LOS ANGELES—On Saturday, Feb. 2, thousands of Los Angelinos descended on Dodger Stadium to take part in The Color Run; the happiest 5k on earth. Participants spent the day being blasted with color, dancing to music, and were brought closer together.
For some, getting up on a Saturday to run 5k can be bit intimidating especially if you are out of shape, or have never done anything above a light jog.
Travis Snyder, Executive Director and Founder of the Color Run, wanted to take that intimidation away and share his love of running with people from all walks of life. “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,” said Snyder.
Snyder wanted to create a run that was non-threatening for new runners, where novices and professionals could come together and enjoy the purity of the sport and have an experience that would be equally rewarding for everyone.
“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," Snyder said.
The end result was the Color Run; The happiest 5k on earth. At each kilometer check point is a color zone where runners are showered by a different color. After completing the last leg of the 5k course, participants celebrate at the Finish Festival, an outdoor dance party where every 15 minutes runners throw powder into the air and create a huge color cloud.
Yvonne Betancourt is a first time runner who enjoyed the relaxed and fun nature of the run, “[the color run] wasn’t too taxing on me. It was just a lot of fun and running through the color was like running through a cloud of happy,” Betancourt told Canyon News.
About 60% of the people who sign up for The Color Run have never done a 5k. They have come out not for the sole purpose of running, but to experience something out of the ordinary and feel accomplished in doing so.
“I’ve done other runs before, but this one is different. It’s not a competitive run, it looks so fun, you see all the color everywhere,” Avvy Siwe of UCLA told Canyon News, “My friends and I wanted to go and do it together for their first time running,” she added.
But The Color Run isn’t strictly about fun; it’s about bringing communities together and raising money to donate to local causes.
In each city, The Color Run supports a local charity or non-profit organization as their benefactor. This year The Color Run: Los Angeles chose Casa Colina Center for Rehabilitation, a non-profit that specializes in neural rehabilitation.
“[The Color Run] has been amazing, making us their benefactor for this year’s run and with the donations they have given us. We plan on using those funds help patients with their stay or medication; whatever it takes to make sure that they are brought wholeness and wellness,” said Casa Colina Representative Annetta Bryant, to Canyon News.
The first installment of The Color Run saw nearly six times its expected turnout of 100,000 total runners in 2012. This year they want to double their numbers and get over a million runners, visiting 100 cities throughout the year, and donating to more than 100 local charities.
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