You may have noticed in the past few years that there’s a new trend in the marathon world. Specifically one with the intention of drawing on people that don’t normally like to run marathons. The new tactic in the marathon world is to make running an activity either loved or hated with little middle ground, fun for everyone! How do we make running fun for those who hate it? By adding color!

Runs like the most notable “Color Run” and it’s similar events have been popping up in the past few years and are gaining interest by adding fun and color to an otherwise not very exciting event. Last month, Chippewa Falls hosted The UV Splash Color Dash, another fun 5k, but with a special twist. Runs like the Color Run are hosted during the day so you can see yourself covered in color powder after the run is over, but what the Color Dash does that sets it apart is hosting the event at night for a special surprise!

Color Dash - Photos by: Ty Randerson

People gather for the event just before sunset and they’re covered in colored powder. The color comes partly by themselves and partly by people throwing it on them. Along with the colored powder there are also Color Dash volunteers coming around spraying a colored liquid over runners.

Color Dash - Photos by: Ty Randerson

In the light the colored liquid looks interesting, but it’s nothing compared to the vibrant colored powder. However as the light fades and the pre-run celebration really starts to heat up, you’ll start to see a change in the colored liquid. As the sun sets the UV lights along the start/finish line and in the waiting areas start to take on a light of their own and the colored liquid comes alive in front of your eyes. The colored liquid is a liquid version of the same colored powder, but it’s mixed with a UV dye to give it a glowing look under the lights. The boring looking paint you were covered with before suddenly makes you look like someone covered you with the inside of a glow stick and this is what makes the UV Splash Color Dash so exciting. 

Color Dash - Photos by: Ty Randerson

Now that the sun has set, runners take their place on the start line which is bathed in UV lighting to make the coloring on you already look exciting. On their que to go, our marathoners make a dash around the circuit. The first lap is rather usual, take your time and go at your own pace. While this is a 5K event, it’s not a race. However, once you complete your first lap, you’ll end up back at the same starting point, but this time the volunteers are there with more bottles of the color paint! As you run through the start line the volunteers squirt more color paint on you making the light even more exciting.

Color Dash - Photos by: Ty Randerson

Once you make it through the paint frenzy at the finish line you take a second lap to complete the 5K and as you come across the line again you’re bathed in even more paint. Once you finish your second lap you’re all finished and you hang out in the waiting area with the rest of the people who have finished. The waiting area is surrounded by even more UV lighting so you have a chance to admire your new shirt and the artwork on everyone else’s shirts.

Color Dash - Photos by: Ty Randerson

Once everyone has finished, there’s a grand celebration and the staff will take volunteers for what they call the Color Explosion. The Color Explosion is a simultaneous release of all of the extra paint from the event. On the signal everyone holding a bottle of the paint will shoot it up into the air while everyone surrounds them and as the paint comes back down it covers people in the most unique ways, the photos don’t do justice to how incredible the sight really is.

Color Dash - Photos by: Ty Randerson

Now comes the part of the blog where I give you the really good news. Just because you missed out on the Chippewa Falls run doesn’t mean you have to wait until next year. The UV Splash Color Dash will be coming to Carson Park in Eau Claire in September! Grab some friends, head over to their website, get out there and get messy! Information for the UV Splash Color Dash can be found here and tickets for the Eau Claire run can be purchased here