On July 25th, Color Me Rad will be returning to the Red River Exhibition grounds once again. And for the last few summers, photos of smiling, color-streaked faces have been popping up on my Instagram and Facebook feed. I wanted to learn more about the race and how it works, so I reached out to Wyatt Grow, one of the organizers of the event, with a few questions.
Tell me a little bit about how Color Me Rad got started.
The founding legend of Color Me Rad is, I think, a pretty cool story. It started in Utah, where, despite the predominantly Mormon population, one of the largest Holi Festivals in US takes place. The company founders and I attended the Festival of Colors at the local Hare Krishna temple over the course of our college years, and watched as it grew from 8,000 attendees to close to 80,000 attendees in just a few short years. We were already in the business of organizing 5k fun runs - The Dirty Dash - and saw the flying colors of the Holi festival as something many people would enjoy. And like that, Color Me Rad was born.
We started with 35 events in our first year (2012), and grew to over 100 events in 2013 and 2014.
How do the colors work? What are they made of?
The colors are launched onto runners by an amazing corps of volunteers that we call the Color Bomb Squad. At several places around the course, we build Color Stations where volunteers throw, spray or otherwise cover our runners in color. Then, as runners cross the finish line, they all receive their own bag of color to participate in the Finale Color Throw as a group.
The colors are made of good old fashioned corn starch and dyed with food coloring. Granted, this is done on an industrial scale but it's all very safe and edible.
What cities are you currently running in?
We're in many cities all over the world, with events in places as diverse as Scandinavia, Japan, Korea, France, Australia, and Mexico. In Canada specifically, we're in
For those of us who haven't participated in Color Me Rad yet, could you describe the experience of doing the run?
Color Me Rad is going to be unlike any 5k you've participated in before. For one, it's not timed or competitive in any way, which makes it accessible to a lot of runners and walkers who might be intimidated by a timed race. Secondly, the color stations are music filled zones of just pure fun and revelry. Then at the end, there is food to buy, giveaways and music from the stage, dancing, and color throws. It's a hybrid of festival and 5k, and it's a blast.
What is the goal of Color Me Rad? What are your plans for the future?
Color Me Rad has a number of objectives: to help people become more physically active, to create unforgettable experiences for our participants, and to raise awareness and funds for our charity partners, to name a few. (Ed. note: In Winnipeg, Color Me Rad supports St. Amant.)
For the future, we plan and hope to keep doing what we're doing in Winnipeg and all over the world.
Wyatt was not only gracious enough to answer my questions, but he offered up two free tickets to the event here in Winnipeg! Just leave a comment below! Two winners will be selected at random, and contacted on Monday, April 20th with a code for registration.
Please note, all the photos in this post are owned by Color Me Rad.