The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

The Student News Site of Simmons University

The Simmons Voice

Running for a better you

By Tatiana Urban
Contributing Writer

Heaving for breath, a widely colorful, smiling crowd of runners pushes toward the finish line as they wipe a sweaty mixture of blue, red, and green from their foreheads.

The enhanced run experience provides the Greater Boston community with an enticing new alternative to the drudgery of working out.

The Color Run, Blacklight Run, Dirty Girl Mud, and Great Urban Race are some examples of enhanced experience runs hosted annually around the Boston area. Each of these events provides runners with a unique experience during the race, such as paint splattering, muddy obstacle courses, scavenger hunts, or highlighter body paint.

The Color Run is an international enterprise founded in 2012, with events hosted in more than 100 U.S. cities, and involving more than one million participants nationwide.

This enhanced run experience, in which participants are splattered in brightly colored paint at each kilometer, has gained popularity across the globe, and is an ideal example of the motives and structure of enhanced experience runs.

The Color Run motto, as stated on its website, is “Be Healthy. Be Happy. Be You.”

The motto outlines the three main motives of the event. According to the official website, the Color Run promotes community health through exercise; 60 percent of participants are first time runners.

“It’s great that these events can bring together the college community in a way that is really needed,” said Katie Egan, Simmons College sophomore, physical therapy major and avid runner who plans to participate this month. “It encourages more people to get out and exercise when they normally wouldn’t.”

The event caters to the individual “with no winners or official times, The Color Run caters to anyone- 2-year-olds to 80-year -olds, first time runners to professional athletes,” the website states.

The Blacklight Run, Dirty Girl Mud Run, and Great Urban Run have similar initiatives.

The Dirty Girl Mud Run is hosted exclusively for women. This five-kilometer run involves a complex mud obstacle course and attempts to bring women together in a challenging yet supportive environment.

The Colleges of the Fenway Great Race is a citywide scavenger hunt modeled after The Great Race Boston and the television show “The Amazing Race.”

This race focuses on collective teamwork and physical exertion. “The adrenaline that pumped through me during those six hours was such an exhilarating feeling. I hadn’t felt so alive in such a long time,” said Molly Rojsombath, Simmons College sophomore and biochemistry major who participated in the Colleges of the Fenway Great Race last year. “It has motivated me to eat better and physically push myself further so that when the next competition rolls around I’ll be better prepared.”

These events work with various charities to encourage charitable giving as part of participating in the run. The Color Run supports the Global Poverty Project.

A recent Huffington Post article, titled, “Running to End Extreme Poverty,” outlines how the Color Run has become a global movement to mobilize people to fight poverty on the international scale.

Because each of these runs operates for profit, the motivations for participating and the atmosphere of the events differ from athletic charity events, such as Susan G. Komen Race for the Cure breast cancer run.

The registration fee for participating in these events can be costly; the Dirty Girl Mud Run costs $75.

Meanwhile, the participants of the Color Run pile across the finish line in enthusiastic exhaustion.

Millions of people across the country have finished the enhanced experienced runs, like the Color Run, with newfound encouragement and a sweaty smile.

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