SHERIDAN — Sheridan area residents took some time out of their busy schedules to throw colored powder at each other for a good cause Sunday morning at Sheridan College.
The SC Veteran’s Affairs department organized a Combat Color Run which drew more than 200 runners, walkers and — most entertaining of the group — the frantic color-powdering youngsters.
A semi-popular nuanced running event that has popped up around the country, color runs are exactly what they sound like. It is a traditional run/walk distance with an added twist — participants wear white T-shirts, periodically dousing each other in brightly dyed powder as they make their way through the race.
Luke Cloud, SC student Veteran’s Club president, initiated Sunday’s fundraiser in Sheridan, which the department hopes will become their second big event of the year. They host the Toys for Tots program during the Christmas season.
“I had the idea to do a mud run because it’s military-based and the Veteran’s Club is doing it,” Cloud explained.
“But the logistics behind that turned out to be a little too difficult so we wanted to do a kind of tag game with some people being enemy combatants and some being service members.”
“From there, I just kind of went with it and mixed it with a color run,” he said.
Havoc ensued, but still the event was a success. Smiles and shrieks were aplenty Sunday as runners made their way through the Sheridan College campus and it soon became clear there was no clear path to the finish line.
But no matter, the dull monochromatic race aspect of the event, planned as a 3 mile run/1.5 mile walk, was quickly lost in the appeal to saturate each other with the sacks of hued powder, showering white “Combat Color Run 2013” shirts with intense yellows, blues, greens, pinks and purples.
“Most of the signs blew down, people just didn’t see them and runners were just going everywhere,” Cloud laughed. “We had color people posted all over the place. Everybody I’ve talked to seems to have had fun, I just wish they would have followed the course.”
Stations were set up where those “color people” were armed with squirt bottles and shovel buckets with which they ambushed passersby, to the delight of the children in attendance. Some toddlers maximized the rare encouraged opportunity to defy cleanliness, and were colored green as the race began, only to change into a deep shades of yellow and then on to purple and pink an hour later as everyone congregated near the finish line, continuing to powder themselves. The day was complete with live music and food vendors after the run.
Cloud said he’d like to make the race portion more structured next year, but after the event out-drew their expectations of 150 people, the end result seemed to be accomplished. Proceeds from T-shirt sales and a $35 registration fee raised about $7,000, according to Veteran’s Services Director Brett Burtis. That money will go to the Wounded Warrior Project.
“The Veterans Club has two purposes: to serve the veterans that go to school here and help them adjust to life — their new situation, new surrounding and to do philanthropic events like this,” said Cloud, a U.S. Marine Corp. veteran.
Sheridan College serves about 60 veterans on their Sheridan Campus.