The face of 5k races has changed forever with the launch of the paint race, where volunteers throw powdered color at participants as they run through the 3.1-mile course. The idea was adapted from Holi, an ancient Hindu festival where participants throw dry powder and colored water at each other in celebration.
The adaption of turning this custom into a series of races in the U.S. has been highly successful, with new races cropping up in different regions on a daily basis.
Here are the 7 best paint races to add to your race calendar this year:
1. The Color Run
Dubbed the “Happiest 5k on the Planet,” The Color Run is the enterprise that started the paint race craze. The series has upped the ante for its 2014 races, adding more swag for participants and even more color stations. After the race, runners are invited to join together in a post-race celebration that features a DJ and a chance to get covered in more color. In 2013 alone, The Color Run hosted approximately 170 events in more than 30 countries.
2. Color Vibe
Cover yourself with blue, yellow, pink, purple, and green as you run or walk through the Color Vibe’s 5k course. The race is held in approximately 150 locations in the United States, Canada, United Kingdom, Australia, and New Zealand. Participants of all ages are welcome to participate in the Color Vibe and its post-race festivities.
3. Color Me Rad
With race locations across the globe, Color Me Rad takes paint races to a new level. Each race location boasts color bombs, cannons, mortars, and multi-toned courses. Participants are encouraged to take their time on the course, with a promise to “brighten your life” in the process. Race registration includes a race shirt, sunglasses, and a car decal.
4. Color in Motion 5k
With approximately 70 races across the country, Color in Motion 5k is one of the best paint races taking the U.S. by storm. It emphasizes the importance of having fun and creating a rainbow as you participate in a fitness activity. Because it is all about the race versus the post-race party, the race registration for Color in Motion 5ks tend to be cheaper than other paint races.
5. Run or Dye
You haven’t lived until you’ve “dyed running,” or so the organizers of Run or Dye tell participants. Organizers invite participants of all ages to run, walk, or even skip through the race, to finish at the colorstorm known as the Finish Festival. Run or Dye boasts emcees at its more than 150 race locations, giving participants an opportunity to Tie-Dye the Sky as they take part in adding to the post-race rainbow with their free color packet.
6. Color Me Loco
The Color Me Loco promises a “loco” time for all participants, boasting “eight parts color, one part 5k.” In addition to eight color stations along the 3.1-mile course, Color Me Loco also has a Loco Color Car Wash to amp up the color for all participants. As of now, Color Me Loco is a smaller scale race series with race locations in Texas.
7. The Graffiti Run
Promising that participants will enjoy “the most colorful day of your life,” the Graffiti Run hosts more than 75 races in the U.S. and Canada. The race emphasizes the importance of having fun, even saying that those who don’t like smiling or color are not invited. Participants are also encouraged to form teams and wear costumes to amplify the fun factor for the race.
Photo Credits: The Color Run, Color Vibe, Color Me Rad, Color in Motion, Run or Dye, Color Me Loco, and The Graffiti Run.