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Color Run Supplies A Dose of Happiness

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You can’t run with scissors in the happiest 5 kilometer race on earth, but you can run with chalk in neon colors.

Toddlers, teenagers and grown-ups in tiaras and tutus played in Sacramento’s downtown streets on Saturday’s Color Run braving pink, yellow, orange, purple, and green colored fairy dusts to paint Picassos on their white t-shirts.

On your marks, get set, go!

“We dedicate this run to all the cool kids who inspire us to color our lives with creativity,” said Crystal Brooks, 32, a pastry chef from Midtown Sacramento waiving her hands in the air in excitement. She swivels her hips and skips with three of her girlfriends in glee.  All four sports a matching white shirt cut in symmetry, knee high plaid patterned socks and Asics running shoes while waiting for the Color Run to start.

“We felt like paper dolls cutting these,” said Heather Wright, 36, a resident of West Sacramento and mother of two teens attending River City High School.

“This one has narrow cuts while Crystal’s has wide windows. We designed each of our shirts a little differently. It will fill in with chemistry in bright neon colors,” said Domina Stames, 36, a science teacher at River City High School.

“The dust is smooth to the touch. It is also edible,” shares a staff member in yellow at the first color station blazing high-energy techno music.

Tough mommies in tiaras, babies in strollers, ballerinas, and runaway brides were squirted with the grainy sand from plastic mustard and ketchup bottles. The color stations resemble food fights with colored cornstarch as ammunition. Volunteers covered their noses with handkerchiefs and nurse’s masks to avoid breathing in the non-toxic Crayola like soot.

A ballerina dances to techno music in the yellow color station.

Some of the kids tossed it at each other like snow. Others rolled around on it. They waved their arms and legs while laying on the bright stuff on the ground to make snow angels.

Each station carries a fluorescent color. 1k is yellow. 2K is orange. 3K is pink. 4k is blue. The finish line was green. Swarming like bees in the color stands are college and high school students like Kelsey Wong, 19, a sophomore attending St. Mary’s College who had so much fun at the Color Run in San Francisco in mid July that she had to volunteer in her hometown of Sacramento.

Kelsey Wong motivates the volunteers and the runners at the Color Run Blue Station.

Color Run is heading east across the nation from California to Colorado, New Mexico, New Jersey and back to the west coast up to Portland.

“I wanted to be in the happiest run on earth. The videos looked so much fun on YouTube,” said Jessie Wong, 19, a sophomore attending the University of California, Berkeley who graduated from high school in Elk Grove.

“I found Color Run through Facebook and started inviting all my friends,” she said.

Her cousin Katherine Lei, 18 is a junior at Princeton University. The Color Run is scheduled to arrive in New Jersey on September 1st. Instead of waiting, she decided to come to Sacramento’s Color Run and reunite with family in California.

At the halfway point, 15,000 runners filled up with water. The station was set up next to a truck carrying a large aluminum cylinder like the ones that refill gas stations. Instead of gas for fuel, it pumps gallons of water into blue plastic tubs filled with blocks of ice.

“Yeah, that truck is a beauty. It carries a 60,000 gallon tank,” boasts Lee Richie, 72, the main water tender wearing a red emergency vest. He worked at El Dorado Water and Shower for twenty-eight years.

“We’ve used it in statewide emergencies to supply drinking water for fire fighting crews in major forest fires like the Waldo Canyon fire in Colorado. We have also used it for concerts and other foot races, but we’ve never seen anything like this. ”

“We pumped out about 6,000 gallons of water for this crowd,” he adds.

“The rest… they will need to hose that bright paint off with a cool shower.”

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