Yesterday I had my first opportunity to participate in the Color Run. Back in February some folks from our new church wanted to run in the Color Run, and I said I would be happy to join their team.
Founded in March 2011 the Color Run is a true fun run. Billed as the “happiest 5K on the planet” the Color Run is about much more than running. The theme of happiness pervades the race. No one receives a time for the run, no one wins the race, and everyone receives lots of color. The color comes from different stations set up on the course. When a runner enters a station race volunteers throw what seems to be colored chalk on the runners. A person starts the race with a white T-shirt and ends doused in color.
The Color Run must be doing something right as in 2013 according to their web site they coordinated 170 events in over thirty countries. That is astounding growth.
Yesterday the Color Run was held at the Fair Grounds. My two companions and I were scheduled to be in the 7:30 run—participants leave at different intervals. So many people were there that we didn’t leave the starting line until 8:00 a.m. Was it a problem that we left late? Not at the Color Run. As we waited for the start we enjoyed loud music and a very creative MC.
I haven’t participated in a running race since the Blaine Triathlon, so I appreciated the opportunity to participate in a race. The color stations were fun—how often can I get powdered chalk thrown at me? The distance of a 5K was just about right for my level of being in shape.
We finished at the Grandstand of the Fair Grounds. A huge stage was set up for music blared and music leaders led singing and dancing. A highlight was throwing a colored packed of color up in the air at the same time. Imagine colored dust falling down on everyone present.
My wife, Amy, daughter Hannah and Amy’s family were scheduled to run in a later heat. Would it be a problem for me to join them for a second go-around? Not at the Color Run. I enjoyed walking and running a bit a second time around with Hannah. I received even more color on the route. The above picture was taken with my family.
The Color Run has many leadership lessons for those of us in the church. Be happy, creative, and welcoming. If I put on my philosophical hat, I could poke many holes in the idea of happiness. But the Color Run is not for curmudgeons. It’s for people who want an uplifting experience and leave with more color in their lives—and that sounds like a faith journey to me.