News 12 at 11 / Saturday, October 5, 2013
The crowd counts down, "3-2-1!" Then, an explosion of color like you've never seen before. It's the happiest group of runners you'll ever see.
"There's music playing, color being thrown, it's just a huge party," explained Brinsley Thigpen, CEO Augusta Sports Council.
Today thousands flooded downtown for Augusta's first ever Color Run.
"We had over ,5000 people participate this event this morning. It's the largest 5k Augusta, Ga. has ever seen," Thigpen said excitedly.
It's a 3 mile road race (5 kilometers) where the only rules are:
1. You start out wearing white, and
2. You end up a walking rainbow.
Here's how it works. At each kilometer runners come to a color stop and get doused with a different color of dyed cornstarch.
"It's the idea of being with your family and your friends and being able to just get dirty and covered with all this color at the same time," runner Wesley Kennedy said.
Whether you walk or run, it's not a competition. The race isn't timed, and there aren't any winners--unless you're competing for who gets the dirtiest.
"Yeah, color me some more!" laughed Kennedy's dad.
"This is the perfect event. You have people young, old, big, little all participating and coming out doing a 5k that might not regularly participate in a 5k," Thigpen said.
The color stops along the race are just the beginning. When runners cross the finish line, that's when the real party begins. All the participants make their way to the stage where music is blaring and every few minutes a countdown leads to an explosion of color. Hosts throw extra color packets from the stage, and when the countdown reaches zero, runners pop their packets and create a cloud of color so thick you can hardly see.
"Augusta, Georgia, you look amazing!" the host yells from the stage, pumping the colorful crowd up.
When all the dyed cornstarch clears, there are a couple things everyone's got on their face: the color pink and a big smile.
"The crowd's having a great time. Everybody's screaming for more color. Friends, family altogether. It's just a big good clean-- well not too clean-- good, clean party," Thigpen said.
At an average of 40 dollars per person to sign up -- this 5-thousand plus event brought in at least 200-thousand dollars for the city.
Just another reason to be happy.