby between the hours of 8 a.m. and 3 p.m. on Aug. 27.

For more information please contact Brenda Daugherty at or 704-894-2342.

The goal is for runners of all skill levels to participate and for everyone to receive a sweet treat. Come out with your fellow classmates to take a short run, enjoy some cake, and become a part of this great Davidson tradition


On-Campus Baker Plaza (By Wildcat Statue)

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Navas, Michelle M