Jan 23, 2019
Katie Eleneke / The Collegian A runner crosses the pink color station during 'The Graffiti Run.'

Running for Color and Charity

Central Valley residents, children and students ran  ‘The Graffiti Run’ that benefits local high school

Katie Eleneke / The Collegian A runner crosses the pink color station during 'The Graffiti Run.'

Katie Eleneke / The Collegian
A runner crosses the pink color station during ‘The Graffiti Run.’

Newcomers and returning runners gathered in Woodward Park Sunday to participate in The Graffiti Run, a 5K run that drowns runners in various color powders and benefits local charities in the city the run takes place in.

Portions of the funds raised through the participation costs for Sunday’s run, were given to both the boys and girls Hoover High School volleyball teams.

The course had four color stations—blue, green, yellow, and purple.

Each wave of runners wore a variation of white clothing along with colorful tutus, headbands, hats and other festive accessories.

The runners ran in large groups between 15-minute intervals and after each run, they were greeted with healthy refreshments like water and Cliff bars.

Throughout the festivities, onlookers and participants listened to music played by The Graffiti Run’s DJ, took photos in the photo booth area and grabbed free color packs and tutus.

Although it was called a run, participants were able to finish the course at their own pace by walking, jogging or running. Soon after all participants completed the course, a large crowd gathered in front of The Graffiti Run stage to prepare for the finale.

Three color cannons shot out bright pinks, purples and green to drench the runners even more in color. The actual color substance used in the runs is dyed cornstarch and is easy to wash off participants’ clothing.

To help with the cleaning, volunteers with leaf blowers were on hand to blow off color dust from the runners if they wanted to get rid of the colors right away.

The Graffiti Run was established two-and-a-half years ago and has seen “tremendous growth in participation,” said Adam Lippert, race director of Graffiti Run.

Courtney Lock, a recent Fresno State graduate, has joined in on similar color runs before such as Color Me Rad and said it is a good way to get some exercise in while having fun.

“I like the atmosphere here, everyone is here to have fun,” Lock said. “I’m not much of a runner and it is definitely a good way for those who don’t exercise to get out there.”

Vendors were also present to sell goods and participate in the charity’s cause—such as CASA de TAMALES, a local Mexican restaurant that specializes in tamales made from scratch.

Christina Martinez from CASA de TAMALES said CASA’s participation in the event was a good outlet to get word out about the restaurant and give back to the community.

“It’s a great way to get out there in the community and gain a lot of new customers,” Martinez said. “We also thought it was good for CASA to be out and contribute to charity, with these events it’s nice to give back and get new followers at the same time.”

Incoming Fresno State student Angelina Guerra agreed it was an opportunity to not only have fun, but also be a part of a good cause.

“It was a fun experience,” Guerra said. “It was also awesome to give back to charity. That’s the best part about it. We get to have fun and then we get to give back.”

Guerra said after such a great experience for her first time she plans on doing more color runs in the future.

“I plan on doing more now,” Guerra said. “This is something I want to keep doing.”

To learn more about The Graffiti Run and details on the next available location, visit

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