Race brings burst of color, 10,000 runners to Penn State campus

mmorgan@centredaily.comSeptember 30, 2013 

— Not only was Joe Lowe covered from head to toe with dyed corn starch when he crossed the finish line of Sunday’s Color Run 5K, so were the stroller and two kids that he pushed through the whole event.

He and his family made the 90-minute trip from Muncy for the race because he thought it would be fun for all of them.

“We have three kids and didn’t really want to look for another baby sitter, so we said, ‘hey, let’s bring them,’ ” he said.

Lowe, who has run other races in the past, said it’s not like any other he has participated in. He said he didn’t even really feel like he ran 3 miles.

Four color stations were placed around the course where event staff would spray the colors onto passing runners.

Race Director Alec Fowler said having fun and letting loose is the whole point. He said they don’t worry about times of who finishes first. The goal is for everyone to enjoy themselves.

The Color Runs started in 2012 in more than 80 cities and it grew this year to more than 120, Fowler said.

They picked Penn State as part of an objective to hold the runs all over the country. The Penn State Homecoming committee worked closely with the race directors to make it happen.

And Fowler is happy that it did.

They sold out with more than 10,000 registered runners, and many more people showed up to show support.

“We had tons of people here today and we’re just having a blast,” he said, adding that State College will definitely be high on the destination priority list when planning next year’s events.

Penn State student Ernie Tessein said his favorite part was running through all the color zones and he wishes there were more of them.

When he ran through the zones, Tessein said he closed his eyes and tried to keep it out of his mouth but leaving the zone covered in color was enjoyable.

“It was fun,” he said. “I liked it a lot.”

The race is supposed to be a big party, but participants kept it going even after the run was finished.

Runners got the chance to listen to music and throw more color packets after they finished running, which was another favorite part for some. The Nittany Lion mascot and several Penn State athletes were on hand to join the party.

“The party won’t stop until we turn the music off.” Fowler said.

Matt Morgan can be reached at 235-3928. Follow him on Twitter @MetroMattMorgan.

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