Proceeds to benefit The Hormel Institute’s cancer research, Austin ArtWorks Festival

2nd annual Austin Color Dash 5K Fun Run

Runners and walkers covered in a rainbow of colors will return to the streets and trails of Austin later this summer in an effort to support The Hormel Institute’s cancer research and the annual Austin ArtWorks Festival.

Local organizers recently confirmed plans for the 2nd annual Austin Color Dash 5K Fun Run/Walk at 9 a.m. on Saturday, Aug. 16, starting and ending once again at the Downtown Austin Power Plant along Fourth Avenue Northeast. The all-ages event – which is a “fun run” in that it is not a timed race – will happen rain or shine.

Proceeds from this year’s event will support The Hormel Institute’s world-renowned cancer research and the 3rd annual Austin ArtWorks Festival, which takes place the following weekend (Aug. 23-24) at the Downtown Power Plant. The colorful 5K was brought to Austin last year as an early kickoff for the arts festival. It is put on by The Color Dash, an Owatonna-based group that calls its event “the world’s brightest 5K” and offers it nationwide.

“People can put a little color in their life by being part of this great event for good causes,” said Bonnie Rietz, co-chair of the Austin ArtWorks Festival. “Everyone has fun with an artistic flare and that showed very much through last year’s Color Dash.”

Last year, the inaugural Austin Color Dash 5K raised more than $5,000 and drew nearly 750 participants who became “dashers” through the route that features several stations that dash participants with colored powder along the 3.1-mile route.

This year’s route will be mostly similar, with the exception of a few new sections added due to the flood wall work near the Downtown Mill Pond. Also, once past Packer Arena the route will flow clockwise – opposite from last year –to The Hormel Institute and back.

Coloring used during the run/walk is made from food-grade cornstarch and food-grade coloring that are 100 percent natural and safe, according to The Color Dash. Participants are encouraged after the event to shake off the coloring dust before getting in a vehicle; it also might take one or two showers to return to normal skin tone. Some participants opt to wear glasses or goggles and use a bandana or dust mask for their mouths.

Pre-registration is available online on The Color Dash 5K website: Paid registration provides each participant with a Color Dash pack that includes a white T-shirt, dash bib, Color Dash tattoo and a color pack for the event’s “Color Explosion” finale.

Cost (not including processing fees) is $40 per individual or $35 per team member (teams must be at least four people and limited to 16 people); ages 5 and younger are free. Families (whose members must all live in the same household) can participate for $85 for three members, with each additional family member up to six being $15 per individual.

Same-day registration will be available starting at 7 a.m. at the Downtown Power Plant but will cost more than pre-registration. Race packet pickup also will begin at 7 a.m. the day of the event, with the run/walk starting at 9 a.m.

Strollers for children are allowed on the 5K run/walk route; pets, however, are prohibited. Shirts and color also will be available for purchase the day of the event.


The Hormel Institute

Started in 1942 by Jay C. Hormel, The Hormel Institute is comprised of a group of highly successful medical scientists focused on determining the basic molecular mechanisms of cancer development to develop new anti-cancer agents. This summer, The Hormel Institute is undergoing a major expansion to about double its size, adding 20 state-of-the-art laboratories and better space for its International Center of Research Technology. Up to 125 new faculty and staff jobs will be added in the coming years, growing The Hormel Institute to about 250 employees overall.


Austin ArtWorks Festival

Started in 2012, the Austin ArtWorks Festival is a major investment in the culture of Austin, Minn. A collaboration of community leaders are working on transforming the Historic Downtown Power Plant into a unique destination. This two-day event serves as an opportunity for the public to envision a revitalized use of this building. A true celebration of the arts, the Austin ArtWorks Festival features visual, performing, media, and literary artists with ties to the Austin community.