“Nobody who hasn’t experienced it can imagine what all the colours do. It’s a magical feeling,” Nicholas Nicoli, one of the organisers of this year’s Run in Colour event says. But what is this event? Run in Colour is a fun 5km run followed by a colourful music festival which takes place for the second time in Cyprus on October 8.
Why colour? The original idea goes back to the Indian Holi festival, a festival of love where people throw coloured powder at each other. Nowadays there are many variations of events centring on colour organised around the world. This one includes running along the Limassol seaside. And it’s big.
Last year just under 6,000 people took part, and that is only because the organisers ran out of colour. This year, they have ordered more colour and estimate they will have around 7,000 to 8,000 participants.
The highest ticket price is €25, but this is only for those who register individually, something that according to Nicoli very rarely happens. The price is less for groups, €18 each for four people, and this includes a T-shirt, glasses, a bag and of course colours.
Payment also ensures you are giving back to society through a charity donation.
All proceeds will be donated to The Elpida Foundation which provides support to children with cancer.
People of all ages and fitness levels are welcome, as the event is not about who is the fastest but about having fun while promoting health. Actually, as the organisers say you can run, walk, crawl, cartwheel, whatever you want!
“It is a social event and also involves sports. People come and they say I am going for a marathon. So it gets people off the couch and to interact; it’s a social innovation really. People have the experience that sports is fun and good for you. And most of them actually finish running the five kilometres,” Nicoli says.
Companies are interested as Run in Colour is a fun way to provide for social interaction outside the office, something human resource departments are keen on. This year, so far, over 70 companies have registered. Accounting firm Ernst and Young for example are sending 70 employees.
Individual participants also get their kits before the event; they can collect them at two open days this week in the malls in Nicosia and Limassol.
The T-shirt is actually the entrance ticket. Anybody wearing one can pick up the colours at the registration on the day, as the organisers don’t want them to be used beforehand by overenthusiastic participants or their offspring.
At 4pm, the run, or walk, or… starts at the Enaerios parking space and continues along the Molos seafront park.
While people start out in a white T-shirt they will end up doused in coloured cornstarch – non-toxic and environmentally safe – which is thrown at them from ‘colour stations’ by volunteers who will do their best to cover everyone from head to toe.
Four of the five stations are branded by the main sponsors. So this year yellow is MTN, blue is MTN, red is the University of Nicosia, green is the Bank of Cyprus, and there is a multicolour rainbow station as well.
The finishing line just separates one type of fun from another. At the end of the run, the music festival starts with the ‘colour countdown’ when everybody throws their coloured powder at each other and in the air at the same time. Not only that, fire extinguishers containing colour are emptied, and the air becomes so colourful that people can’t see anything else, a magical experience as Nicoli put it.
A music festival with DJ JimmyD and food and drinks lasts until about 8pm, when it is time to go home and – wash off all that colour maybe?!
Run in Colour
Taking place in Limassol on October 8, with registration at 3pm in the Enaerios Parking Lot. Runners can register as teams, individuals, or corporations. Tickets are priced at between €5 and €25 (under-fives go free) and are available from the Ayios Nicolaos kiosk in Limassol, the Time Out kiosk in Paphos, the Jiovanis kiosk in Larnaca and the Octagono kiosk in Nicosia. For more information visit www.runincolour.com or the Facebook page ‘Run in Colour’.