What if I told you that this weekend I saw hundreds of rainbows stacked on top of each other turning the gray and cloudy Surrey sky into a beautifully colorful piece of art. Would you believe me? Well, even though my recounting is laced with hyperbole, if you were to ask the hundreds of attendees at the Color Me Rad Surrey fun run at the Bill Reid Millennium Amphitheatre in Cloverdale on Saturday morning, many of them would agree with my portrayal.
There was great excitement surrounding the run. Before the first set of runners made their way to the starting line of the non-competitive event, I spoke with a few members of the large crowd that covered the amphitheater, some who had traveled all the way from White Rock, Langley and even Mission, B.C.
The threesome from Mission, Monique, Dana and Pierce, have been coming to the this Color Me Rad event for the last four years exclaiming, “It’s fun! It’s fun! We get to throw paint (certified non-toxic corn starch-based with food-grade dyes) dress up; it’s just so much fun!”
Related: Color Me Rad 5K Run 2015 in Surrey, BC
There’s no doubt that everyone was having fun dancing to the pop and EDM tunes playing on the loud speakers but dressing up plays a big role in events like this. Large groups in matching T-shirts, men and women wearing tutu, funky shades to protect the eyes, and two women who showed up in wedding dresses. Typical athletic wear such as tank tops, shorts, and Nikes just doesn’t cut it anymore.
Once the first set of toddlers, grandmas, and jocks were lined up and ready to go, the first group was off–most slowly pacing themselves. The 5K course swerved in and around the park ending back in the amphitheater where they were greeted with a showering of dye, high-fives, and water. In five minute intervals, the next group of participants would be released and so on and so forth until everyone was off to the races.
Keeping to the events theme, color stations were scattered along the course. Volunteers would toss large heaps of the dyed corn starch as runners/walkers passed through. Also on the route were family and friends not participating in the run who were cheering them on. Despite not taking part in the event, they, myself included could not avoid being covered in the dyes. My shoes now have yellow tips instead of the solid blue they used to be.
Speaking with a family from Central Surrey post-run, they told me, “This event is some of the most fun we have as a family all year.” As the father was saying this, his three children–all no older than 10–were giggling as they now resembled Dreamworks Trolls than humans due to being showered by the dye from head to toe.
The “winner” of the run was a teenage boy who finished the track in just under 25 minutes. He would later take part in the push-up competitions. Yep, that’s right. The Color Me Rad fun run kept on going once the slower-paced walkers had completed their trek with various contests and a dance party that included a color war where the majority of those who stuck around tossed the dyes into the air creating a cloud of yellow, purple, blue and green.
Speaking with a family of four as they were heading out, the parents told me, “We’ve done 5Ks before, and even other color runs, but there’s something about this event that keeps us coming back. We can’t wait for next year!”
All this praise is heaven to the ears of those involved with putting Color Me Rad together all across North America like their Social Media Manager, Maxwell Christen, who spoke with me before the event.
“We’ve always had a fantastic time bringing Color Me Rad back to Surrey,” he said, “[because] the people of Surrey are RAD! Surrey is full of adventure-enthusiast, and we always have a great time!”
As for next year, be on the lookout for Color Me Rad to return to Surrey next summer. “What’s funny,” says Maxwell, “is every year we come back we see more and more participants, but for some people, it’s their second or third time running with us! For Color Me Rad we can bring an event multiple times to a city and see different audiences, but in Surrey, it’s a combination of both”
The huge success of the family-friendly fun run that is Color Me Rad Surrey brought smiles to the faces of the dozens of children and adults alike. It both brightened the day literally and metaphorically for hours making the crowd forget about the gray clouds that stopped the sun from shining through early on Saturday morning.