LAKE PLACID - The Lake Placid Center for the Arts Board of Directors decided to host their own Color Run - in true Adirondack DIY style - and it turned into a successful fundraiser and public relations event.
The Run the Colors for the Arts 5k, a noncompetitive fun run/walk with a 3.1-mile long course and a 1-mile short course, was held Saturday, Aug. 16 at the North Elba Show Grounds. By Friday evening, 175 people had preregistered for the first-time event. By Saturday morning, however, race officials were mobbed with more runners, and LPCA Executive Director James Lemons was "amazed" with the turnout.
"We had a huge influx at the door," Lemons said. "We're counting this in the win column."
Volunteers spray colored powder on a young participant of the Run the Colors for the Arts 5k fun run Saturday, Aug. 16 at the North Elba Horse Show Grounds. This was a fundraiser for the Lake Placid Center for the Arts.
(News photo — Andy Flynn)
In all, there were about 360 participants, and the LPCA raised $3,600. While the money will help provide programming, Lemons said the biggest reason board members wanted to hold a Run the Colors 5k was to engage the Olympic Region's athletic community and create an event that marries sports with the arts.
"We're considering this less a fundraiser and more of a community engagement event," Lemons said. "It's about creating a color palette in an athletic way."
Fun runs featuring the spraying of powdered color on participants are trendy right now. The Lake Placid event should not be confused with the trademarked Color Run - dubbed the Happiest 5k on the Planet - which is a franchise holding events throughout the world. Founded in March 2011, Color Run organizers boast that they currently operate the largest event series in the United States, as they hosted more than 170 events in more than 30 countries in 2013. The closest Color Run to this region is Burlington, which will be held on Sept. 13. Color Runs are designed to promote healthiness, happiness, individuality and giving back. And that's exactly what the LPCA event did for its participants.
Marc Galvin, of Lake Placid, volunteered to be the lead runner on Saturday, upon the request of his wife, Sarah, who is on the LPCA board. His job was to lead the pack along the course on the show grounds and local roadways.
"Sarah said, 'Don't let anybody pass you, and don't let anyone get lost.' So I think I can do that," Marc said before the race.
Marc, who spends a lot of his time on his feet helping run the family business, the Bookstore Plus on Main Street, is active in local running races and lives an active lifestyle. He said he was happy to help the LPCA with his running talent.
"I'm happy to help with anything that promotes a healthy lifestyle and a lot of fun," Marc said. "I think it's a creative way to raise money for the arts center."
Sunita Halasz, of Saranac Lake, walked the short course with a group of family members, including her children. She participated because she wanted to support the LPCA and because it was an unusual event for the Adirondacks. It also reminded Halasz of her family heritage.
"My family originates from India, where they have the (Hindu) festival of Holi, where they throw colors," Halasz said. "I always thought that would be the coolest thing to go to, but of course it costs a lot of money to go to India. So this was much easier."
What did Halasz like the most?
"The messiness," she said.
Lemons confirmed that there will be a second annual Run the Colors for the Arts in 2015, but a date has not yet been chosen.