SRU runners to show true colors at April 30 5K event


students participating in the color run race

April 3, 2017

SLIPPERY ROCK, Pa. - Slippery Rock University's 4th Annual Color Run isn't your everyday 5K. Its course not only serves as a place for running, but will also act as a dance floor and living canvas where the runners themselves will be transformed into art.

Hosted by the University Program Board at SRU, a maximum of 500 runners will be doused from head to toe - and everything in between - in finely colored powder at the 9 a.m., April 30 event held in the Aebersold Recreation Center parking lot.

color run 5k poster

This year's theme, "Throughout the Decades," will also allow for and encourage enthusiastic participants to dress in throwback attire from the '60s to today. In addition, runners will be able to enjoy their favorite recording artists and songs from each of those decades at the five color stations placed along the track.

"We chose the theme to bring a lot of fun and diversity to the run," said Samantha Anderson, a senior business marketing major from Ohioville and UPB director of community service. "We associated colors with each of the decades so that when a runner enters a new section of the route, they will have something new and exciting to enjoy."

Event registration is from 5-8 p.m., April 27-28 and from 2:30-5:30 p.m., April 29 in the Smith Student Center Commuter Lounge.

Participants, ages 10 and up, will receive a complimentary t-shirt, sling bag, sunglasses and pouch of colored powder. Organizers note that despite the event being a 5K, running in not the only participatory option as walking, jogging or even dancing to the finish line is encouraged.

Proceeds from this year's run will be added a UPB scholarship that will be awarded in honor of Thom Cobb, a former associate professor of dance at SRU, who died last year.

"Cobb was a dedicated philanthropist, always finding ways to give back to this University," said Anderson. "After he passed away last year, we thought this would be a special way to respect, honor and remember him."

To apply for the scholarship, students submitted essays examining what values best befits a leader and providing personal examples when applicable. Essays were then presented anonymously to a panel of judges who determined the winners based on content, eloquence and format.

Scholarship awardees will be announced during the event's opening ceremonies and accompanied by an honorary performance by the SRU dance team. Four awards in the amount of $400 each were presented last year.

"We hope it provides a fun moment to help kickoff the event and to pump the crowd up for the run," said Anderson.

Another pre-race festivity will include an India Culture Club presentation on Holi, a Hindu spring festival celebrated in India and Nepal. The celebration, also known as the "festival of colours" or the "festival of love," signifies the victory of good over evil; the arrival of spring; and for many, a festive day to meet others, play, laugh and repair broken relationships.

"We're The Color Run," the world's first Color 5K event, was founded in 2011 with a mission to bring people together and make the world a happier, healthier place. By creating an experience that's more about the memories participants make than their minutes per mile, organizers wanted to make running feel accessible to a broader demographic.

Color Runs have been experienced by more than 6 million runners in more than 35 countries.

"We believe that this race will be a special way to reach out and educate, not only our campus, but also our surrounding communities," said Anderson. "It's just a great way to end an awesome semester."

Tickets for the event, priced at $20 per person, can be purchased at the Smith Student Center Information Desk or online at

MEDIA CONTACT: Maizee Zaccone | 724.738.2091 |