Get Ready. Get Set. Get Colorful. Color Me Rad is coming to Blacksburg.
On Oct. 28, Color Me Rad 5K, a for-profit organization located in Utah, will create clouds of color in Blacksburg. Participants running in the race will be bombarded with color bombs, a unique experience for both the runners and bystanders.
The company began as a group of friends who decided that running had a reputation of being mundane. The group was inspired by the Holi festival in Spanish Fork, Utah. The Holi festival is based on a Hindu Spring Celebration where people throw perfumed and colored powder in the air. The ideas “naturally melded together” and created the Color Me Rad 5K.
“We also hope to get a lot of people involved in fitness who maybe otherwise wouldn’t come out for your typical 5K. If you make it about fun instead of about shin splints, you’re more likely to want to give running a shot,” said race organizer Scott Crandall in a press release.
Although Color Me Rad’s conception was only a year ago, they have had much success. Every city so far has invited them back for next year.
The color bombs are made of non-toxic, non-rash-reducing, FDA approved colored-corn starch. Each kilometer marker is lined with volunteers who launch bombs of color.
“You’ll start off with a shirt as pure and white as your grandpa’s dentures and you’ll wind up looking like a pack of Skittles,” Crandall said.
There are three waves beginning at 10 a.m. and following every 20 minutes. Participants' registration fee covers the cost of a t-shirt, a pair of sunglasses, a running bib and a donation to a local charity.
Blacksburg is Color Me Rad’s thirty-first stop of their nationwide tour including cities like, Pheonix, Las Vegas and Miami.
Planning for the race is different for a small town; instead of promoting the 5k in various gyms and running stores, the company reached out to different sororities and fraternities to spread the word.
“Blacksburg is blowing up. We’re super excited. There seems to be a good undercurrent of people talking about it at Virginia Tech,” said Gretchen Willard, spokeswoman for Color Me Rad. “Virginia Tech will be representing this race.”
“Our charity in Virginia said they knew someone on the Virginia Tech campus. At first we thought it was really small but we did a little research the campus said yes. Now, close to 2,000 people have already registered,” said race organizer Matt Ward.