Blacksburg may not be the biggest city, but Ward said it is expected to be the biggest event per capita. He expects approximately 5,000 participants for the upcoming race.
Every Color Me Rad race raises a certain amount of funds for a charity in the host state. Each race raises a minimum of $15,000 for the charity and some races double the minimum amount.
“Working with the charities has been really great. Each city we go into we have a charity that we support. It’s good to know that the charities can take the funds that we raise and do great things with it,” Willard said.
All races in Virginia contribute to the Special Olympics.
“There’s only one thing we like more than throwing color at people, and that’s throwing our support behind great charities. Long after you’ve washed the last bit of color out of your ears, your donations will be making a difference in your community,” Crandall said.
Color Me Rad has also held two previous races in Virginia Beach and Roanoke that both benefitted the Special Olympics.
“We felt like Color Me Rad was a really great partner for us,” said Katie Botha, senior director of Development and Communications for Special Olympics Virginia. "When we heard about it we thought it was a perfect match for our mission because of the fact that all inclusive and it’s untimed. We first partnered with Color Me Rad in Richmond and we raised nearly $30,000."
The Special Olympics serves nearly 3.7 million athletes around the world and 11,000 athletes in Virginia.
“It is a great way for us to reach out to a new segment of fans. The people at Color Me Rad are great at promoting our mission and including our local athletes. Each wave is started by our local athlete and it shows people why they're running,” Botha said.
Since the upcoming race is around Halloween, Color Me Rad wants to make things even more “radical.”
“We want Blacksburg to be off the hook ridiculous, tell people to dress up and look ridiculous. It’s right around the time of Halloween so we plan to do costume contests and give out prizes,” Ward said.
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