These colors do run

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Runners pass through one of four graffiti zones where volunteers throw a nontoxic colored powder Sunday in the parking lot at AT&T Center.   Monica Correa

Runners pass through one of four graffiti zones where volunteers throw a nontoxic colored powder Sunday in the parking lot at AT&T Center. Monica Correa

Symone Brown, member of Alpha Kappa Psi at UTSA, throws paint at Jim Falconi, a worker from an oil company in Houston.   Monica Correa

Symone Brown, member of Alpha Kappa Psi at UTSA, throws paint at Jim Falconi, a worker from an
oil company in Houston. Monica Correa

By Carlos Ferrand

cferrand@student.alamo.edu

You don’t go to the beach if you don’t want to get wet, and you don’t go to the Graffiti Run if you don’t want to get messy.

More than 9,000 people took part in San Antonio’s first Graffiti Run Jan. 27. This “colorful 5K” is designed to make its runners look like victims of a drive-by tie-dyeing.

People of all ages, many with their dogs, arrived at the AT&T Center wearing knee-high socks, bandanas and tutus.

No matter how they dressed, they all had one thing in common; they were all wearing white just to show off their true colors by race’s end.

The first group of 500 runners waited at the starting line while disc jockey Mr. It Down provided them with music.

Austin Tudlong, 10, throws purple powder at runners and volunteers in one of the four graffiti zones.  Monica Correa

Austin Tudlong, 10, throws purple powder at runners and volunteers in one of the four graffiti zones. Monica Correa

The crowd could barley stand still as he counted down to the start of the race.

With a loud horn, the first wave of runners screamed and started down the course, which began at the northwest corner and snaked around the parking lot before ending right back at its start.

Located along the course were four color stations. As runners passed a station, they were

showered with colored powder.

The course began with blue powder at the first station, then changed to yellow, hot pink and orange.

Organizers described the powder as a nontoxic, non-rashinducing, cornstarch product that was easily removed from the skin.

More than 7,000 people gather at the end of the Graffiti Run.   Monica Correa

More than 7,000 people gather at the end of the Graffiti Run. Monica Correa

Runners, covered head to toe in color, crossed the finish line laughing and giving each other high fives.

“I would definitely do it again,” Allie Hayes said.

Allie’s mother, Libby Hayes also smiled through the cloud of powder.

“They were dumping buckets of color on us,” Libby Hayes said.

When all runners crossed the finish line, they gathered in front of the main stage for a

“color explosion.”

Buckets full of powder were bought in for the finale. People prepared themselves by grab big handfuls.

On stage and behind a curtain of plastic wrap, DJ Diggy Dutch prepared the crowd for

the “color explosion” by counting down from five.

All together, with a thunderous roar, the crowd tossed handfuls of powder into the sky,

creating a colorful mist to rival any rainbow.

“The turn out and enthusiasm was amazing in San Antonio. It was certainly one of our best events and we can’t wait to come back in the fall of 2013,” DNS Visions project manager, Dustin McMillian said.

DNS Visions is an event production company.

After the event ends, powder left behind is swept and shoveled into buckets. A truck then vacuums the remains and another cleans the pavement.

No powder is reused.

San Antonio’s Graffiti Run was the third run on a national schedule that includes 16 cities.

The cost was as low as $40 for early registration and $50 for same-day registration. The price included a T-shirt, sunglasses or headband and a bag of colored powder.

A portion of the proceeds went to the Davis-Scott Family YMCA. The donations will go to help the East Side YMCA to create and continue programs for families in their community.

“To be able to be a part of something like this is awesome,” Whitney Holmes, membership and marketing director for Davis-Scott YMCA, said.

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