Colors fly, kids run
More than 700 attend Weyauwega event
By James Card
More than 700 runners composed of students and parents jogged through the woods behind the school near the athletic fields on Friday, May 13, .
Throughout the course, they were dusted and splattered with a powdery mix of cornstarch and food coloring.
The color run was the brainchild of teachers Kristin Hanten (fifth grade) and Rachael Carson (fourth grade).
“We’ve been in a couple and so we said, ‘Can we pull this off here?’ Sure we can!” said Carson.
They started it six years ago – minus two years for COVID-19 – and it has been growing ever since. This year’s race was the largest ever.
Parents were welcome to run with their children.
“The first year was just kids and then we started running parents in the community. We hoped that we would be building it every time that we do it,” said Carson.
Near the finish line, loudspeakers cranked out music that ranged from AC/DC to Kool and The Gang. As runners approached, they were doused with one last blast of colored dust.
Part of this event is related to the Fuel Up To Play 60 program that is described as a youth wellness program empowering students, educators and parents to work together to build healthier communities. The W-F school district has received grant money from the program for fitness-related activities and the color run fits the criteria.
“We’re trying to give these kids something they have never experienced before or maybe again” said Carson.
Hanten pointed out that runner registration fees for color runs can cost up to $90 person. “This year all the kids were able to do it for free. Our PTA helped pay for the T-shirts,” she said.
The white T-shirts had a Color Run logo and the runners were also given cheap sunglasses to keep the dust out of their eyes.
The Color Run is derived from Holi, an ancient Hindu festival also known as the Festival of Colors.
Travis Snyder, the founder and CEO of The Color Run, commercialized the idea and turned the race into a for-profit enterprise with the first race held in March 2011, in Phoenix, Arizona. The Color Run currently holds the title of the largest running event in the world.