By Tara Bennett
The world’s most colorful race is set to hit Baton Rouge this weekend on Saturday, April 19 as the Color Run 5K returns to the city for its second year.
This year’s race will be located at the parking lot next to the Downtown Hilton Hotel on the corner of Florida St. and Lafayette St. and will begin at 9 a.m. It is encouraged for registered runners to pick up their official race packet at Academy Sports and Outdoors located on 10808 Industriplex Boulevard prior to the date of the 5K. Pickup dates will be on Thursday, April 17 from 11-7 p.m. and on Friday, April 18 from 10-6 p.m.
Dubbed the “happiest 5K on the planet,” the event is just as the name implies, where runners begin the race wearing white T-shirts, and at each kilometer they are doused with colorful paint by volunteers and staff members. The colorful powder is made from dyed corn starch, and colors range from blue, pink, orange and yellow.
“The main goal is to douse you in colorful powder to ensure that you look like you ran through a beautiful rainbow by the time you cross the finish line,” states the Color Run website.
According to race officials, the dye is 100 percent natural and safe, as well as edible should any land in a runner’s mouth. While dye will not be thrown at one’s face, past runners have chosen to wear sunglasses or goggles to protect their eyes. The colored dye can be washed out, but runners who wish to make the color permanent can preserve it by spraying the T-shirt with vinegar and then ironing it.
The race is less about competition, and instead focuses on exercise combined with unadulterated fun. The fun does not end after the race however, as each runner is then invited to the Finish Festival, the race’s official after party, equipped with high-energy music and dancing. More color will be thrown at the event, turning the party into a living, breathing Jackson Pollock painting.
“Seeing how happy The Color Run has made people has been tremendously rewarding for us,” says the site. “It is an event for all fitness levels, ages and backgrounds. Our tag line, ‘The Happiest 5K on the planet,’ was created after seeing the expressions of pure joy from participants.”
The Color Run was originally created by Travis Synder, an avid runner and triathlete from Salt Lake City, who wanted to create a non-threatening environment for runners. Inspired by events such as Disney’s World of Color, Paint Parties, Mud Runs and festivals throughout the world such as Holi, Synder created a race which focuses on healthiness, happiness and individuality.
Since its creation in 2012, the Color Run has increased its number of events in over 100 cities across the country. There are no prerequisites for the race as the Color Run encourages people of every age, shape, size and different speed to participate. The race also does not have any winners, nor an official start time as runners can go at their own pace after registration.
Tickets are still currently available with prices going for $45 for individual runners and for $40 per person on a team of four or more. Interested runners can register at http://thecolorrun.com/.