Downtown Augusta will become more vibrant this weekend.
As part of the Westobou Festival, The Color Run will begin at 9 a.m. Saturday. During the 5K race, entrants will get doused with different colors at each kilometer, turning the city into a mixture of blue, orange, pink and yellow.
“It washes away,” said Augusta Sports Council CEO Brinsley Thigpen, stating the colors will be gone by the afternoon. “The Color Run staff will clean it up.”
Six days after holding the fifth annual intermedix Ironman 70.3 Augusta, the sports council is putting on what’s believed to be the largest 5K ever in the city. With registration open through the end of the week, Thigpen said she expects the event will draw 5,000 people for the unique race.
Thigpen thought about bringing The Color Run to Augusta after some of her friends participated in it in Atlanta. Afterward, Thigpen spoke with Westobou executive director Molly McDowell about bringing it to town as part of the annual arts festival.
Last summer, Thigpen negotiated to bring the event, which at the time took place in larger cities, to Augusta.
“I told her I thought we should introduce sports to the arts community,” Thigpen said. “I thought it may be able to fit into one of their themes.”
The Color Run, whose slogan is “the happiest 5K on the planet,” is an untimed event which will start at the Parade Grounds at the Old Academy of Richmond County at 540 Telfair Street. Racers will head down Telfair, Greene and Broad streets before turning down 5th Street and ending on Walker Street. There will be a post-race party, with runners throwing bags of color at later finishers.
On Friday, runners will receive a white T-shirt, white headband, tattoos and other items in their registration packets at the Augusta Convention Center. Thigpen said registration will run from 10 a.m.-6 p.m..
“The Color Run is bringing people out who normally wouldn’t participate in a 5K,” she said.