Color run encourages more people to get activeFrom the start, it was evident that The Color Run, which took place Saturday on South 42nd Street, wasn’t a typical road race. Rather than seeing runners stretching throughout the parking lot, participants took part in a prerace zumba party with the music blaring.
By: Jasmine Maki, Grand Forks Herald
From the start, it was evident that The Color Run, which took place Saturday on South 42nd Street, wasn’t a typical road race. Rather than seeing runners stretching throughout the parking lot, participants took part in a prerace zumba party with the music blaring.
Then, from 8 to 9 a.m., participants slowly made their way to the starting line. A few partic-ipants ran but the majority slowly jogged or walked.
With the timed element subtracted and a new element of color added to the 5K run, people of all ages and experience levels were encouraged to participate. And for many, it was the first 5k they’d participated in and the color is what attracted them.
Kayla Thorson, of East Grand Forks, hadn’t participated in a 5k before, but she said seeing pictures of past color runs got her excited for the event in Grand Forks. She hadn’t trained for the run, but she said she planned to jog the 5k with a friend and was excited to be covered in color.
The noncompetitive, fun run attracted nearly 4,000 participants from young children to el-derly men and women, from seasoned runners to the nonathletic.
Kayla Nordenstrom, Alexis Pederson and Laurie Bachmeier, all of Devils Lake, said they weren’t runners, but that didn’t stop them from getting up early and going out into the chilly air for the morning run.
They warmed up by participating in the prerace zumba party, and then walked over to the starting line.
Bachmeier said she had trained a little bit, running once or twice a week, but she hadn’t run much more than a mile at a time.
The ladies planned to stick together, jogging as much as they could, but they said they weren’t afraid to walk.
“It’s definitely more of a fun thing,” Pederson said. “We’re going to do a fast speed walk but a slow jog.”
The three women agreed that they wanted to run more 5ks in the future.
“We want to do more, but maybe train more,” Pederson said. “We want to be more pre-pared.”
Several others expressed the same feelings. Kristie Aarvig of Grand Forks, said she had run a 5k in Fargo several years ago, but she was just starting to run again. The Color Run was the perfect start.
Kelsey Lieberg of Grand Forks, who has participated in color runs in the Twin Cities, said color runs are just more fun and less intimidating. “It’s something anyone can do,” she said.
Lieberg volunteered during the run, throwing the pink colored corn starch mixture on par-ticipants at the first kilometer checkpoint. She said she saw everyone from young kids to pregnant ladies, to mother’s pushing strollers with babies full of color.
“I don’t think (participants) feel forced to win or run,” she said. “You can go at your own pace. You can walk it, jog it... it’s nice and easy for everyone.”
She added: “Five-Ks you’re kind of in and out, and there’s not much to it. This, you have music blaring, you have the color... it’s much more of a party experience.”
Experienced runners like the change of race
Even those who run road races regularly said they enjoyed the less competitive atmosphere of the run.
“I think it’s great to get everybody out and active,” said Marcy Larson, of Grand Forks. “It’s something fun everyone can do.”
Larson participated in The Color Run with her friend Jan Leizens, of Grand Forks. To-gether, the ladies have participated in many 5ks, 10ks and even half marathons.
Leizens said she likes the fact that The Color Run is untimed because it means everyone, of all ages, can do it. “Anybody can do it, and everybody can get crazy together,” she said.
Jamie Osowski of Kennedy, Minn., has run many road races as well, but this was her first color run.
“It was fun. It was not what I expected,” she said. “I’ve done lots of 5ks before; it was just more enthusiastic. People were just jumping around throughout the run.”
Oswoski said in other 5k races, runners are very competitive, but at The Color Run, every-one kind of just walked and jogged a little.
Kayla Nelson, of Grand Forks; Cassie Johnson of Grafton, N.D.; and Rachel Schoch, of Minneapolis, have participated in 5ks before, but they said they also enjoy the change of atmosphere.
“I just like the atmosphere, and it’s less stressful,” Johnson said. “You get to dress up and get your girls together.”
Nelson added, “It was really fun. I liked how it wasn’t timed because it was more of like a fun thing. That was probably one of the better parts.”
Another color run, Color Me Rad, will take place Sept. 28 in Fargo-Moorhead, the same day as the Wild Hog Half Marathon in Grand Forks. The Greater Grand Forks Convention and Visitors Bureau 5k will take place at 6:30 p.m. Friday in Grand Forks.
Maki covers Arts & Entertainment and Life & Style for the Herald and can be reached at (701) 780-1122, (800) 477-6572, ext. 1122; or firstname.lastname@example.org.