5 kilometers of kaleidoscopes

Runners plastered with colors help nonprofit

Kayla Madril finishes Sunday’s 5K run with flying colors. Durango’s inaugural Color Dash 5K Fun Run held at Three Springs raised funds for the Durango Powerhouse Science Center. Enlargephoto

JENNAYE DERGE/Durango Herald

Kayla Madril finishes Sunday’s 5K run with flying colors. Durango’s inaugural Color Dash 5K Fun Run held at Three Springs raised funds for the Durango Powerhouse Science Center.

To call Durango’s inaugural Color Dash 5K Fun Run held at Three Springs colorful is putting it mildly. The run, a fundraiser for the Powerhouse Science Center in Durango by Winter Sports Entertainment, is something a little different.

On this untimed run, at every kilometer, you get doused with a burst of color. By the time you cross the finish line after 3.1 miles, you are a tie-dye – a walking, talking, out-of-breath kaleidoscope.

The events began in Minnesota in 2012, and Jon Bunt, race director for the Southwest region of Color Dash, said they are gaining strides.

“Each region does about 48 to 60 runs a year,” Bunt said. “It’s something that we’re all stoked about, and we’re only growing from here.”

Color Dash, he said, is really just about local charity.

“What sets us apart is that we’re based on a business model that allows us to be very transparent,” he said, “offering 50 percent of all registration proceeds to go directly to charity partners; and we partner exclusively and specifically with local charities within a community, county, region or state.

Color Dash has written checks as large as $47,000.

“Last year was our first full-blown year, and we donated about $250,000,” Bunt said.

Among the 250 runners who turned out Sunday, families looked like cotton candy swirl. Fathers with pink and blue hair made their children laugh. Polychrome mothers pushed children in strollers. Sidewalks looked like a painter’s studio.

Tobia Green and her daughters, Madelayne and Jessey – collectively Team Green – weren’t just green, but purple, blue, pink and yellow. Swaths of colors, 100 percent nontoxic dyed food starch, covered them head to toe.

“We want to support the science center,” Green said. “This color explosion – it adds smiles to everyone’s faces. It makes everybody happy, which is why we are really here.”

Team Get Her Run jumped at the chance to get outside and run for a cause.

“I love running,” Savanah Gotz said. “It clears my mind and puts me in a better mood.”

Gotz, an avid runner since junior high school, said she was with friends to make good memories.

After the run, participants gathered on grass for a rainbow explosion – a grand finally – poofs of flying colors that hazed out the sky.

Powerhouse Events Manager Ashley Hein, who was almost entirely solid pink, said she was grateful for the prismatic event. At the end, Bunt presented the Powerhouse Science Center with a check for nearly $4,000.

“It’s a perfect fit for our community,” Hein said. “It’s fun, it’s a little silly, and it’s healthy.”

bmathis@durangoherald.com

Finishers of Sunday’s Color Dash 5K Fun Run get a blast of color to send them off in style. After all the runners crossed the finish line, some ,000 was raised for the Durango Powerhouse Science Center. Enlargephoto

JENNAYE DERGE/Durango Herald

Finishers of Sunday’s Color Dash 5K Fun Run get a blast of color to send them off in style. After all the runners crossed the finish line, some ,000 was raised for the Durango Powerhouse Science Center.