Photo by Rachel Shirey
More than 25,000 people turned out for The Color Run 5k race at the Atlanta Motor Speedway where volunteers doused runners with color at four check points.
HAMPTON — “Eat my dust” took on a new meaning Saturday as color wafted behind The Color Run runners passing through the various color stations.
The sold-out 5k run attracted about 25,000 walkers, runners, adults and children for the 9 a.m. and 10 a.m. events at Atlanta Motor Speedway.
Participants began the race dressed in white, but ended the race caked from head to toe in colors that put the rainbow to shame.
The 3.1 mile route led runners through four different color stations, where volunteers would aggressively throw colored cornstarch on anything that moved. Even themselves.
“We went to the color stations, and they just hosed you down with it,” said Chris Harer of Stockbridge.
And the runners loved it.
“Hit me!” runners would yell with hands stretched toward the sky and dressed in outrageous attire from tutus and wigs, to inner tubes and rubber duckies. “And don’t be afraid to get my face.”
They didn’t have to ask twice. Blue, orange, magenta and yellow billowed above the Atlanta Motor Speedway like smoke.
“Some people were doing color angels at the color stations,” said Kaylee Murphey of Brunswick.
Harer said his team, The Color Farts, tried not to breath heavily as they ran through the color stations so they wouldn’t inhale the color, but teammate Murphey said it was inevitable.
But the fun didn’t end at the finish line.
Music blared from a stage where a mosh pit had grown, and volunteers would throw additional color packets into and on the audience to ensure no white remained visible for the trek home.
People showered strangers with purples and greens, and the strangers would simply throw more color in return.
By the end of the two races, color caked everyone from hair and teeth to the socks hidden under the shoes.
Harer said the best part was “just the atmosphere of everyone exercising.”
“That was the main thing,” he said. “Just seeing everyone outdoors and not playing video games or whatever. It was good seeing families out doing things.”
As The Color Run officials would say, it was the happiest 5k on the planet. And certainly the most colorful.