Color Run adds 5,000 spots for second annual Tulsa event
BY JASON ASHLEY WRIGHT World Scene Writer
Friday, March 01, 2013
3/01/13 at 4:36 AM
Tonja Pitzer will be wearing white on her wedding day - and orange, pink, yellow and blue, too.
Hours before she ties the knot on April 20, she'll be among an expected crowd of 15,000 gathering for the second annual Color Run in Tulsa - that's 5,000 participants more than last year's event, which sold out quickly.
Billed as "the happiest 5k on the planet," the Color Run is a non-timed, charity-tied event in which participants are doused with a different color powder at each kilometer, with a race course heading south from Veterans Park along Riverside Drive, then back north - a course that is subject to change, according to the event's website.
The race has a soft start with waves of runners and walkers starting to roll at 9 a.m., said Pitzer, who also works for the River Parks Authority.
And the only rules are that people wear white at the starting line and have fun from start to finish, with a kaleidoscopic festival following.
The Color Run is a national event that included more than 50 cities throughout North America in 2012, race director Sean DeGrey said during a recent phone interview.
This year, about 100 cities are involved.
Last year's run in Tulsa met its limit of 10,000 people. This year, the limit is 15,000, and approximately 8,000 have already signed up, Pitzer said.
"It's become an activity for my wedding guests," said Pitzer, who will participate in the 5k with loved ones in town for her wedding later that day.
Founded by running enthusiast Travis Snyder, the Color Run picks a charity in each city to donate proceeds, DeGrey said. The beneficiary in Tulsa is the River Parks Foundation.
"Tulsa has a lot of energy," DeGrey said. "I absolutely had a blast last year."
Pitzer was "overwhelmed" at the atmosphere in 2012 and by the collective spirit of the participants.
"These weren't competitors," she said. "They were there to have a great time outdoors with their friends and family."
Dominic Schulte brought his family to the event last year.
"It was the most fun and laid-back race I've run," Schulte said. "I was so covered in paint by the end of the race, I don't think my kids recognized me."
The "paint," by the way, is 100 percent natural and safe.
"You can eat the stuff if you'd like," according to the Color Run website. "We have tried it and don't suggest it - it is surprisingly high in calories and leaves a chalky aftertaste."
People can participate in the event beyond running or walking the 5k, Pitzer said, as volunteers can register to douse participants at each kilometer color zone.
"That's just as much fun," she said - "maybe more so."
Registration, which is open now at tulsaworld.com/colorrun, is $45 for solo runners and walkers, and $40 per person in teams of four of more through March 31. On April 1, registration fees jump $5 - assuming spots are available.
For more, visit tulsaworld.com/colorrun
Second annual non-timed walk-or-run
event in which participants are doused in
color at each kilometer.
When: Soft start of 9 a.m. on April 20
Where: Start at Veterans Park, 1875 S.
Info: Register ($40-$45 through March 31)
Original Print Headline: Colorful rerun
Jason Ashley Wright 918-581-8483
Participants celebrate after last year's Color Run 5k in Tulsa. The run sold out, and 15,000 participants are expected to gather for this year's event on April 20. Tulsa World file
Tonja Pitzer: Hours before Pitzer gets married April 20, she plans to run in the second annual Color Run, where runners are doused with colored powder