A woman in a tutu twirled as she ran a 5K with thousands of others around Arrowhead Stadium on Saturday.
“Hit me with your best shot,” she sang, spreading her arms wide in front of a race volunteer.
The volunteer splattered yellow powder on the woman’s white shirt and laughed.
There were no timers or winners at Saturday’s Color Run, held in Kansas City for the first time. Rather, the point of the event, which has been traveling the nation since January, is to come out with your friends or family, celebrate being active — and emerge covered in color, said assistant race director Will Strong.
Runners, required only to wear a white T-shirt for the race, finished sporting a variety of bright colors on their clothes and skin after running through “color stations” every kilometer. At the stations, volunteers on each side of the course threw “magical color dust” on participants.
Jennifer Formo drove three hours with her daughter Ashley, 6, from Blair, Neb., for the event.
Formo, 34, tries to do a race with her daughter each year and thought the event would be a good choice for her daughter’s first 5K.
Ashley, covered in pink, had a simple answer for what her favorite part was.
It’s not actually paint, but colored cornstarch, said Strong, who believes the fun atmosphere of the run has contributed to its success.
Interest was so strong in Kansas City that the organization added a second run today. Strong estimates that about 25,000 people are registered for both races.
Kate Crumb, 23, of Kansas City, signed up for the race with her friend Kirin Arnold after Crumb saw a flier for the Austin Color Run on a trip. For the women, the event was something new to do on the weekend.
“It was nice to be active with your friends instead of just going to the bars,” Crumb said.
Perhaps the most exciting part of the run was the Color Festival, the barricaded finishing area where a DJ blasted pop music, held contests for things like the “most colorful beard” and encouraged people to start a “Color Congo Line.”
Here, participants also received their own color packets to use in sporadic “Color Throws,” where packets were opened and tossed in the air to create a rainbow cloud that fell upon everyone.
There was a moment during one of these color throws when the DJ blasted the song “We Are Young,” by the band Fun. It was an unusual scene, with gray-haired men in sweatbands, moms with cameras and children too young to be in school in the crowd that belted out the anthem to untroubled youths.
“Tonight, we are young ”
But singing in unison and drenched in color, it seemed like it could be true.