Color run coming to Capital City on Saturday

It won’t be the first time runners in Jefferson City will be drenched with colors.

But it will be the first-time for the national Color Vibe organization to host a 5K run downtown, expected to draw more than 3,000 runners.

After planning for a year and a half, the Jefferson City Convention and Visitors Bureau was just as surprised as the Color Vibe office at the response, said Chris Wilson, sports and film sales manager.

The company usually sees up to 2,000 participants at a first-time event.

They were so impressed, they scheduled DJ Freak — from San Francisco known for touring with rapper Ludacris — to bring the entertainment Saturday morning.

“For such a large race, we wanted to ensure our top DJ was there to provide a unique experience,” said Color Vibe organizer Michael Keuler.

Likewise, the Jefferson City Police Department will increase its presence from the average local 5K events, which draw up to 200 participants, said officer Pat McCutcheon.

The route will begin at the corner of Madison and East High streets, going east to Chestnut Street, then west on Capitol Avenue to Lafayette Street. Runners will circle around the prison and Lafayette Street cul-de-sac by way of Jackson Street before returning to the starting point after rounding the Capitol.

Residents and visitors to the area are encouraged to be patient as the roads will not be closed like a parade route, but will be limited use only for local traffic and emergency vehicles.

“We have 5Ks all the time,” McCutcheon said. “But we’ve never had one drawing 3,200.”

Both Color Vibe and the bureau make safety a top priority, Wilson said.

In addition to the route security, Color Vibe’s biodegradable, corn starch-based coloring agent is assured to leave no lasting marks.

By addressing what concerns may arise, organizers hope participants will be free to enjoy the primary reason for the event — fun.

The race will begin in heats to eliminate foot congestion and will not be timed.

Wilson said they want participants to enjoy getting some exercise while admiring the city’s historic architecture, including Capitol Avenue homes, the Missouri State Penitentiary and the Capitol.

At the end of the day, CeMo We Can also will benefit from the event as the designated charity. Color Vibe donated $1 per participant to a local charity at each event.

“We love partnering with different, local organizations who share our goals to increase physical activity and to encourage people to be healthy,” Keuler said.

Mid-Missouri has a strong local runners market, he said. But about half of those registered will be coming from outside the area, even outside the state.

That keys in on the bureau’s mission to draw visitors into the city, Wilson said. Color Vibe encourages participants to bring a change of clothes, so they may enjoy the host city’s hospitality after their races, he said.

“Color fun runs are the next evolution for 5Ks,” Wilson said. “It’s an opportunity to be splashed with color.

“This is taking that trend to a new, national level.”

At the starting line, runners begin with shades and white T-shirts — or costumes or rabbit ears. Upon their return, they’re covered in a rainbow, thanks to volunteers set up at five color stations along the 3.1 mile route.

Spectators are welcome to come out, listen to the DJ and marvel at the color, Wilson said.

And volunteers are always in demand, Keuler said. Volunteer registration is encouraged online.

“We do not intend to be a nuisance, but to bring people to Jefferson City for economic impact and perhaps future residents,” Wilson said.

On the Web: www.thecolorvibe.com

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