Running a race is you versus the ones beside you and may the best runner win. But when you add food, draw prizes and live entertainment, you’re left with unique events for people to choose from – each one offering a different ambiance, yet still a race from start to finish.
Now picture an event with all competitors dressed in white t-shirts while waiting for the starting gun. The runners/walkers then take off and through each kilometre they’re showered with colour powder made with food grade cornstarch, 100% natural and safe. It’s new, sounds like loads of fun, is coming to Montreal on August 17 and is called The Color Run 5 km.
Some runners will wear bandanas or dust masks because of the powder, thrown by volunteer colour throwers, sponsors and Color Run staff who aim low as much as possible when you pass by. The idea is to get your t-shirt as colourful as possible by race end. At the finish, the crowd will do a colour throw every 15 minutes to welcome new runners coming in.
The first official Color Run was held in Tempe, AZ in January 2012. Since last year, the event debuted in 50 U.S. cities and three international cities, with close to 600,000 participants in total.
The mastermind behind the Color Run is 34-year-old Travis Snyder. In a recent email interview, he says, “Seeing how happy the Color Run has made all different kinds of people has been very rewarding. It really is an event for all fitness levels, ages and backgrounds. Our tag line is ‘The happiest 5k on the planet’ for a reason. That line was created after seeing how happy it made people.” You might say it puts the fun into a fun run.
Snyder, a former triathlete and avid runner, began creating his own running events 10 years ago. In an effort to create a non-threatening running environment where professional and novice runners could come together and enjoy the purity of the sport, the Color Run was born. “I wanted to create an event that would encourage people to get out and run just for the fun of it. I wanted people to enjoy the community experience of running together, and I wanted to add something a little out of the ordinary to the race; something that could serve as a sort of visual reward for all the hard work these runners put into training for the event,” he says.
You can run the event solo or enter as a team. All you need is a white shirt, and be ready to have some fun running and getting splashed with colour.