Stand at the start line of The Color Run (aka the "Happiest 5K On The Planet") with runners lined up in pristine white T-shirts and you might wonder where the name comes from. Trust us, those shirts won't stay sparkly white for long. When the race is finished, those shirts could probably be framed as modern art.
Starting at Parkcenter Park, the clean and tidy racers head down Parkcenter Boulevard to Baggley Park and back again. At every kilometer along the route, runners encounter color stations, where enthusiastic volunteers pummel participants with dyed cornstarch powder--all perfectly safe and easily washable. By the time the racers cross the finish line, they will be less Usain Bolt and more Jackson Pollock.
The Color Run is purely for fun--no winners' podiums here--with runners encouraged to go at their own leisurely pace, some even doubling back to get an extra coat of purple to round off their ensemble. If you're happy with your "art" the way it is, stick to the middle lane to avoid any further highlights.
Registration costs $50 for individuals or $45 per person for a team of four or more. A portion of proceeds--as well as donations--benefit the Girl Scouts of Silver Sage. Check-in and packet pickup is from 11 a.m.-7 p.m. on Thursday, Aug. 22, and Friday, Aug. 23, at the Sports Authority on North Milwaukee Road near Boise Towne Square. The race goes off on Saturday, Aug. 24, in two waves, at 9 a.m. and 9:40 a.m. Runners might want to consider covering their car seats in plastic before driving home.