It may appear as if in the last few years even the most dedicated couch potato in your social circle has dusted off his sneakers and participated in a 5k walk or run. It could be the ever-increasing push toward health and wellness, but there’s a little more to the story.
What used to be an activity reserved for do-gooders trying to raise funds for a cause or weekend athletes looking to add competition to their running routines has become a bona fide social outing. And this is especially true in South Florida at this time of year, when the weather beckons us outdoors and the recent holiday food fest has us seeking more active pursuits.
What’s more, organizers have raised the stakes, moving way beyond the standard neon goodie bag, drawing crowds with increasingly sophisticated productions. A 5k now often feels like a festival, complete with vendors and musical acts.
Flights of Fancy
Take The Color Run®, for instance. Billed as “the largest 5k event series in the world,” the paint race is held in at least 27 countries worldwide and aims to be the “happiest 5k on the planet,” according to organizers. This year’s theme — The Color Run Dream World Tour — is meant to create a whimsical atmosphere throughout a route that includes the expected color throws, as well as a foam zone, which is meant to simulate clouds with colored foam, and a dream wall, where runners are invited to spray paint their aspirations for all to see. Music plays continuously throughout the course, energizing participants as they run toward giant unicorns and splashes of color.
“We are excited to bring The Color Run Dream World Tour to color runners around the globe and give them the chance to step into a dream with us,” says Travis Snyder, founder of The Color Run. “We want The Color Run to bring happiness and health to people’s lives.”
Those who cross the finish line are treated to the Finish Festival, where they can take selfies with the “Runicorn,” dance and continue playing with color throws. This is definitely not your standard walk through a park. If this sounds like fun, The Color Run Dream World Tour will be blasting rainbows all over Huizenga Park in Fort Lauderdale on April 29.
AIDS Walk Miami
While The Color Run does indeed benefit a number of charities, few organized events are as successful with their work as Care Resource — the non-profit, HIV/AIDS service organization dedicated to providing education, prevention and early intervention services to the community. One of the organization’s biggest fundraisers, AIDS Walk Miami, is an integral part of its effort to cultivate a culture of awareness and prevention in addition to providing services for more than 15,000 Miami-Dade and Broward county residents. The 5k walk-a-thon, which has been around since 1989, is one of oldest and largest AIDS walks in the country.
This year’s walk begins and ends at Soundscape Park in Miami Beach on April 23rd, with the route snaking through some of the most picturesque streets in South Beach. Participants are encouraged to raise as much as they can by asking family and friends to donate, starting a team, joining a team or simply registering as an individual or sleep walker.
After the morning walk, participants can look forward to a feel-good celebration featuring live music, complimentary massages, drinks, giveaways and more