Color Vibe splashes Topeka

Melanie Beeglhy and Farai Harreld rolling in the green color station while volunteers splashed them and other runners with more color.

Farai Harreld, [email protected], is a junior mass media major.

This past weekend the Color Vibe run was held at Heartland Park in Topeka, which hosted 2,500 people including my friends and I. Our team was called Cool Runnings based off of the cult classic movie about a Jamaican bobsled team that competed in the winter Olympics. An oxymoron in the best sense ever because the race was not cool at all with the temperatures on Saturday reaching a sweltering 93 degrees.

The race began at 9 a.m. and I arrived 45 minutes early. The park was already full of people searching for parking. Color Vibe attendees were situated in different areas around the park assisting people on where to park and directing them to the starting line.

The start line was slightly chaotic. Other than a D.J. playing music and some merchandise tables, there was no visible place to register and it looked like anybody could have walked off the street and joined the race without providing any proof of payment. The runners were released in waves and were encouraged to start splashing each other with the color packets that came in the registration packets as well as a race bib, color t-shirt and pair of sunglasses.

The race was a great place where Topekans unleash their creativity in terms of clothing. Colorful leggings, tutus, headgear, gloves and outfits were popular among the kids and adults alike and my fellow teammate Melanie Beeghly and I spent time making our own tutus the day before.

Throughout the course of the race there were four color stations, where runners were splashed with pink, yellow, blue and green colors. At some point my teammates and I laid down and rolled in the color as it kept dusting off as we ran the track. I unfortunately inhaled as much color as I got on my clothing as I absentmindedly opened my mouth while running through the stations. Thankfully the color is made from food grade cornstarch and no trips to the ER were needed.

My first complaint was the lack of water stations throughout the course of the race. By 9 a.m. it was already sweltering hot and I felt that water should have been available to everyone in attendance. The participants were only offered water at the end of the race. My second complaint was the lack of transparency regarding the community charity that proceeds of the run were going to go to. After reading an article on WIBW.com I learned that about only $1 of each participants registration fees are going to Lifehouse Child Advocacy Center. My decision to join the run was influenced by the Color Vibe’s stand to donate money to a local charity and I am slightly disappointed at the seemingly small amount that was actually donated.

All in all, the color vibe was a fun experience. Especially to those in the Topeka community who do not like to drive to other cities to engage in events like these like me. I also like the fact that the race encouraged people to get out of the house and exercise, whether they walked or ran the course.