Runners will get their chance to paint the town Saturday with the Color Run set to roll into Las Vegas for the first time.
Event participants arrive wearing a clean, white T-shirt and leave as a unique masterpiece with combinations of different colors splattered on them from head to toe.
Participants will be sprayed with a different-colored, washable, cornstarch-based substance at each kilometer along the 5K course, which is expected to start on Las Vegas Boulevard South near the Lloyd George U.S. Courthouse and end at Fremont and Eighth streets downtown.
Las Vegas is one of 19 cities set to host the Color Run through January 2013. Race director Eric King said Las Vegas was chosen because of its reputation for hosting community-centered events.
"Las Vegas has a very outdoorsy community and a lot of people who do running events," King said. "We wanted to tap into that community, and we knew it was a great place to have (the Color Run)."
However, the event is aimed at doing more than just providing fun, King said. It allows participants to give back to the community by making a donation to the host city's designated charity at registration. Three Square food bank is Las Vegas' charity to which donations through the Color Run will be distributed. Erica Thompson, director of corporate giving, said that as of Feb. 8, registrants donated more than $1,100 to Three Square, which Thompson said adds to the organization's goal of tackling hunger issues that affect valley residents.
Thompson said a partnership with the Color Run organization is ideal.
"I think what (the Color Run is) trying to do is a unique idea," Thompson said. "They're trying to think of new ways to bring together the community, and we're trying to come up with new ways to fight hunger. It's a perfect fit."
King said the event is focused on encouraging fitness and community involvement. Because the event is not timed, people of all ages and running experience are welcome to participate.
"We tend to get a lot of first-time event-goers, so we try to encourage them to participate in other events in their community," King said. "We hope that people enjoy it and feel a better sense of community."
Each participant is given a race number, a custom Color Run T-shirt and a finisher sweatband in his or her packet. However, the donation to Three Square, Thompson said, is the runner's most vital contribution to the race.
"Every dollar we've raised so far is three meals for someone struggling with hunger," Thompson said. "These (registrations) help us in trying to secure the necessary funds for the 300,000 people struggling with hunger (in Las Vegas)."
The Color Run is slated to start at 9 a.m. Saturday. Registration is $50 per person or $40 per person on a team of at least four members. For more information, call 855- 662-6567 or email firstname.lastname@example.org.
Contact Paradise/Downtown View reporter Lisa Carter at email@example.com or 383-4686.