There are two rules at The Color Run 5K races?wear a white shirt at the starting line, and finish plastered in color. Participants of all fitness levels weave through a leisurely course as volunteers lob colored powder at them, crossing the finish line doused in a rainbow of hues. Following the dash, color runners gather at the Finish Festival to celebrate their achievement with music, dancing, and even more massive color throws.
In 2008, at the age of 20, former athlete Jeremy Glass lost his battle against heroin addiction. To raise awareness and help others overcome their addictions, Jeremy's parents started an annual event: Jeremy's Run. By their estimation, the annual USATF-sanctioned walk and run has raised more than $110,000 and counting for drug-prevention programs. Participants choose from three runs?1 mile, 5K, or 10K?that take them on a leisurely path through verdant residential areas. Each runner also receives a virtual goodie bag that, in addition to helping reduce paper waste, allows them to pick and choose which items they'd like in advance. Race proceeds go to support three programs: The Partnership at Drugfree.org, the Jeremy Glass Memorial Scholarship Fund at the Kolmac Foundation, and "Jeremy's Hour?Knowledge Can Save a Life," an addiction outreach program through MedStar Montgomery.
The Appalachian Trail stretches from Georgia to Maine, running 2,180 miles over mountains, rocky slopes, and deep valleys. Since it was established in 1925, the Appalachian Trail Conservancy (ATC) has cared for the trail, maintaining 250,000 acres of public land. The organization educates hikers on Leave No Trace camping and why it's not a good idea to challenge a bear to a hugging contest.
Volunteers and trail crews build and repair shelters along the footpath and engage youth and community members in outdoor activities. In addition to these human-oriented services, the ATC works to protect endangered species living along the trail and to preserve the land's watershed streams and migratory corridor.
As night falls, participants in the noncompetitive Rave Run pull on neon T-shirts, don glow-in-the dark glasses, and stuff their pockets with glow sticks. Spectators look on as the throng of illuminated runners, which includes kids and adults, make their way through a 5-kilometer course that winds through city streets.
The event culminates with an after party, where a DJ spin tunes and powerful lasers cast out beams that illuminate wide smiles and the secret locations of any lost arks in the vicinity. Fog machines and CO2 jets help create a high-adrenaline atmosphere as attendees dance with their glow-in-the-dark compatriots. All the fun is for a good cause; The Rave Run partners with a local charity in each participating city.
The Glo Run?s 5K fun run event always takes place at night, but it doesn?t seem like it. The course is lined with black lights and lasers, and runners sport glow-in-the-dark gear from t-shirts to sunglasses. On-course DJs add to the festivities, blasting tunes as the untimed participants run, walk, or dance to the finish line. Even more DJs await them there at the glow-in-the-dark after party, which lights up the night better than a raccoon that's swallowed a flashlight.