Story by Casey Baumberger
Photos Courtesy of Ethan Gascho
In the past few years, themed runs have become extremely popular. The events are crawling with runners and non-runners alike. From zombie runs and mud dashes to foam and color runs, they draw in huge crowds. What is it about the allure of these different runs?
“For me, it was an opportunity to hang out with my friends and do something different,” said Jessica Satterfield, a first-year student from Kansas.
Satterfield participated in the Kansas City Color Run last summer with friends from her high school.
“We mainly walked the whole race. The faster runners went out in an earlier heat. The hardcore runners go out early, run the 5k and then most walk with the walkers afterwards, so they can get all of the color on them,” Satterfield said.
The Color Run is a 5k that takes place in major cities across the United States. During the race, runners and walkers are sprayed with different colored dyes made from food coloring and cornstarch.
“The best part of the whole thing was the after-run mosh pit. There was color everywhere,” Satterfield said.
Junior Xavier Quinn also ran the Color Run in Michigan, but for a different reason.
“My fellow camp counselors and I decided to run it just for fun. We worked out together everyday. Nothing too crazy though, just some runs. I had never done a 5k before so I wanted to see if I could do one and I did,” Quinn said.
Emma Sheldon, a first-year from Minnesota, has run in several fun runs, including the Gopher-Badger 5k and Goldie’s Run 5k.
“I absolutely hate running. I will never be one of those people that enjoys going for a run in the morning or anytime for that matter,” Sheldon said.
Despite this, Sheldon has run the Frosty Frolic, a race in her hometown of Lino Lakes, Minn., for three years in a row as well as the two other races.
“Running fun runs is different. It’s a really fun time when you run them with your family and friends,” Sheldon said. “When you combine having an end goal like finishing a race with spending time with your family and friends, it makes the run a lot of fun.”
“I like the individuality of each of the races. The Gopher-Badger race crosses the Minnesota boarder into Wisconsin, the Goldie Run ends on the 50-yard line of the Gophers’ stadium and the Frosty Frolic is run around my high school, so it’s a sentimental run,” Sheldon said. “All of these things make the running part of the race tolerable.”
The Color Run remains a popular option among non-runners.
“I ran the Color Run with my little cousins, mom and my aunts last summer. I like to run, but I’m not super into it, so the Color Run was perfect for me,” said Taylor Scott, a first-year from Wisconsin.
“I think people are attracted to fun runs because they are fun. It’s an opportunity to spend time with your family and friends while you do something that you don’t usually do,” Scott said. “The after-parties at most races are tons of fun too.”