Color Me Rad race motivates student

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Growing up, I always had my hand in a different sport. Long hours of dance, basketball, softball, and swimming filled my childhood with opportunities for athletic success.

During my sophomore year of high school, one of my best girl friends, an accomplished track star, had mentioned for me to join the track team. To this day, I could not tell you what made me get out on the black track with my sneakers tied ready to run. I became obsessed with the fresh atmosphere; however in every one of my races, I was always dead last to cross the finish line. I was a terrible runner, so halfway through the season, they moved me to the “field” side of the competition and I participated in discus and shot put. I guess you can say I never received the running gene.

Through Pinterest, commercials, online advertising, and friends, I have noticed a rise in the number of themed races and 5K’s. Anything from running away from zombies in a “run for your lives” interactive run, the “tough mudder” where runners endure rugged terrain and obstacles and if you’re of legal drinking age, you can enjoy a beer after you cross the finish line. Also in San Francisco, Nike is a partner with a marathon where after you complete your 26.2 mile run, you are handed a Tiffany & Co necklace as a reward for your hard work.

I have never participated in a run before. I started to research runs around the Radford area and I found a Color Me Rad 5K. It is very similar to the “Color Run” which has occurred multiple times in Washington DC as well as other major cities. All dressed in white, the runners run through each of the five separate kilometers and are greeted with a different color of powder so by the end you look like the rainbow.

These races sound so intriguing; I thought I could do it too. I registered for the Color Me Rad in Blacksburg and was ready to run! This race was designed for any kind of runner. I saw all ages and running abilities participating. Every runner was thrilled to be apart of the action. It was also being done for a great cause! Special Olympics is a huge community in the New River area and the proceeds of the race went to fund different events the athletes participate in.

Before the run began, we were in the staging area and everyone was super pumped, dancing and starting to throw color. Free t-shirts and color packets were being flown through the air after being thrown by the coordinators of the run.

Once the flags were raised, and it was time to run; my team and I gave high fives to all of the Special Olympics athletes present at the race. They were so excited to be there. They were throwing color all over each other and us.

We started running through a field and from there we ran all around outskirts of Blacksburg. 0 were instructed to roll on the ground to make sure. Along the way we were literally covered head to toe in color. We made our way on the path and finally came to the finish line right next to Lane Stadium.

After crossing the finish line, all the participants gathered and had a giant dance and colored powder party. Color and music filled the parking lot for an hour after we finished. It was such a good feeling to be able to not care how dirty you were. Everyone was throwing color and everyone wanted to be covered from head to toe.

This run was an awesome experience and even more fun because I got to run it with my friends. I would recommend everyone try at least one in their life. There are so many to pick from, everyone can find something that interests them. If I can do it, anyone can.

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