And as the event gets more popular more people are showing up to run. This is not only good for the race, but for the sport itself. "The Color Run has had more first-time 5K runners than any other event in history," says Snyder. "For most of these runners it will lead to more participation in fun runs and competitive events. We take a lot of satisfaction in the fact that our events lead people to have a more healthy and active lifestyle."
Of course, the biggest form of flattery is imitation. Since The Color Run began in 2012, hundreds of similar paint races have sprung up across the country. This isn't necessarily a bad thing, but it is something that Snyder and company have adjusted to.
For 2014, the Color Run will include a new twist to separate itself once again—the all-new Kaleidoscope Tour will become part of the race. Representing the beauty of motion and change, participants will have more course attractions than ever before, with life-sized kaleidoscope triangles, viewfinders, confetti balloons and millions of bubbles adding to the sea of color to create a more festive atmosphere.
While the party atmosphere is meant to be fun and stress-free, the run is ultimately about getting people active and providing runners with a reason to train without worrying about times and PRs.
"I wanted to create an event that would encourage people to get out and run just for the fun of it. I wanted people to enjoy the community experience of running together, and I wanted to add something a little out of the ordinary to the race," Snyder says. The result has turned into a stress-free celebration of running itself—and athletes around the country can't seem to get enough.
If you've yet to join the craze, there's a race in nearly every city, and more on the way. Just remember to leave your nice racing jersey and watch at home—you'll be a different color, and maybe a different runner, by the time the party is over.race.
Photo Credit: Brandon Schatz