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As seen in Thread Magazine:

Run Happy
By McKenzie Powell

E xceptionally blissful individuals, from college students to little tikes with their mothers and fathers, celebrated the conclusion of the 5k with the brightest of smiles on their faces. All this, despite their aching muscles, sweat-soaked faces and, most obviously, being plastered in a montage of bright colors.

It’s hard not to sport a smile as a DJ blasts upbeat music from a stage and a large crowd, all in white t-shirts now stained with yellow, pink, blue and green, dance and rejoice in tutus and delightful outfits. There is only one place in Athens where one could possibly witness such a sight: at the end of the “Happiest 5k on the Planet” – the Color Run.

On Sunday Nov. 12, the Color Run made an undeniably vibrant appearance in Athens, Ohio. The charity-driven race, created in 2012, inspires runners and walkers to dress in all white clothing – though some take this as an initiative to dress in even more creative outfits – before plastering them in a different color for each kilometer marker they pass. At one site in particular, runners ran through a bubble station, flooding the contestants in countless amounts of scented bubbles.

According to The Color Run, the four important qualities of the Color Run are healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back. The run was created in an effort to not only promote fitness, joy, and distinctiveness, but also to help raise donations for numerous linking charities. The Athens race, which boasted more than 2,500 participants, was able to raise more than $8,000 for the local Habitat for Humanity, while another designated portion went toward The Global Poverty Project.

Dominic Armelie, a senior math education major at OU, accredited the Athens race as his first time participating in the Color Run. Armelie mentioned that he enjoyed the “relaxed nature” of the race, and the casual, happy vibes he encountered.

Armelie’s outfit for the day consisted of the Color Run white tee handed to all participants at the beginning, Adidas white shorts, blue and lime running shoes, and a bright orange windbreaker. His reasoning was simple, “I wanted something that the color would show up on without freezing to death.”

Once finishing the race, it is tradition for runners to attempt to preserve the memories of the color-soaked event in their clothes. Armelie worked hard to accomplish this. He first used a spray bottle with vinegar to soak the shirt and then let it sit for a while. After this, Armelie went over the entire shirt with an iron and proceeded with a thorough wash.

The Color Run is an unforgettable event for all to attend, no matter what age or skill level, because its focus is on happiness and the celebration of life and color. This race is the ideal way to have fun with those close to you while also getting your workout on. Contributing to your own colorific happiness is just a bonus that you get to preserve in your clothing, reliving memories for years to come.

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