Marquette Wire

Rainbow racing through Miller Park

Photo by Infographic by Jennifer Walter jennifer.walter@marquette.edu

Photo by Infographic by Jennifer Walter jennifer.walter@marquette.edu

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Homecoming week offers a variety of ways to amp up school spirit — including dousing one’s self head to toe in blue and gold paint.

A Marquette blue and gold color run will take place at Miller Park Saturday. The sold-out event is hosted via Color My College, an organization that sets up these vibrant 5Ks for colleges across the nation.

Participants will be sprayed with a powdery rainbow of paint at every kilometer mark. Colors at the homecoming run will be blue at some stops, gold at others, with both colors waiting to splash runners at the finish line.

Brian Leightner, a senior in the College of Engineering, did a color run at Miller Park during his freshman year. A frequent runner, Leightner saw this as a fun opportunity to make friends and bond with new students.

“You know how some races have water stations? Well this one had color stations,” Leightner said. “As the race went on, (we) progressively got more and more colorful…by the end of it, everyone was just completely covered in paint.”

According to Mia Schunk, a freshman in the College of Engineering, the paint used during color runs sprays on like powder and washes out easily after the race is finished. She had no trouble rinsing the color out of her hair after a run in Madison.

“I was sprayed in the mouth and the ear, so I was coughing up blue for a while,” Schunk said. “But it was like powder. It’s chalky paint.”

In fact, the paint cleans up so well that participants have virtually no evidence of ever having done the race.

“I was kind of disappointed that (the paint) came out of my shirt,” Leightner said. “Here I thought I’d have actual proof of doing a color run instead of just the T-Shirt.”

The color run fad began in 2011, when Arizona-based company The Color Run first launched. Dubbed “The Happiest 5K on the Planet,” The Color Runs invites runners and non-runners alike to compete at their own pace.

Other companies, such as Color Me Rad, Run or Dye and Color My College, also host color races around the country. According to The Color Run’s website, the race can be likened to that of a big, colorful party, reminiscent of celebrations like Holi, the Hindu festival of colors.

“I liked the end, where you all get together and throw paint at the same time,” Schunk said. “Everyone throws it, so there’s this big cloud of color.”

According to Charlotte Hingley, MUSG Programming Vice President and senior in the College of Communication, the Homecoming committee chose to host a color run as a fun way to incorporate fundraising into homecoming festivities. All proceeds from the race will be raised for Midnight Run, a service program that works to feed the homeless.

Midnight Run hosts a bi-annual walk/run event around the same time that the color run will be taking place this year. Gerry Fischer, associate director of campus ministry, said that the color run was a great way to incorporate fundraising for Midnight Run into homecoming week.

“Our run was always part of family week activities,” Fischer said. “We decided to participate as the charity partially because this run would (otherwise) be competing with (ours).”

Midnight Run hopes to raise about a thousand dollars from the race, as they have from their previous walk/runs.

“I have never done a color run but I am so so excited to participate in this one,”  Hingley wrote in an email. “I am signed up and ready to run…or walk.”

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