The Rapidian

Color Run creates colorful memories

Over 10,000 runners and walkers participated in the colorful race through downtown.
Underwriting support from:

Looking for a race to run?

Check out Running in the USA for runs near Grand Rapids.

Post-race happiness.

Post-race happiness. /Phil Scally

A bit of a color packet war after The Color Run.

A bit of a color packet war after The Color Run. /Phil Scally

My sisters and me after The Color Run.

My sisters and me after The Color Run. /Phil Scally

After months of planning, The Color Run finally arrived in Grand Rapids on Sunday. Over 10,000 runners and walkers lined up to run the 5k (3.1 miles) which winded through downtown. This race, like other fun runs, was not meant to be a timed, competitive event. It's called "The Happiest 5k on the Planet" for a reason.

"Seeing how happy The Color Run has made all different kinds of people has been very rewarding," says creator Travis Snyder, who was in town for the race and travels to as many cities as he can. 

"I have been almost every event so far. Mostly because it’s so fun and I don’t like missing out," says Snyder. He has never raced The Color Run himself but adds, "I am dying to do one! I’m always stuck behind the scenes. Everyone in my family has participated in at least one, even my two kids ages 4 and 7."

The Color Run Firsthand

I was one of those 10,000 runners, dressed head-to-toe in white clothes. I had been looking forward to The Color Run since I wrote the first story, which convinced me to run it. Now, I'll call myself a runner, but that hasn't always been the case. I enjoy running and always have, but building endurance, dealing with asthma and my strong affinity for Netflix have been some of my hurdles. All things considered, it took more training than I thought to be ready for a 5k.

That's what got me so excited about The Color Run: wherever I was with my training when race day came, I was sure I would fit in. And it was true. People were just excited. Even the walk to Calder Plaza created a buzz throughout Grand Rapids. You saw all of these other people dressed in white and walking in the same direction. We were all walking towards the happiest 5k on the planet.

Music was blasting, people were dancing through their warmups and you couldn't find a face without a smile even if you tried. During the 3.1 miles of colorful excitement, I saw things that I didn't expect, but that really weren't surprising. Runners were high-fiving each other as they doubled back on the course, a man on crutches inspired those near him and volunteers offered support almost every step of the way.

There isn't much that compares to running through the city you love, surrounded by the support of complete strangers, while even more strangers throw color all over you.  If you didn't get a chance to participate this year, keep an eye out for their return in 2013. This is one race that everyone can be a part of and one that no one wants to miss.



The Rapidian, a program of the 501(c)3 nonprofit Community Media Center, relies on the community’s support to help cover the cost of training reporters and publishing content.

We need your help.

If each of our readers and content creators who values this community platform help support its creation and maintenance, The Rapidian can continue to educate and facilitate a conversation around issues for years to come.

Please support The Rapidian and make a contribution today.

Comments, like all content, are held to The Rapidian standards of civility and open identity as outlined in our Terms of Use and Values Statement. We reserve the right to remove any content that does not hold to these standards.