Photo courtesy of FLICKR.COM
by EVELYN WONG
Showering its participants head to toe with vibrant colors, the Color Run continues to spread worldwide merriment as the “Happiest 5K on the Planet.”
Founded in March 2011 by Utah native and event producer Travis Snyder, the Color Run is an event intended to promote worldwide happiness while also encouraging participants to maintain physical well-being, according to thecolorrun.com. The first event took place in Phoenix, Arizona, with 6,000 participants.
During the Color Run, runners begin at the starting line with a white shirt and are doused with different colors at each kilometer of the untimed race. After they complete the race, a Finish Festival is held, with music, dancing and color throws by participants.
“Although the Color Run was about three miles, it felt like we only ran one mile because it was so much fun,” said junior Susan Gonzalez, who participated in the Color Run last year. “Spending time with my friends and throwing powder at each other was the best part.”
Promoting physical fitness rather than professional competition, the Color Run consists of participants ranging from first time runners to well-trained athletes.
“I feel like the Color Run motivates people to be outdoors more, whether they are athletes or just people looking for fun,” said senior Jonathan Barakat. “It doesn’t necessarily have to be running, but it definitely encourages them to go outside and improve their physical state.”
According to thecolorrun.com, since the first Color Run in 2011, the event has been hosted in more than 200 cities in over 40 countries worldwide, including 112 events in the United States, 7 in the United Kingdom, 6 in Australia, and 4 in China in 2015. Taking place on different dates throughout the year, the next Los Angeles Color Run will be held May 21 at Dodger Stadium.
“I am extremely looking forward to this year’s Color Run because of all the stories I’ve heard about people being splashed with colored paints,” said sophomore Alicia Amamoto. “Not only would I be getting a workout, but I’d be able to have fun with my friends and making timeless memories with them.”
The addition of color as a part of the race is largely inspired by the Hindu festival of Holi, a religious celebration embracing the start of spring, and glow events such as Disney’s World of Color.
In recent years, new events and features have been added to the Color Run, including a new genre of Color Dash running events. In 2014, for example, the Color Run debuted their first U.S. night run in Philadelphia, giving rise to the Color Run Night. In this course, runners pass through illuminated color zones, allowing them to view glowing color shows as they run the 5K.
In addition, the Color Run launched its Kaleidoscope Tour, which visited over 150 cities in the U.S. and Canada in 2014.
In 2015, participants of the Color Run took part in the Shine Tour, introducing an element of sparkle into the event.
As the fifth anniversary of the original event, the 2016 Color Run Tropicolor World Tour is currently bringing an island-style 5K race featuring a new Tropicolor Zone course, where runners are sprayed with tropical colors and island scents as they pass under the shade of palm trees, arches and island-style music.
Though there are no winners or special prizes, the Color Run rewards participants, young and old, with splashes of colored powder and smiles all around.