Hoping for between 150 and 200 participants for their inaugural Color Run, organizers instead saw nearly 400 people – of all ages, sizes and abilities – take off from the parking lot at El Portal Middle School on Saturday morning, Feb. 11.
There was both a one mile fun run and a longer 5k, but runners in each had to brave a couple of color stations, where a variety of colored powder was thrown on them as they ran by.
For many, it was the color that made it fun; for others, it was knowing that their entry fees will help provide programs and services for students throughout the Escalon Unified School District.
“It was the first year for the event and quite successful,” said Chassie Shafter of the Escalon Educational Foundation, which put on the Color Run. “The event brought in about $8200.”
Funds will be used throughout the district, not at one specific site or for one specific purpose.
“To see this many people out here, give yourselves a hand,” El Portal Middle School Principal Mark Vos told the crowd, noting the winter chill in the air.
A brief warm up provided by representatives of Escalon Fit got the runners ready to go and Red Cap Timing provided the timing services and results. Longtime track and field coach Rick Heflin fired off the starter’s pistol and the runners and walkers were off, hitting the streets at 8 a.m.
“This is very encouraging,” Vos said after the runners were on the course. “The community really came through for our students. There are things we want our students to have that the district can’t always provide, the community came out to support us.”
Many families opted to take part in the run together and there was plenty of picture taking in the El Portal parking lot afterward, families sporting the colors of the rainbow on their shirts, faces and in their hair.
Lisa White and her daughter Alexis, 13, ran the 5k, Lisa noting that she is a member at Escalon Fit and taking part in the 5k is part of her overall fitness plan. Daughter Alexis added that the powder flung at her was a bit “gross” but said the overall experience was fun.
Winners of the overall events were: Alex Guevara, male, one mile and Rylie Lattig, female, one mile; Benjamin Costa, male, 5k; Kylee Irwin-Paz, female, 5k.
There were 205 participants in the one mile, according to Red Cap Timing results, and more than 160 people in the 5k.
Sponsors for this inaugural Color Run included Escalon Sportsman’s Club, Realty Design Associates, Quality Service, Inc., Thompson Ranch, Escalon Fit, Pacific Southwest Irrigation, Noahs Water, OPTI physical therapy, Bronco Wine Company, 1st Class Blinds and Shutters, Mid Valley Agriculture, John and Mary Lynne Franzia, Gold River Orchards, Nick Caton, PMZ Real Estate, Optimal Hospice, Inc. and Eckert Frozen Foods.