The Color Me Rad 5k visited Eugene for its third consecutive year on April 12.
As the crowd gathered before the sound of the starting horn, participants were given a shirt and a pair of shades; at the end, that once-pristine white T-shirt — along with the rest of them — was caked in color.
Color Me Rad goes to cities all over the U.S. The organization also tours select cities in Europe, Australia and South Korea. Color Me Rad works with the same local charity each year. That charity receives a portion of the proceeds made by the 5k in the host city. In Eugene, Relief Nursery has been selected as the beneficiary.
“Relief Nursery supports the prevention of child abuse and neglect,” Jennifer Anderson said, a volunteer representing the charity. “Relief Nursery will receive $75 for each volunteer they recruit and 15 percent of all registration fees.”
Color Me Rad sets the ceiling at 100 volunteers. This year, the charity hit maximum capacity. Eugene’s version of the fun run is projected to rake in a total of $100,000, not including from apparel and paraphernalia.
“Last year, (Color Me Rad) donated $16,000,” Anderson said.
As the participants proceeded through the course, they were soaked and powdered with color every few hundred meters.
Both the wet and dry colors are nontoxic cornstarch products that are biodegradable. They also won’t stain — unless you want them to. By spraying shirts with vinegar and ironing them before they are washed in cold water, the shirts have a better chance of keeping their tie-dye appearance.
Joseph O’Donnell was seen dancing with his young daughter Alexis after they crossed the finish line.
“Anyone can enter Color Me Rad. You don’t have to run the entire time. It’s a fun family thing too,” O’Donnell said. “Alexis was in a stroller. We were just kind of walking.”
Another contestant, John Hine, also enjoyed a more leisurely pace through the course.
“I’d say it took about 35 to 45 minutes,” he said.
A slow and steady pace was his game plan from the beginning. With the amount of people on the course he thinks a personal record would be hard to achieve.
“The way the crowds were it would be nearly impossible to set a time. There’s got to be over a thousand people here,” Hine said.
In fact there were over 3,000, but time isn’t why this event was started. Color Me Rad is not a competitive event. It’s simply a “fun run.”