RVA gets some color with Color Me Rad race

Later this summer, runners and walkers will have the opportunity to take part in a 5K race. However, what makes this race so different is that entrants will be covered in colors by the time they reach the finish line. Sound intriguing?


Have you ever woken up in the morning and thought: “Man, I wish someone would throw colored cornstarch in my face and spray me with colored water while I run exactly 3.1 miles?” You have?? Well get excited! There’s a race just like that touring the country, and it’s called Color Me Rad.1 It’s coming to Richmond in July.

Two weeks ago my wife, Christi, and I took part in Color Me Rad in Virginia Beach to prepare RVA for what’s coming in just two months.2 I was particularly eager because it was Christi’s very first race, and I was excited for her to have that “race experience.” Matt Ward, one of the organizers of Color Me Rad, said that’s what this race is all about. He called it a “gateway drug to running.”

Ward and three other thirty-somethings started the Utah-based Spring Bok Group, LLC three years ago. Their first race was a (now annual) mud run called the Dirty Dash. Ward said he recalled seeing the spectacle of Holi, the Indian Festival of Colors and was wowed by it. Ward wanted a race that was “in the same vein” as the colorful celebration, and so Color Me Rad was born. This is the first year for the 5K.

In a nutshell, the race is a fun, leisurely, light-hearted, non-competitive (and very colorful) race that benefits one local non-profit. In Virginia Beach, only the second city ever to hold the event, Color Me Rad raised $17,000 for the city’s YMCA.

You can expect to end the race completely covered in various colors of cornstarch. You’ll probably find blue, red, yellow, and green in your nose, ears, and other parts of your body that are normally not rainbow colored. You can also expect to run with men and women, kids and strollers, runners, joggers, and walkers. It’s not timed. And it’s definitely not clean.

If you’re a competitive runner and you don’t know how to turn your competitive switch off or you are looking to “beat your 5K time”, then this race is probably not for you. You can expect long lines, traffic, late starts times, and things that slow down your pace.

However, if you want to have fun and you don’t mind getting messy, then you’ll probably have a great time! It’s for a great cause too. The Richmond event will benefit Special Olympics Virginia. Just enter the promo code “specialolympics” to donate 20% of your registration fee to them. “We’re super excited to work with them,” said Ward about Color Me Rad’s Richmond partner. He said the goal is to raise $20,000 for the nonprofit.

So bring your friends and family because there are major opportunities for laughs, big colorful pictures, and great memories.

Color Me Rad will be held on July 21st at Markel Fields at West Creek. Regular admission is $40 ($45 after June 1st) and benefits Special Olympics Virginia when you enter the promo code. You can register here.

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  1. Not to be confused with The Color Run which is completely different and will confuse everyone to no end for next couple weeks. 
  2. It also worked out that we had a night alone without the kids and ate delicious seafood from Catch 31, which is my new favorite restaurant in VA Beach. 
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4 comments on RVA gets some color with Color Me Rad race

  1. This came at the perfect time – I’m actually hosting a giveaway for the entries to the Color Me Rad 5K on my blog this week. All you have to do is a leave a comment for a chance to win: http://www.eatingbirdfood.com/2012/05/color-me-rad-5k-comes-to-richmond-giveaway/

  2. No where on the site does it say anything about the promo code in order for Special Olympics to recieve 20%. I got the impression when registering that a portion of my fees would automatically go to the Special Olympics. Will the Spring Bok Group be donating a portion of all entries fees or just those entry fees that entered in the special promo code?

  3. Joe on said:

    It is funny that Matt Ward acts like he thought of the idea when really he just saw The Color Run and copied it (okay, he added some spray colors instead of just corn starch). Let’s please make sure to not give him more credit than he is due. He has done well at taking another idea and trying to make money off of it… just like with the Dirty Dash.

  4. Renee on said:

    Both runs are for profit companies. If the charity got $20,000, do the math and figure out what the for profits walked away with. It is ridiculous that you have to put in a promo code or the charity won’t get the 15-20%.

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