“Three, two, one, throw!” A giant cloud of color exploded above the dancing crowd. Pink, green, yellow and blue powder rose in plumes and settled – covering everyone’s hair, faces and clothing. One dancer filled her hand with neon green powder and blew it in the face of her friend. Every face in the crowd was splattered with color and plastered with a smile.
An hour earlier the bass was already pumping as Castleton students stepped out of their cars at the Basin Harbor Club in Vergennes on Saturday, Sept. 14 for The Color Vibe 5K run. A DJ blasted music, volunteers directed hundreds of cars, and people of all ages were putting on tutus, neon knee socks, fairy wings, and, of course, their Color Vibe T-shirts.
The scene was surprisingly energetic for eight in the morning on a Saturday. So what could have possibly persuaded these Castleton college students to turn in early on a Friday night and get up before 10 the next morning to run 3.1 miles?
“PAINT!” said Castleton student Cody Mazza, as he pins his bib number to the front of his shirt.
The Color Vibe 5K tours the entire country. Participants dress in all white and are blasted with color before, during and after the 3.1-mile run. The proceeds from the race go toward good causes as well.
“We partner up with local charities and non-profits in each of the cities [where] we hold our events,” The Color Vibe Team stated on their website.
“I love the fact that they keep it local,” Castleton junior, Daley Crowley said. “Everyone that comes out and runs is supporting a cause that will actually help out their own area, and we get to have a great time and get exercise while doing it.”
During the race, there were four stations where volunteers would toss color at the racers, re-energizing everyone and giving them motivation to keep running.
Two more Castleton students, Jordan Hill and Devyn Potter, were still going strong at about the two-and-a-half-mile mark.
“I may not be running fast, but I’m going to run the whole thing!” Hill said with a smile on her face.
Potter hopes that there will be an event like this at CSC.
“It would be great publicity for the school, and it would get people exercising,” she said.
When runners reached the finish line, they were greeted by a full-blown dance party. That was when they really got covered. Volunteers were blowing clouds of color into the crowd from machines that looked like leaf blowers. Color packets were being thrown from the stage and everyone counted down from three and tossed their color in the air all at once.
Kammie Crawford and her friends Megan Labeau, Ashly Cancel, and Meghan Poissant, were showing their Spartan pride at the finish line dance party with homemade T-shirts with their names on the back and “Sparty On” written on the front. Castleton students seemed to be having the time of their lives.
And as it turns out, the Castleton Cross Country team will be holding its very own color run on Oct. 20, just as Potter had hoped. According to the Cross Country page on the Castleton Athletics website, it will be held right here on campus, and the event will benefit the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation.
You can register for $25 at castletontickets.com, and hopefully this event will be just as memorable as Color Vibe. Some students are already getting psyched to return next fall.
“They better come back to Vermont again next year! It was the first time I didn’t mind getting up at 6:30 on a Saturday morning,” Crowley said. “It was so worth it.”