Anchorage Color Run scheduled June 28, Registrations Open

After the sell-out first appearance June 15, 2013, the Color Run is returning to Alaska for the 2014 Kaleidoscope Tour, which will include Fairbanks on June 7 and Anchorage on June 28. The event has made claims it is “as the happiest 5k on the planet.” And if the numbers of participants is any attest to that, then the Color Run truly is the happiest 5k on the planet, being the largest event series in the United States, spanning over 30 countries and 170 events in 2013.
The Color Run is an untimed 5k run where the only rule is to wear white at the starting line. The race starts in waves of about 1,000 people, where hosts of the Color Run get participants pumped up. During the race, runners get the chance to run through dyed cornstarch at various color stations on the running course. At the end of the race, runners are greeted at the Sullivan Arena parking lot with the Finish Festival, where runners dance, throw the colorful cornstarch up in the air and pass beach balls around while prizes are thrown from the stage.
During last year’s event in Anchorage it was announced that the Color Run was now the second-largest event in the history of Alaska, following the visit of Pope John Paul II in 1981, who drew a crowd estimated to be around 65,000 people. The 2013 Anchorage Color Run drew 15,000 participants.
“It was really fun. I liked it. It was really crowded, but it was really fun. It was energetic,” said UAA pre-nursing major Hope Meyn.
Russian major John Hansen didn’t do the Color Run but participated in a similar event in San Francisco. He describes the event he did in San Francisco as “wicked fun” and wants to do the Color Run in Anchorage with the thousands of others who plan to take part.
Many like Hansen who have done the Color Run before or events similar are ready to go out and do it all over again.
“I thought it was a great experience, a very happy and colorful time. All the powdered paints filled up the streets and having paint fights at the end was the best part. I’m definitely doing it again this summer,” said Haley Arnold.
“I really liked the dance party at the end. That was probably the best part. Because for the run part, there wasn’t really as much color as I expected, and when you were running around you kind of got stuck in globs of people that were just walking. … At the end you just had tons of powders of color and people everywhere and people on people’s shoulders, and it was just great,” Meyn said.
Participants of the Color Run are also decked out with race souvenirs including a Color Run designer T-shirt, color packet, headband, fake tattoo, bracelet and bag at pre-race check-in. There are also various items that can be purchased at the check-in and at the event, anywhere from tutus to socks and funky sunglasses. There will also be a variety of vendors at the start/finish area at the Sullivan Arena with stuff for sale or for free.
The Color Run is focused on giving participants the chance to have fun and not feel pressured to perform. As the Color Run site says the run “celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality,” where the run is “less about your 10-minute mile and more about having the time of your life.”
The Color Run isn’t only about having fun, though. It’s also dedicated to making charitable donations to local charities of their events and have given $3 million since 2012 according to their site. In 2013 the Color Run donated to the Boys and Girls Club of Alaska and will be doing so again this year.
Color Run makes donations to charities in a few ways. Color Run gives funds with post race donations (which vary in amount depending on how much the charities volunteers help at the Color Run event in their town) or Color Run allows runners to make a donation in addition to purchasing their ticket for the event or charities may sell a certain amount of spots in the race and keep the proceeds.
Boys and Girls Club of Alaska got donations in 2013 from the Color Run both for providing volunteers and having runners donate additional money during their registration. Boys and Girls Club of Alaska will be getting donations from the Color Run in much the same way this year.
Tickets for the Anchorage Color Run event are $40 for a team runner on a team of four or more and $45 for an individual before May 15. After that, ticket prices increase to $50 for a team runner and $55 for an individual. Volunteer information and ticket purchase can be found at http://www.thecolorrun.com/anchorage/2014-06-28/.

Autumn Sperry and Kaity Bullock at the 2013 Anchorage Color Run
Autumn Sperry and Kaity Bullock at the 2013 Anchorage Color Run