“Color Run” is more about fun rather than speed


Betsy Barenback-Gold, Focus Editor

Speed is important when a member of the some 6,000 runners in the “happiest 5K in the world.” Not in actual running time, but as in registration speed. The race sold out in D.C. October 21 in about an hour, the event director from Human Movement Tabitha Cooper said.

Cooper said the race has become a worldwide phenomenon since it began in January. Also, the vast majority of the approximate 50 cities are selling out within a few hours just goes to show how popular this race is.

By why is it so popular? The name says it all. According to the official webpage, the Color Run “is a unique experience that is less focused on the actual speed, but more on the crazy color fun with family and friends. This race is for all shapes and sizes and all ages. This race is for the Olympic runner or for the causal walker.”

Junior Anna Santiago got a first-hand look at the Color Run, when she participated in it last weekend.

“It was great that there was such diversity in this race. People of a sizes, ages and disabilities came,” Santiago said.

In the Color Run, participants show up in all white attire and gather together at the starting line. Waves of about 300-400 people are let out in intervals because there are too many people to start at once on the narrow paths of the D.C. route. Once the participant’s wave commences, they run a period of one kilometer wearing all white. After the distance (1K) is completed, the participant arrives at the first color station where volunteers pelt color powder at the runners in order to get rid of any spot of white. This cycle continues as each runner reaches the next kilometer marker.

“I didn’t know what to expect at the color stations,” Santiago said. “But, when I got there people just kept throwing color on me and there was so much powder flying. Some people were even rolling around in the fallen powder. It was crazy.”

According to the official webpage of the Color Run, “you start out as a new pristine coloring book, but by the end, it looks like you fell into Willy Wonka’s tie dyed vat of goodness.”

At the end of this race all participants celebrate and gather around in a mob and throw the color everywhere, making it look like a color sandstorm, where one can barely tell their left from their right. Everyone is laughing and yelling, making a memory they will never forget.

“The color throws was my favorite part because all at once everyone throws all there color and the music was loud and everyone was so pumped up,” Santiago said.

Should powder get into mouths or eyes of participants, there is no need to worry because according to the website, “All products are 100% natural and safe. You can eat the stuff if participants would like but, we have tried it and don’t suggest it, it is surprisingly high in calories and leaves a chalky aftertaste.”

It is true this race is has no severe negatives and the real motive for this race is to spread color and memories, which deems it the phrase “The happiest 5K in the world.” All proceeds collected from the event benefits the local charity The National Children Medical Center.

Unfortunately, for those who wanted to participate next year in the color run, it is already sold out for D.C. in 2013. Don’t fret, there are multitudes of other locations on their website which haven’t sold out, that one could explore.

Santiago said, “I defiantly got the experience I wanted and I think others should do this because it’s a type of race for people who just want have fun when they are running.”