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Students get colorful in local 5K

Catherine Owers | Monday, October 7, 2013

On Saturday morning, many Notre Dame students participated in the self-proclaimed “happiest 5K on the planet” when the Color Run came to South Bend. 

Senior Kelly Cronin said different colors of powder were thrown at runners at on every kilometer of the 5K route. 

“That was a nice punctuation [because] it made it feel like I was going through it a lot faster than if it had just been every mile, or every now and then,” she said. “It was nice to keep track of where I was based on how many colors I had thrown at me.” 

Because of the high humidity on Saturday morning, Cronin said the color stayed on the runners. 

 “I was told that the dye would come out of my clothes, and I’m sure with another shower or two, the dye will come out of my skin,” she said” 

Cronin said she enjoyed the casual, non-competitive environment of the Color Rut. 

“People were just there to have fun, so I felt like it was okay for me to not be a very serious runner,” she said. “It was a cool atmosphere – I’m not a very competitive person, so just having a loving, joyful running atmosphere was great.” 

The lack of tracking devices for runners to time themselves added to the informal race set-up, she said. 

“They didn’t even have a screen telling you how long it took you to run,” Cronin said. “The idea of not having a timing device at the beginning and the end made it a lot more casual … then you could just focus on having fun and getting as much color thrown at you as possible.”

The run started at the Silver Hawks’ stadium, Cronin said, and went through downtown South Bend and several residential areas before returning to the stadium. 

“The track took us through downtown, and that’s an area you don’t normally get to explore that often,” she said. “It was nice to run through it and see different areas.

“This is Indiana, so there aren’t exactly large hills to climb up. There were some moments where there was an incline, but it was nothing that was very worrisome.”

Freshman Kate Walsh said because the powder was difficult to run through, many people walked or jogged through the areas it was thrown. 

“You couldn’t really see, and you would breathe in the powder,” she said. “Most people, through the zones where it was thrown, would just really slowly run and get covered in color.”

Walsh said she heard about the Color Run through Runner’s World magazine’s website. 

“I was looking up races in South Bend over the summer, when I was feeling motivated,” she said. “I figured if I signed up for races, then I would have to run them.”

The entire run had a “party atmosphere,” Walsh said, in keeping with its goal as the “happiest 5K on the planet.” 

According to the Color Run’s website, the unique paint race celebrates “healthiness, happiness and individuality” and  has grown from more than 50 events and 600,000 participants in 2001, to more than 100 events and a million participants in 2013.

Contact Catherine Owers at [email protected]