In crisp new t-shirts, about 20 runners headed out to find some color. It was much more than that desire to change the color of their garments. It was a commitment to run five kilometers to help raise funds for the North Central High School Yearbook.
The sky was a brilliant blue and the winds was strong as the runners left the yellow line in the grass. A throng converged on the single path entrance of the cross country course. It was there that purple cornstarch flew at and around them
Through the winding path in the pines, they disappeared running down and around the athletic fields. Along the way, they would encounter more colors flying at them.
The concept of “Color Run” was developed in 2011 to be “The Happiest 5k in the World”. It is not the first event to use colored powders as part of the process. Notably the Indian festival of Holi has an older claim for the use of colored powders. Since 2011, the number of color runs has been increasing. According to the “Color Run” website, events are now in 35 + countries and experienced by over 6 million people.
At the North Central High School Color FunRun, each runner completed two laps. The real soaking in color came after the laps are completed. Extra powder was available, and it flew freely.
The clouds of green, purple, pink, and orange cornstarch drifted over the crowds gathered at the end of the run. Laughter pealed as another is coated with powder. These moments of joy are punctuated by the squeals of teenagers chasing each other with a handful of powder.
It seemed that every inch of the shirts had some color on them, as well as faces, and hair, and everywhere else.
As I worked to avoid the clouds of cornstarch, I found myself smiling and laughing also. For an hour, the grounds of NCHS were not mired in geopolitical issues or drama, but in the joy of having a good time.
At the end of the run, a group picture showed just how much had changed. I would argue that the smiles were brighter and the relaxation deeper. It would seem that running a 5k can be more than running.
Just a Bit More about That -David