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The Color Run, which “celebrates healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back to the community,” brought a happy mess to downtown Roanoke on Saturday.
Saturday, June 15, 2013
More than 4,000 people got a blast of color in their lives in Roanoke on Saturday morning.
Executive Director Travis Snyder founded The Color Run, which “celebrates healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back to the community,” according to the 5K run’s website.
Snyder said he wanted to create an event that would encourage people to get out and run just for the fun of it. He said the demand has been crazy and exciting.
“Every day hundreds of people make requests on our Facebook page for us to bring the event to their favorite city ,” Snyder said. “We’re excited to answer the call .” Saturday was the first time the run has come to Roanoke.
Ryan Schlachter and Anneliese Burgess said they ran because their family took part in the event in a different city and had a lot of fun.
“We’ve never done it, but it looks like fun and you get dirty and you run,” Schlachter said.
The run began at the Roanoke Civic Center at 9 a.m. and took runners through downtown before finishing where it started. The run is not timed. Organizers of the run and volunteers pelt participants with little packets of dyed powder as they make their way around the course. Along with the run, there were dancing and free prizes at the civic center.
Katy Cain, 23, of Roanoke, said The Color Run had special significance for her.
“I just recently started running, and 5K is about the farthest I can do right now. But I like doing it because it’s a milestone in my health journey,” Cain said.
According to The Color Run, the first event took place in January 2012 in Tempe, Ariz. In 2012, the run went to 50 cities in the United States and three in other countries. Some 600,000 people participated. This year, The Color Run will take place in more than 100 cities in the U.S. and 30 cities in other countries, and more than 1 million people are expected to participate .
“Seeing how happy The Color Run has made all different kinds of people has been very rewarding,” Snyder said. “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.”
The Color Run also partners with various charities in each city to promote awareness and recognize important issues. In Roanoke, the run teamed up with the American Cancer Society and the Blue Ridge Autism and Achievement Center. Last year The Color Run raised more than $600,000 for various groups through its events.
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