California’s Great America was the “raddest” place to be on March 21. The theme park, which opens for its 2015 season this weekend, hosted the 2015 Color Me Rad 5K, turning runners’ white t-shirts into color splattered masterpieces by dusting participants with non-toxic, colored powder throughout the course of the 3.1-mile fun run.
This year’s event promised to be “bigger, badder, radder,” with additional color stations (eight in all) and a new, non-toxic gel that was blasted on runners at the finish line, watering them down before they participated in color tosses at the Finish Festival.
Saturday’s run marked the debut of the “SELF Edition” of Color Me Rad, which in addition to last weekend’s event, will be part of the runs in Knoxville and Washington D.C., and gave runners extra swag — mostly food and drink samples — from event partners…
“Color Me Rad perfectly aligns with the mission of SELF,” said publisher Mary Murcko. “The races are social, energizing and unquestionably a great time — all the things the SELF woman wants from her workouts. She wants new ways to love getting sweaty and that’s exactly what Color Me Rad races do — they make fitness fun.”
Although SELF is a decidedly women’s magazine, and the publisher’s comments focus mainly on the female aspect of the race, it was two young men who crossed the finish line first.
Abin Thomas of Santa Clara finished the run at the same time as Matt Garfield, a student at St. Andrew’s Episcopal School in Saratoga. Thomas, one of the first finishers at last year’s run, ran in the second wave of starters and quickly caught up to Garfield who claimed his “mom made” him participate. Even though Garfield tried to speed up as Thomas approached, The King’s Academy cross country and track runner caught up to him, and the pair paced each other until the end.
“[The race] is cool,” said Garfield. “I’ve never been to Great America so I was just looking around [during the run].”
“[This] is just a great run,” said Thomas. “I love it. It’s awesome. It’s just a great thing to do. [Running] is an activity that so many people think is boring and this is a great way to spice it up … I think the goo was a nice touch because last year I wore the same shirt and it was lightly pink, and now I can never wear this shirt again.”
Four the fourth year in a row, the Santa Clara/San Jose leg of the Color Me Rad run benefited Santa Clara’s Pacific Autism Center for Education (PACE). PACE, which typically receives about $15,000 from the event, provides high quality programs for individuals with autism and associated developmental disabilities.
“The color run is one of the more fun runs anywhere and bringing it through Great America adds to the race atmosphere,” said Great America Public Relations Manager Roger Ross. “It’s always nice when 2,000 people come together for a race and also benefit a charity like PACE. We look forward to the race growing each year.”