Explosions of color

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Dakota Neelys, Navy corpsman in lab technician training at Fort Sam Houston, uses a broom to shake powder on runners as they pass through the end of the pink zone. First-time volunteer Neelys thought it would be interesting.  Daniel Carde

Dakota Neelys, Navy corpsman in lab technician training at Fort Sam Houston, uses a broom to shake powder on runners as they pass through the end of the pink zone. First-time volunteer Neelys thought it would be interesting. Daniel Carde

Makayla Martinez, held aloft by Andrew Leal, raises her hands as colored water is sprayed on the crowd during a Night-Time Graffiti Party Saturday at Retama Park in advance of the Sunday run.  Monica Lamadrid

Makayla Martinez, held aloft by Andrew Leal, raises her hands as colored water is sprayed on the crowd during a Night-Time Graffiti Party Saturday at Retama Park in advance of the Sunday run. Monica Lamadrid

A night-time color blast kicks off the second Graffiti Run.

By Monica Lamadrid

mlamadrid@student.alamo.edu

About 1,000 participants of the second Graffiti Run experienced a “blast” of colors and lights at a Saturday night party at Retama Park.

First-time volunteer Rachel Ross covers runners with colored powder as they pass through the green zone.  Daniel Carde

First-time volunteer Rachel Ross covers runners with colored powder as they pass through the green zone. Daniel Carde

About 11,000 people registered, 2,000 more than a Jan. 27 event at the AT&T Center attracted.

The party was included in the run fee of $45 early registration or $55 at the gate. Organizers said the party on the eve of the race was added because of the interest locally in the event.

Disc jockeys Enrique Del Rio and DJ Nic “Diggy Dutch” Sanchez played electronic music, vendors sold food and drinks, and the party heated up.

As the crowd danced close to the stage, three cannons fired colored cornstarch, covering partiers in orange, pink and green.

Event runners raise their hands in hope of capturing free bags of powder while others toss colored powder into the air before the start of Graffiti Run in Selma. Event staff threw bags of powder from a tower onto the crowd below.  Daniel Carde

Event runners raise their hands in hope of capturing free bags of powder while others toss colored powder into the air before the start of Graffiti Run in Selma. Event staff threw bags of powder from a tower onto the crowd below. Daniel Carde

At the other end of the stage, a truck sprayed pink water to cool off dancers.

The next morning at the Graffiti Run, people gathered early for a 9 a.m. start. Groups of runners were released every 10 minutes until about 10:30 a.m. when all the runners had begun the 5K run.

The track started in the park and followed Retama Street inside the park.

Lola Pollsei crawls to the side of the yellow zone with mother, Jade Pollsei, following closely behind.  Daniel Carde

Lola Pollsei crawls to the side of the yellow zone with mother, Jade Pollsei,
following closely behind. Daniel Carde

Four zones were set up along the race where volunteers shoveled dyed cornstarch on runners or tossed handfuls into the air.

Some participants passed by the color zones with barely a dusting, while other runners stopped to roll on the ground, forming pseudo-snow angels in the colorful powder.

“It’s my wife’s birthday,” Juan Chavez, a former student at this college, said. “This is the first time we participated. She wanted to do this for her birthday.”

At the end of the run, participants gathered at the stage for a closing color explosion.

Cannons shoot colored cornstarch at the crowd during a Night-Time Graffiti Party.  Monica Lamadrid

Cannons shoot colored cornstarch at the crowd during a Night-Time Graffiti Party. Monica Lamadrid

Del Rio started a countdown at 10, and at zero the cannons blasted and participants threw powder in the air.

When they signed up, participants received a custom Graffiti Run T-shirt, a headband and a bag of cornstarch to join in the color explosion.

The website for Graffiti Run San Antonio pledged a portion of proceeds to Junior Achievement of South Texas, described at www.jast.org as the world’s largest organization dedicated to educating students in work readiness, entrepreneurship and financial literacy through experiential, hands-on programs.

Graffiti Run has operated runs in Atlanta, Philadelphia, New Orleans, Fort Worth, St. Louis, College Station, Los Angeles, Houston and Denver.

Runners can check www.graffitirun.com for the next run expected early next year.

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