Families flock to ‘Color Run’ event at Cajun Field

Runners, walkers flock to The Color Run in Lafayette

“I run a lot of 5Ks and not all of them are family friendly. We bring the kids out here and they run and we all have a blast. This is something that will be on my calendar as long as they have it in Lafayette.” Darlene Bowen, participant

Amid clouds of colored powder wafting through the air, more than 5,000 participants took part in The Color Run 5K event at Cajun Field on Sunday morning.

“We like to call it the happiest 5K on the planet,” said Preston Ward, assistant race director. “Anyone, regardless of age, can run in the event and everyone is just here to have a good time.”

According to its website, The Color Run was founded in 2012 to promote healthiness and happiness by bringing communities together. It dubs itself as the original paint race and says it is now the single largest event in the U.S.

“We host more than 170 events in more than 30 countries,” Ward said. “This is our third summer doing it and pretty much every single weekend there is a Color Run somewhere.”

Darlene Bowen said she and her family participated last year and anticipated this year’s event from the time the first one completed.

“I run a lot of 5Ks and not all of them are family friendly,” Bowen said. “We bring the kids out here and they run and we all have a blast. This is something that will be on my calendar as long as they have it in Lafayette.”

The Finish Festival, which was appropriately positioned right at the finish line, was the epicenter for the party. Participants and families danced to music and ate from food trucks as their photos were taken at Kaleidoscope booths. No shortage of selfies were taken as newly finished racers were eager to share their paint-covered photos on Facebook.

“This was my first 5K,” Camille Hebert said. “My friends asked me to do it and I just started training. It was a good time.”

The Color Run teams up with a local organization in every city to help with volunteers, Ward said. In Lafayette, Our Lady of Lourdes Regional Medical Center was partner for the event.

“They have been a really great organization to work with,” Ward said. “The local organizations help us immensely and we couldn’t do it without them.”

There is no race winner or loser at The Color Run. Ward said every runner is treated equally regardless of time or finish position.

“The whole mentality is to come out and have fun in a noncompetitive environment,” Ward said. “We don’t even time it. We send them out in waves and just let them go. There is no stopwatch. Everyone gets the same prizes and is treated the same. It is a ton of fun.”

Ward said the turnout in Lafayette was awesome and said they plan to continue a once-a-year stop in the Hub City.

“Compared to any other race in the world, 5,000 is a pretty good turnout,” he said. “We are very excited to get all these people out here.”