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October 18, 2017

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Rainbow of runners leads to pot of gold for food bank

Color Run draws thousands of participants ready to kick up some dust


Aida Ahmed

Runners are coated with special “elf-made magical color dust” during the Color Run in downtown Las Vegas, Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012. Runners got dusted with a different color at each kilometer checkpoint. About 5,000 participants ran the 5K event, a benefit for Three Square Food Bank.

Beyond the Sun

First Las Vegas Color Run

Runners are shown at a dust party after the first Color Run on Saturday, Feb. 25, 2012, in downtown Las Vegas. About 5,000 participants ran a 5K event that benefits Three Square food bank. Launch slideshow »

Dressed in pristine white T-shirts and with packets of brightly colored dust in hand, about 5,000 people set out in the 5K Color Run in downtown Las Vegas Saturday morning.

The thousands of runners began at the Fremont Street Experience and worked their way through downtown to raise money for Three Square Food Bank. As they cleared checkpoints along the way, their T-shirts — or really, everything — got more and more vibrant as different colors of dust were thrown on on them. By the end of the race, the crowd had become a human art exhibit.

Thousands crossed the finish line coated in yellow, green, purple and pink dust, but the mess wasn’t over yet. In five-minute intervals, event organizer Travis Snyder called a color party, which meant that those packets of dust were going in the air.

Snyder launched his first color run last year.

“I’ve been involved putting on competitive events for about 10 years and my team and I were looking for something a little more fun that would appeal to the whole family and friends,” said Synder. “Mud runs have gotten popular; there are paint parties for college and stuff like that. We just thought color is fun. Color is cool, it’s memorable. Why not add that to a run?”

Since then, the charity event has spread to 18 cities including Dallas, San Francisco, New York, Atlanta and Orlando, Fla.

“We go into the city and look for who’s active, who’s different — we like diversity,” said Snyder. “In Austin, Texas, we did Habitat for Humanity and we used color to help build houses. Here we are (using) color to give food to the needy in Las Vegas.”

Three Square gets approximately $1-$2 per participant from the run, and participants spent time in the weeks leading up to the event raising money for the group.

Many of this year's colorful group got word of the event through social media.

Randi Hansen, a 26-year-old Las Vegas resident, said she found about the run through Facebook.

“We came out because it seemed like a lot of fun,” said Hansen. “You can jog, walk, run and you get to throw color on each other.”

Derek Black said he Googled the Color Run after a friend mentioned it in conversation. Dressed in colorful knee-high socks and lab goggles, he planned to toss around a football with his friends during the event.

“I never run,” said Black. “But it’s for charity.”

“It’s really well organized and everyone is very enthusiastic,” said Summerlin resident Kelly Ueber. “The running part and getting to the color, it gave you something to strive for to get to the end.

Covered in color dust, she watched others taking part in the dust party.

“It was a lot of fun,” said Ueber. I absolutely will do it again.”

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