It was a hit in Houston. A phenomenon in Phoenix. Now, for the first time in Delaware, a “Run or Dye” 5k running event is coming to the streets of Dover.
As of July 1, more than 5,000 runners hoping to be splattered in eco-friendly, Technicolor cornstarch dye have registered for “the world’s most colorful 5K” on Aug. 17, with organizers anticipating 10,000-12,000 participants by the time race day arrives.
“This event will bring a welcome boost to the local economy,” said David Arthur, executive director of the Delaware Sports Commission. “Within the space of a couple of months, Dover is enjoying heightened visibility from two outstanding events – first the Firefly Festival, and now Run Or Dye.”
More than 3,000 people signed up during the first week of registration for the Dover run, which was the fastest pace in the event’s history, Arthur added.
Billed by organizers as a “color-blasted celebration of life, friendship, fitness, and fun,” the Run or Dye event wraps up with a festival featuring music, activities, giveaways and “color throws.”
“Our color throws are probably the (best) part of our events,” said Andy Hayford, event director at Run or Dye. “We have a stage with a deejay and an emcee getting everyone hyped up. Every 20 or 30 minutes, we’ Tie-Dye the Sky,’ which basically means we throw a bunch of colors up in the air.”
The event is open to all runners, of all ages, at all levels of experience. Children 6 and under run free with an adult.
Organizers urge participants to wear light colors (in order to show off the dye), and encourage runners to come in costume – past events have included a thrift store tux, leopard print pajamas, or even an old wedding dress. Everyone can expect to be doused by the event’s “Color Crews” at some point during the race.
“No matter what people are wearing, they end up being a sight to behold,” Arthur said. “It’s really a once-in-a-lifetime experience, with a strong sense of community.”
Every Run or Dye event works closely in support of a local charity.
The race kicks off Saturday, Aug. 17, at 10:45 a.m. at Dover Downs, 1131 N. DuPont Highway. Register at beta.active.com/dover-de/running/races/run-or-dye-dover-2013, or visit the Run or Dye home page at www.RunOrDye.com.
For more information, or to arrange an interview with Delaware Sports Commission Director David Arthur, call Eric Ruth at 672-6813, or email firstname.lastname@example.org.