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Archive for Saturday, September 14, 2013

Color Run bursts through downtown Lawrence

September 14, 2013

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An eruption of color hit Lawrence today as thousands of area residents turned out for the Color Run downtown.

The 5-kilometer Color Run promotes healthy living by encouraging participants to be active — with a dose of fun: Runners are covered in a rainbow of colors as they pass by different color zones.

After the popular Color Run Saturday in Lawrence, participants toss color packets on themselves in Watson Park.

After the popular Color Run Saturday in Lawrence, participants toss color packets on themselves in Watson Park.

Joanna Meyers, run director for Lawrence, said about 3,000 people ran the course this morning.

“The weather broke and we had a great morning,” she said.

While not a charitable organization itself, Color Run does donate a portion of the event proceeds to local charities. This year money will be donated to Van Go Inc., an arts-based social service organization. The donation amount was not immediately known today. Jessica Nixon, Color Run public relations specialist, said the organization donated $600,000 nationally last year and plans to donate more than $1 million this year.

Lawrence residents Shane and Jen Boden went to run for the first time this year because they thought it would be a good Saturday activity.

“It’s an explosion of color down there,” Shane said.

The run also brought in runners from surrounding areas. Michelle Schaeffer, of Overland Park, ran in her wedding dress with her husband, Brandon. Michelle said trashing wedding dresses is a popular trend, and she wanted to do it in an especially fun way.

“A lot of people jump in the pool or ocean,” she said. “I thought this would be more fun.”

Brandon seemed to support the idea.

“I wanted to wear an all-white suit but couldn’t find anything,” he said.

Tiffany Phipps, of Olathe, brought her 2-year-old son, Falcon, to the run. Even though she pushed a stroller the whole time, she said it wasn’t a problem. Falcon, who was covered in blue, orange and pink powder, actually used his own two legs for much of the run.

“We asked him if he wanted to ride, and he said, ‘No, it’s too messy,’” grandma Wendy Morrison said.

The Color Run can create quite a mess. Meyers said the color is food-grade corn starch that should come out of clothes within a few washes.

As far as downtown goes, she said a crew worked most of today cleaning up Watson Park and Tennessee and Kentucky streets, where the run took place. A follow-up check will be done Sunday morning to make sure nothing was missed.

The Lawrence City Commission required organizers of the run to submit a $20,000 deposit to ensure the downtown area is properly cleaned. The $20,000 deposit is a first for the city for this type of event.

On Friday, city public works officials had said it would take a few days after the run for them to determine whether the run’s organizers had provided the required supervision and cleanup to get the deposit back.

Comments

blindrabbit 7 months, 1 week ago

Perplexed: How can the City approve of a "color run" that will undoubtedly result in a lot of colored water and organic (corn starch) material being washed into the storm sewers to go untreated to the Kansas River. This is the same City that will not allow (supposedly for legal reasons) downtown vendors from washing down the sidewalks in front of their businesses. Anybody familiar with sidewalks in downtown are familiar with build-up of years of accumulated trash, food and especially gum. The City even did a demonstration "cleanup" provided by a professional firm several years ago to address this mess, nothing came of anything beyond this "test". WHAT THE HECK!

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melott 7 months, 1 week ago

Mainly, this type of event benefits people who want themselves to be seen (running) or heard (interminably, on the PA system, mumbling something).

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Budgets_Smudgets 7 months, 1 week ago

If you want some colored corn starch sprayed on you, drop by my place and run up and down the street, and I'll take care of you. I charge only $20.

( 50% discount )

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Brandon Graham 7 months, 1 week ago

My name is Brandon Graham. I own two businesses downtown (Jefferson's and Papa Keno's) and I see both sides of the feedback here. We see benefit to our restaurants when this type of event happens to some degree. We also receive feedback, and see personally, that it hurts us to some degree because of the traffic challenges and road closings.

I understand where some of you are coming from with the feelings that the organization is using a charity claim to drive participation and profitiablity. At the end of the day, they are accountable for their claims by the consumer public and if they are not good folks, people will not run in their events.

They are however, making some kind of contribution to a local charity, and any amount is better than none. If they reached out to me and other business owners downtown to help raise a more substantial amount of money for something that was universal in nature to our community, I think they could position themselves better by doing that.

That being said, any event of any kind that brings focus to our city and in particular, our downtown is tough to not get behind. At least they are doing it here and not in Columbia!! I love the passion of our residents for each side of every issue and that's part of what makes this city so great. This is no different...maybe we can all work together to make the event even more locally tailored and get the organization to really make a big impact with an organization that needs assistance.

I don't know the ins and outs of the public policy component but I would guess that we have some of that built into the "cost of doing business" in the city. I can't speak to that for sure, so if there were an incremental expense to the city that is incurred and the organization that is making money off this event causes that by holding then run, then it's probably fair that they carry some of that freight.

I like having events like this in our beautiful downtown...it gets more and more people to see what we have to offer and tell other people. This is one of the most significant parts of this city's makeup and I couldn't be any more proud to be a part of itl.

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d_prowess 7 months, 1 week ago

I came up with about $1 per runner going to the charity. So that is about $3,000 for VanGo.

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workinghard 7 months, 1 week ago

It really didn't seem like thousands of runners to me, maybe they were counting spectators.

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kansas_cynic 7 months, 1 week ago

The city would ave been better served by giving a donation to Vango than paying for LPD officers, street cleanup and losing the business from people who couldn't get downtown due to traffic tie ups. Me for one., started downtown, turned around on 6th and Miss due to total traffic being stopped.

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jhawk0097 7 months, 1 week ago

"While not a charitable organization itself, Color Run does donate a portion of the event proceeds to local charities. This year money will be donated to Van Go Inc., an arts-based social service organization. The donation amount was not immediately known today. Jessica Nixon, Color Run public relations specialist, said the organization donated $600,000 nationally last year and plans to donate more than $1 million this year."

The donation amount comes to about $1 of a $40 registration fee, based on their website's participation rates. They really shouldn't advertise the charitable part of their LLC since it's practically non-existent.

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