I’ve been thinking about doing a color run for a long time. I like running and novelty so it seemed like a perfect combination. I’ve held off out of some reservations, first I thought it would be really messy, like stain the beige seats in my SUV messy, second, I thought I could end up inhaling a load of chalk and coughing through what would already be a pained effort to run, and lastly, I worried about dust floating into my eyes burning them in a cloud of color. I decided to set my reservations aside when I saw that our elementary school announced that they were holding a one-mile color run for charity. I figured the time was right to finally dip my toes in the colored waters of a fun run. I signed up, along with my seven-year-old daughter and we found out what all the hullabaloo is about with color runs. Read on to see if you’re ready.
Go the Distance – We signed up for a nice short one-mile fun run. It was an easy distance to do with an elementary aged student. I’m not sure how well the typical 5k (3 miles) would go unless you have a particularly athletic child. I’m glad we kept it short, when we were done we still had the energy to go out for breakfast.
Safety – While there was color flying nobody was choking. I found out from a race organizer that the powder is just dyed cornstarch. It’s tinted with an FDA-Approved food dye rendering it quite safe. With the eyes I recommend wearing sunglasses, most people did, though again nobody seemed to be too bothered by a little color dust in the eye. We left with our lungs and eyes in-tact.
Mess Mitigation – It was messy. But not as messy as I thought. We wore white t-shirts under the t-shirts provided for the race and when we left the undershirts were still almost completely white, our black capris and sneakers appeared unscathed. I didn’t know this prior to the race but white tops are generally provided at the start of a color run. Light colored clothes are recommended so you can see the hard work (colors) that went into the run. I also learned that the shirt can be saved with all its glorious shades by setting the shirt in vinegar before you wash it. Simply douse the shirt in vinegar, iron it on high heat, then wash and wear.
Not the best work out – Color running with my kids is not like a 5k, in-fact there wasn’t even a timer. I certainly didn’t make one of my best times running through clouds of powder, but it was a lot of fun and my daughter is ready to go out and run again.
Verdict – I think color runs are a great introduction to running for fitness for kids. It’s a little bit of a workout, but it doesn’t feel like work. It feels like a sanctioned food fight. I think a yearly color run will probably be in our future.

Do you have a run in your future? Check out what’s coming up in your area.


Delco Young Life Color Blast 5k and Family Fun Run is scheduled for Saturday, May 19, 2018, at Garnet Valley Middle School, Glen Mills, PA Registration is $30, children under five run for free.

ColorFun 5k Run/Walk to support Girl Travel is scheduled for Sunday, May 20, 2018, at Williamson Park, Morrisville, PA Registration through May 10 is $30.

Color Me Rad in Philadelphia will be on Saturday, June 30, 2018. It’s one of the biggest color runs in the business. The race starts at Talen Energy Stadium in Chester. Tickets purchased in advance are $40 or at the gate $55. Children under seven can get a kid pass for $15. This colorful event culminates with a DJ hosted dance party at the finish line.

New Jersey
The Hunterdon County YMCA is hosting a Color Me Healthy Fun Run Saturday, May 5, 2018. The one-mile fun run is suitable for families and starts at 11:00 a.m. at the Round Valley Branch YMCA.

Bordentown will also host a family color run on Saturday, May 12 from 9:00 a.m. to noon. The run will be located at 50 Dunns Mill Road in Bordentown. Proceeds will benefit local and national charities.

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