Running for a cause

Participants get painted for the Color Run


The section where runners get painted

Leslie Chung, Staff Writer

As I walked through the crowd with my friends, we saw the smoke up ahead. Turns out it wasn’t smoke, it was color powder sprayed by hundreds of participants who were eager to start their first lap for a color run.

My friends and I started running the first half of the track. Halfway through the first half, Michelle Kim, my friend and fellow participant, exclaimed, “What in the world?! The floor is sticky!” My friends and I came to a halt, and, looking down on the ground, saw that the big track up head was covered in a sticky substance. As we kept walking, we did not know when that sticky situation would end.

Once we got out of that sticky situation, we saw different colors being thrown around from a distance. As we sprinted towards that direction, “Bam!” I was hit by a handful of green powder. My once pure white shirt suddenly turned green. As I looked toward the other direction, I realized my friend Kim had thrown the green color powder towards me. After that, my friends and I threw a series of colors at each other.

When we completed the event, we were not just one color, we transformed into many various colors.

This year, the Just Care More Foundation  hosted their California Color Run event on April 29. The Color Run took place in Irwindale at the Irwindale Event Center. This event was presented, sponsored and fundraised for the Just Care More Foundation, a non-profit organization that reaches out to kids who are part of the foster care system. All of the proceeds from this event go to the Just Care More Foundation. The Just Care More Foundation reaches to other schools, foster care homes, and a camp called Camp Care More. According to their website, the Camp Care More has proven to foster teamwork, build confidence, encourage perseverance and reduce violent behavior through sportsmanship.

Participant Amy Seo did not know about the Just Care More Foundation until she arrived at the event. “Even though I am a little kid, I hope that whatever I am doing here can help save my friends,” Seo said.

Volunteers and members of this event and organization also help make this event possible around the area. Volunteer Tanisha Smart has two years of experience. “It’s a great way to meet new people that support the same cause as I do. I want to help kids get out of these type of situations,” Smart said. Smart also mentioned that she has a son at home and knows that she would never want her son to go through the same things the foster care kids go through in their homes.

Participant Jesse Oh joined this event for the first time. “It’s great that we can support a cause. While I am having fun every day, other kids are suffering and have no place to call home,” Oh said. “So while I’m enjoying myself at a event, I can help other people get out of unfortunate events. Doing what I love to help other people is a great opportunity that was given to me.”

The Color Run had two different runs: the Day Wave, which is during the daytime and starts at 3:30 p.m., and the Night Wave, which is starts at 7:30 p.m. In the Day Wave people walk around the track, which is about 1.6 miles, at the Irwindale Event Center. Participants are allowed to walk around the track however many times they want.

While walking, participants go through a huge portion of the track that is covered in a sticky substance which challenged participants to use their leg strength. Not only do participants go through this sticky substance, but handfuls of colorful powder are also thrown on them. From pink to blue, volunteers threw these colorful powders on the participants in order to add color to their white shirts that they brought for the event.

Not only do people get powder on themselves, but the participants can take some powder and throw it on their own family and friends. In the adult packet, participants ages 13 and up are given packets of powder before the event. When they get to the color portion of the track, they use those packets to throw powder on their families or friends. Participant Joanne Oh was given the opportunity to join the event. “This event was a lot better than what I had expected,” Oh said. “I thought I would be forced to run, but we were given the chance to either walk or run. At the end, my one goal was accomplished, to get my brother all pink.”

After the Day Wave finishes, the volunteers and other members work hard to prepare the Night Wave. The difference between Day Wave and Night Wave is just not the time, but the paint that the event uses for the night runners. While runners in the Day Wave get colors ranging from pink to blue, the Night Wave runners are given glow-in-the-dark powder colors.

The color run also brings in other activities other than the run itself. Participants also have fun with carnival attractions where they can get their face painted, play carnival games, get balloons, and wander around in the Inflatable Village, which consists of bounce houses and inflatable slides for the younger children to enjoy.

Participant Joon Park, father of participant Ryan Park, relaxed while having his kids play in the Inflatable Village. “When I do these type of events, I usually have to carry my kids around while running which wears me down,” Park said. “But, my wife took our kids to the Inflatable Village. Not only was she able to relax without worrying about the kids the entire time, she and the kids were able to enjoy themselves when they were doing different things.”

This Color Run is not just passing by Irwindale, but in other cities across the country.  The next Color Run event the Just Care More Foundation is taking the place to is in Denver, Colorado on June 24.

“Color Run is not just for the fun, or bonding with our families and friends, but a time for us to unite and support one cause,” said participant Katie Lee.