The Color Run comes to Toledo, draws 5,000 runners downtown

Open color packs are tossed in the air.
Open color packs are tossed in the air.

The Color Run took over downtown Toledo and Promenade Park today as about 5,000 runners made their way through color blast stations that left them in a rainbow of hues. 

The 5K event is more of a "fun" run. It is not timed and there are no official winners. Walkers and runners are released from the starting line in waves, starting at 8 a.m.

PHOTO GALLERY: Toledo's first Color Run imbued with smiles

This is the first time Toledo played host to The Color Run, an event now held in several cities across the country to promote joy through splashy colors.

"It's a little smaller than it was in some of the other cities, but it attracted a good number for the size of Toledo," said Kellina Curley, an employee of Silverback, the Lawrence, Kansas-based events production company that stages the run in other cities.  

Now the single largest event series in the nation, The Color Run debuted in January 2012 and will grow from 50 events and 600,000 participants in 2012, to more than 100 events and a million participants in 2013.

The local charity benefiting from the run is Mercy Children’s Hospital in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan. The nationwide charity affiliated with the run is the Global Poverty Project, a campaigning and educational organization whose vision is a world without extreme poverty within a generation.

Runners in Toledo were clothed mostly in white as suggested by the organizers of the run, the better to take on the powdered color blasts.

Many jazzed up their outfits with tutus and crazy socks.

"This is a really fun run," said Jen Frey, of Monclova, who was participating in the event along with her husband and two kids. "It gets people involved who might not run otherwise." 

Contact Tanya Irwin at: or 419-724-6066 or @TanyaIrwin.