Hundreds of people bedecked in neon-colored tutus, beanies and socks braved cold temperatures Saturday morning to be showered in colorful corn starch.
The Color Run Hero Tour kicked off at 8 a.m. in downtown Las Vegas.
“It’s a lot colder than it was last year,” said Jan Sherwood, who flew in Friday night from Los Angeles to run with her husband and son.
Despite temperatures hovering around 40 degrees, people in colorful beanies, sunglasses and knee-high socks jogged, walked, and pushed strollers through inflated arches, where Color Run volunteers threw handfuls of brightly colored powder onto them.
Cars parked near the tunnels were dusted with the bright powder, and some participants used their fingers to leave messages for the owners. A smiley face decorated one windshield. Another said “wash me 02-24-2018,” and “LV strong” was written on a third.
Erika Tanzi, 35, walked the course with her mother, Jackie Hicks, 57, who recently moved to Las Vegas.
“For one, it’s something to get my butt of the couch,” Tanzi said. “And two, it’s just really fun. It’s not timed, so you just have a good time at it.”
“As you can see, crazy people get dressed up, like us,” Tanzi said.
Hicks, who moved to Las Vegas from Eureka, California, in December, made tutus for herself and her two daughters. Each woman had a shimmery gold lightning bolt temporarily tattooed on one cheek.
“Where we come from, they don’t do anything like this,” Hicks said. “They have one bowling alley. There’s just nothing to do. So when we moved here, I was so excited to get to do stuff.”
Kylee Hutchinson, an event organizer, said the theme of the run was about finding the hero in yourself and summoning the courage to run.
Organizers also encouraged participants to bring cans of food to donate to the Three Square food bank, which serves Southern Nevada.
“There are so many kids that are hungry that we don’t realize don’t have meals except their school lunch,” said Essence Prymus, 33, who was at the event with her sorority sisters. “Whatever we can do to help out is worth it.”
“And this is a fun way to help!” 33-year-old Jennifer Cruse chimed in from beneath a bright-green wig.
Travis Snyder, CEO of The Color Run, founded the event in April 2011, with the first run taking place in 2012, according to the company website. Snyder created the run to provide a nonthreatening running environment where professional and novice runners could come together and enjoy the sport, the website said.
Saturday’s run also featured foam zones that showered runners with suds, an after-run concert and a trampoline photo opportunity.
“We definitely go for not-the-usual runner,” she said. “Someone that’s maybe scared to run but has always wanted to, this one’s a good one to come and have fun and go for it.”
The Color Run also takes pride in cleanliness after the run.
The finish festival at the end of the course offered a “Clean Off” station where participants walked between stacked industrial fans to rid their clothes of excess corn starch. A DJ paused the music at about 10:30 a.m. and invited people in the crowd to pick up 10 pieces of trash and throw them away.
“We want to be able to come back to this city, so it’s important for us not to leave a mess,” Hutchinson said. “We care, and we want people to care about us too.”