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Brighter approach to 5K

Photo by: Nick Conley


While most people are running to get back in shape, a new crowd is running to ‘brighten up’ their lives.

Color Me Rad and the Color Run are two possible alternatives to your normal exercise regimen that keep things interesting by promising to be an entirely different 5K experience.

Amanda Mawson, a junior at Oklahoma Christian University, admits that part of the reason the race appeals to her is the nonconventional approach.

“It sounds like a lot of fun, but I am not someone who runs very often,” Mawson said. “If I were going to start running, it would be for something like this and not for your average 5K.”

Many students have participated in this type of race before or have the intention of participating in the future. Junior Tessa Henry said she plans on attending Color Me Rad in Oklahoma City in May.

“I’ve heard about the race quite a few times, and I know a few people who have participated, but when I saw a lot of friends talking about it on Facebook, I decided to do some more research,” Henry said.

Lindsay Walton, a senior at Oklahoma Christian, was convinced to register for the run when someone suggested making a team and running together.

“The most appealing thing about this race is that I will be running with my friends in a race that is designed to be a fun, memorable, family-friendly race,” Walton said.

The design of these alternative runs is meant to target a crowd that might not normally be interested in running a 5K. They focus on the fun of the event and make sure to keep the competition at a minimum.

“I think these runs are an excellent opportunity to introduce people to running,” senior David Sellers said. “The way they approach marketing focuses more on the fun and experience of it and less on the actual race.”

During the Color Me Rad and Color Run, all of the runners begin the race in their brightest whites, but none of them stay that way for long. As they progress through the race, each runner will be bombarded with ‘color bombs’ of blue, green, pink, purple and yellow.

The colored powder is all natural, nontoxic, colored cornstarch. The mixture is proven to be safe to ingest, to have on your skin and is not likely to cause rashes or discomfort.

Some students are concerned about the idea of running through the colored powder and how it could affect their breathing.

“As a former long-distance and short-distance runner, I already have enough trouble when running a 5K, and I’m usually huffing and puffing by the end of the run,” Sellers said. “Even though it looks like a blast, the last thing I need is to be running through a huge cloud of colored powder.”

Walton agrees that the powder could add another level of difficulty to the race, but has a plan for combatting that.

“I’ve heard that the powder has bothered some people before, but I’m not too worried about it,” Walton said. “I might just bring a bandana to cover my face if it’s bothering me during the race.”

Henry, on the other hand, said that the colored powder shouldn’t have too big of an effect on her experience.

“If it does affect my breathing, I’ll take it easy,” Henry said. “I’m not doing the race to see how fast I can go; I’m doing it to be with friends, have fun, and donate to a good cause. I also fully expect to be covered in multi-colored powder from head to toe for a few days.”

Color Me Rad will be donating the money from the run in May to The Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. According to the website, the foundation is the leader in the search for a cure and funds more research than any other organization.

The Color Run will be in Tulsa, OK on April 20 and Color Me Rad will be in Oklahoma City on May 11. For registration or more information, visit or

“The race not only looks like a lot of fun, but it also raises money for an awesome cause,” Sellers said. “I think it’s a really cool idea to have a themed run for charity.”


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