5K event to serve as early kickoff for 2nd annual Austin ArtWorks festival

Color Dash 5K Walk/Fun Run  - Map

More than 200 people already have registered for Austin’s first “5 for 5” Color Dash 5K Walk/Fun Run later this month at the Historic Downtown Power Plant.

Calling itself “the world’s brightest 5K,” The Color Dash organization based in Owatonna will start the walk/fun run at 2 p.m. on Sunday, Aug. 18, at the Downtown Power Plant, 419 Fourth Ave. N.E., where the route also will end. The event serves as an early kickoff to the 2nd annual Austin ArtWorks Festival the following weekend at the power plant.

Participants of all ages will run or walk a 5-kilometer (3.1 miles) loop from the power plant to The Hormel Institute to Mill Pond and back to the power plant. The rain-or-shine event is not a timed race. Along the route, Color Dash volunteers at five “color zones” about every one kilometer will “color blast” participants as they go by.

Proceeds from the “5 for 5” event will benefit five local nonprofits: The Hormel Institute Cancer Research; Austin ArtWorks/Vision 2020; Mayo Clinic Health System; Austin Area Foundation; and Riverland Community College Athletics.

Individuals can sign up for $30 each and families can register for $70 per team (limited to six people who must live at the same address). Family team registrations will include two white shirts and three color pouches. Additional shirts are $15 each; extra color pouches are $3 each. Children age 5 and younger are free, not including a shirt or color pouch. No pets are allowed on the route.

Online registration and a route map are available at: www.thecolordash5k.com/austin-minnesota

Same-day registration will start at 12:30 PM on Aug. 18 at the Downtown Power Plant. Pre-registered participants also can begin checking in for their race-day packet at that time.

Coloring used in the event is natural and safe as it consists of food-grade corn starch and food-grade coloring, according to the Color Dash organization. Participants will want to keep coloring out of their eyes, and the event’s color throwers will work hard to ensure “color dashers” get as much or as little color on them as the dashers would like. Some color dashers choose to wear glasses or goggles for their eyes and use a bandana or dust mask for their mouth.

Color Dash officials encourage participants to wear as much white as possible, including the event T-shirt provided with registration, and remind everyone to remember that what you wear, including shoes, will be colored. A costume contest also will be part of Austin’s Color Dash.

After the 5K walk/fun run, organizers will coordinate a finale “color explosion” at the Downtown Power Plant for participants to use their color pouch. All are encouraged then to shake off the coloring dust before getting into a vehicle. One or two showers will be needed to remove coloring from skin. Those who want the color to stay on their clothing can spray vinegar on the item and iron it.

Another local 5K event also is being planned in Austin that weekend. The Haitian Hustle 5K Fun Run for Education will be the morning of Saturday, Aug. 17, at Faith Evangelical Church to help provide education in Haiti.