Boilermaker Blog

Color me a Runner

When the Boilermaker was born 35 plus years ago the amount of organized races was certainly not as plentiful and participants tended to be hard-core runners (also thought to be slightly strange creatures).
In 2013 a runner can find multiple races within easy driving distance. The half-marathon (13.1 miles) an unknown event in 1978 has become a major factor in distance running. Running statistics for 2011 (2012 numbers are as yet unavailable) shows 17 of the top 50 races in finishers were half-marathons. In earlier times Marathons would dominate; in 2011 only 8 showed up (with perhaps only 7 in 2012 with the cancelling of the ING New York Marathon last November).
What the running boom has also spawn is what I would call races that are much more built around an event format than a traditional timed event. This is clearly the case in The Color Run series.
The Color Run is a non-timed 5k run where participants running/ walking in white tee shirts are pelted with colored corn starch eventually emerging as a two-legged Jackson Pollack painting. There are lanes where runners can be lightly colored or heavily doused and it’s suggested you don’t eat the cornstarch. Many wear goggle to prevent becoming colorblind (my joke).
The Color Run series is only one year old yet had over 600,000 registrants in last year. It is estimated that in 2013 they will have in excess of 1,000,000 participants- very impressive! Besides the U.S. races have been held in Australia, Germany, Portugal and Brazil.
Currently the Race For The Cure with 1.2 million runners/ walkers is the largest event series in the U.S..
An event like this where you throw/ get hit by stuff certainly seems to be a natural draw to the younger runner (there is no age limit on participation). Approximately 60% of the participants had never run a 5k.
I’m sure that many running purists look down at events like this. As for myself, while not looking forward to washing magenta coloring off my running shoes do believe that if this fun-factor gets kids, even ever so briefly, unshackled from the video games that it’s not a bad thing.
So if you think it’s cool to sport a tee that looks more reminiscent of Woodstock than the Walt Disney Marathon then The Color Run may be for you.

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