The Color Run, also known as “The Happiest 5k on the Planet," speaks the truth through its name and is the original paint race. I've participated in numerous running events, as both a runner and volunteer, but The Color Run is definitely my favorite. It shows what compassion and determination really are.
This event has spread exponentially. It is now hosted in over 200 cities and 40 countries every single year. The five-kilometer (a fairly un-timed) event consists of “Color Runners” who are covered in vibrant colors made of food-grade corn starch at each kilometer. Not only are the participants eagerly covered with these stunning colors, but they are brought together as a community to spread very important aspects of life including happiness, healthiness and individuality. Throughout the entire event, giving back remains a key point of focus.
Happiness: Smiles are shared through all different ages, fitness levels and backgrounds. It is nearly impossible to see a frown during this event.
Healthiness: Since more than half of the runners are first-time 5k runners, the event provides a headway for an active and healthy lifestyle. For those experienced, it provides a continuing journey.
Individuality: Everyone runs for different reasons. Professional athletes may run to train while others run for personal and unique reasons. What's your reason for running?
Giving Back: This for-profit event management company partners with many charities, which can be read in more detail here. Thanks to this event, donations have been raised for more than 80 local and national charities since 2012. To this day, The Color Run has raised more than $4 million for charity.
“Do you have to be a runner to participate in this event?” Absolutely not. The sights at this event are beyond imagination and truly show the kindness and acceptance provided through all types of "Color Runners." Anyone can participate in this event. You will see babies being pushed in carriages, people in wheelchairs either rolling on their own or accompanied by someone else, children holding their parents' hands and full-time walkers. The idea that everyone deserves to be fully accepted and can do whatever they set their minds to overflows in the atmosphere of these events.
Accepting all people, no matter their race, ethnicity, interests, fitness levels, age or any type of background, is the main reason people favor this event. Everyone is accepted and treated completely fairly. Anyone can participate. If you do not wish to be a "Color Runner," that’s OK. You can get involved in other ways, such as signing people in, giving runners their packages, throwing the color at each kilometer, setting up the course or simply taking pictures professionally for websites. There are many volunteer roles that will comfortably and perfectly suit you.
The joyful course isn't strictly about getting covered in beautiful colors. It is filled with inspiration and determination by all runners and volunteers. While passing others, numerous high-fives are exchanged and cheers are heard from all over.
Don’t be fooled, the event isn't over after you complete the 5k. The unforgettable Finish Festival is what concludes the entire event. This festival filled with music, dancing, thrown color packets into the crowd to create eye-catching mixtures and much more — is simply another example of how much happiness this event truly brings.
The safety and readiness surrounding the course is also important to take into account. There are water stations on the sides of the course with volunteers filling water cups ready for you to take. Ambulances and police officers also surround specific parts of the course and are prepared to help no matter how critical or slight the emergency may be.
This event deserves to be experienced by everyone, by you. You deserve to experience this event, and this event deserves to experience you. Whether you participate by being a runner or volunteer, you will feel the spread of happiness, healthiness and individuality. As these aspects of life grow through each event, they stay with the individual and gives them the amazing opportunity to share them with the rest of the world.