More than 7,000 paint-filled, glitter-faced runners will run, skip, and frolic to the finish line at the fourth-annual Color Run at Sun Life Stadium this Saturday. The vibrant 5K launched its Shine Tour for upcoming 2015-16 runs, enhancing the experience color runners love with a new Sparkle Zone. Glitter and shine will be thrown on participants during the run, and photo-op stations will be scattered throughout the course. "Each year we do a new tour or theme," says Jamie Miller, Color Run's public relations manager. "It has the same elements of color throwing, but runners will now be able to physically see themselves change from start to finish."
The run ends with a Finish Festival, where runners celebrate the 5K with music, dancing, and more massive color throws with confetti cannons — plenty of shimmery clouds of color and sparkle. Runners will also receive a limited-edition Shine Tour kit to keep the memory and energy of the Color Run past the finish line. “I love the Finish Festival because it’s great being with people who have just accomplished the same thing as you,” Miller says. “It’s a way to celebrate the achievement.”
Keepsakes also include a race T-shirt, shiny tattoos, a new shine powder packet, and a gold finisher's medal.
For Miller, what sets the Color Run apart from other 5K races is how it caters to nonrunners. It’s an untimed event, and close to 50 percent of color runners are first-timers, which alleviates the pressure associated with other organized long runs.
“You really can walk or skip to the finish line,” she says. “There’s no training involved. All ages are welcome, and everyone can go at their own pace.”
Miller’s first organized run was a Color Run, and this past year she ran her first marathon. “I really wouldn’t have been able to do it without the Color Run,” she says. “That’s what got me excited about running.”
In its fourth year, the Color Run is one of the largest 5K events in the world. Dubbed the “Happiest 5K on the Planet,” it hosted events in more than 30 countries and 270 cities worldwide in 2014. In every city, the Color Run partners with local charities, and Miami’s run will benefit the Arthritis Foundation and Ronald McDonald House Charities of South Florida.
“It’s such a unique opportunity because this really celebrates happiness, healthiness, and individuality,” Miller says. “It’s a great opportunity to give back to a community and become involved in something bigger.”
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While Miami hovers around 7,500 runners and walkers a year, cities such as Paris and Minneapolis–Saint Paul attract nearly 30,000. Miller says she hopes to see Miami grow that large in the next few years. “I think we could easily get to that [number],” she says. “It’s grown steadily since we started, and we see a lot of the same faces each year but also a lot of new runners too.
"The vibe in Miami is just so great," Miller concludes. "The people are so welcoming. There's definitely a different feel here, which keeps us coming back."
The Color Run
9 a.m. Saturday, November 14, at Sun Life Stadium (347 Don Shula Dr., Miami Gardens). Registration costs $45 per runner. Visit thecolorrun.com/miami.