Colour Run Paris: A colourful success

Marine Raynard and friend coated in purple powder

After having conquered more than 40 countries in the world, France didn’t resist the Colour Run successful wave. On Sunday April 13, Paris welcomed for the first time, the Colour Run event much to the delight of 13,000 runners.

Nicknamed “the happiest 5K”, the goal wasn’t about being the fastest of the first but to remember the motto: colours, fun and pleasure with friends. Sponsored by Lipton Ice tea and inspired by the Holi Color festivals in India, the concept was first introduced in Phoenix, USA in January 2012. Since then, 53 American cities followed with more than 600,000 participants.

In 2013, the number of runners rose to one million, becoming a huge hit worldwide. The initiative was such a success that when tickets were available in France in March, they sold out in few days.

The Colour Run Team indicated the original plan was to sell only 6000 tickets but “when [they] saw the demand, [they] decided to re-organize it and push to 12,000”.

At the event, happy runners could enjoy 5 kilometres of run next to the Seine, from Hôtel de Ville (Paris City Hall) to the Trocadéro, with stands at each kilometre launching yellow, blue, green and pink powder upon the participants. This powder, made of corn starch, was 100 per cent natural and harmless.

More than an explosion of colours and running for happiness, the Colour Run’s humanitarian goal was to raise funds for associations Les Chevaliers du Ciel and Rêves de Gosses, which are realising the dreams of handicapped children.

The kilometre-4 stand full of pink powder and happy runners

Elie, 21, photographed the all-day event for the Colour Run Team. “Honestly, this is an amazing event. What is nice is that it united humanitarian causes and fun. For this reason I’m so happy to cover this event.”

The general mood was joyful and exciting: people were dressed in white until they rolled themselves with exaltation in the pigments left on the ground. The average age of participants was about 27 and runners were mostly women.

Emilie Brec, a 20 year-old-student, participated for the first time. “I really waited for this run to happen in France. I’m so proud to participate, it was so much fun to all cross the finish line covered in colours!”

The run ended in a blaze of colour and sound at the finish line right next to the Eiffel tower where the “Finisher Festival” played non-stop music by NRJ French radio. Happy runners went wild dancing and launching new bags of colours – like purple and orange – every ten minutes until the middle of the afternoon. What a hoot.

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