Troy Weston was ambushed outside Beaver Stadium on Sunday morning.
Melissa Hombosky and Kim Buscher attacked him from opposite sides with green and blue dyed cornstarch. Weston’s face was half green and half blue when the starch settled, but hundreds more people opened their packets and threw the powder into the air and at each other.
“We trained for this all summer,” Hombosky, of State College, said. “It might be the most fun I’ve ever had running.”
About 11,000 runners registered for the second annual 5K Color Run at Penn State. The Color Run aims to take attention away from how fast your 5K is and to place a greater focus on how much fun you can have doing one.
The Color Run also partners with charities, which senior Kory Rogers said he donated to online.
“The Color Run is such an amazing event,” Rogers said. “Not only did I run for charity, I ran for color.”
Stephanie Holland, a Color Run employee, said staff members fought to work at Penn State this year.
“We consider one of our top 5Ks to be at Penn State,” Holland said.
“It’s one of the most exciting places for us to go, and our staff fights to get to go here. It’s a great experience for us, too, especially at places like Penn State where there’s so much energy, pride and spirit.”
Kristine Zangrillo, public relations director for Penn State Homecoming, said that the homecoming committee has volunteered for the event each of the past two years. In turn, some proceeds go toward homecoming.
“We’ve helped and volunteered wherever they’ve needed us to be,” Zangrillo said.
“I was at the blue station last year, and it was so much fun to be a part of.”
Freshman Hannah Young, who danced with thousands of other runners before the race, compared Penn State’s Color Run with the ones she has done in Washington, D.C., and Baltimore.
“This one is definitely bigger,” Young said. “I’m a big runner, and people should expect to have fun getting in shape and this is one of the ways to do that.”
Other runners, such as juniors Molly Cashman, Taylor Shears and Nichole Stoner, skipped dancing to stand at the front of the starting line.
“I think everyone here is really excited and happy to be here,” Cashman said.
“It has a Thon vibe to it. Obviously, Thon has a much bigger purpose, but this seems just as fun for everyone.”
The Color Run also attracted families from far away to participate.
Stacy Werner, of York, said she drove more than three hours with her friend, Aubrey Dehoff, and their children to experience something new.
“I did the mud run in May, and I figured I should do the color run next,” Werner said.
Other families brought youngsters to run.
Parker Jodon, 3, was armed with goggles to keep the starch out of his eyes. Parker’s father, Kerry, mother, Jena, and sister, Paige, took turns pushing him in his stroller unless they were at a color station.
“That’s when he got up to run through with his hands in the air,” Jena Jodon, of Bellefonte, said. “They’re a little tired now, but they had a lot of fun. We’ll be back next year.”