More than 200 in 1st ‘Color Dash’

Published 10:44 am Monday, August 5, 2013

More than 200 people have registered for Austin’s first “5 for 5” Color Dash 5K Walk/Fun Run later this month at the Historic Downtown Power Plant.

The Owatonna-based Color Dash organization, which calls itself “the world’s brightest 5K,” will start the walk/fun run at 2 p.m. on Aug. 18 at the Downtown Power Plant, where the route also will end. The event serves as an early kickoff to the second annual Austin ArtWorks Festival the following weekend at the power plant.

Participants of all ages will run or walk a 5-kilometer loop from the power plant to The Hormel Institute to Mill Pond and back to the power plant. The rain-or-shine event is not a timed race. Along the route, Color Dash volunteers at five “color zones” about every one kilometer will “color blast” participants as they go by.

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Proceeds will benefit five local nonprofits: The Hormel Institute cancer research, Austin ArtWorks/Vision 2020, Mayo Clinic Health System, Austin Area Foundation and Riverland Community College Athletics.

Individuals can sign up for $30 each and families can register for $70 per team, limited to six people living at the same address. Family team registrations include two white shirts and three color pouches. Additional shirts are $15 each; extra color pouches are $3 each. Children age 5 and younger are free, not including a shirt or color pouch. No pets are allowed on the route.

Online registration and a route map are available at

Same-day registration will start at 12:30 p.m. Aug. 18 at the Downtown Power Plant. Pre-registered participants also can begin checking in for their race-day packet at that time.

The coloring used in the event is natural and safe, as it consists of food-grade corn starch and food-grade coloring, according to the Color Dash organization. The event’s color throwers will ensure “color dashers” get as much or as little color on them as they like. Some dashers choose to wear glasses or goggles as color should stay out of the eyes, and use a bandana or dust mask for their mouth.

Color Dash officials encourage participants to wear as much white as possible, including the event T-shirt provided with registration. A costume contest also will be part of the event.

After the 5K, organizers will coordinate a finale “color explosion” at the Downtown Power Plant. All are encouraged then to shake off the coloring dust before getting into a vehicle. Participants can shower to remove coloring from skin, and may decide to spray vinegar on their clothing and iron it. A separate 5K event, the Haitian Hustle, is being planned that weekend at Faith Evangelical Free Church.