Have you experienced the Happiest 5k on the Planet?
The vastly popular Color Run has expanded dramatically since its kick off event back in 2011 as the world’s first paint race. Now tickled pink to be the single largest event series in the world, The Color Run™ is spreading happiness to more than 50 countries through 300 plus runs and growing.
This high-energy, party-like run is a tremendous success story and testament to what a solid commitment to vision and culture at the organizational level can achieve. The initial concept was to create a 5k to promote good health by making the experience a happy one and encourage those who aren’t already serious runners to give a social approach a try. It was a winning formula and now every decision and action flows from the intention of cultivating an experience characterized by happiness.
“When we met with The Color Run leadership, we found them to be young and bright and bubbly with exactly the same upbeat, positive and fun-centered attitudes you experience as a participant at one of their runs,” said Ian Fitzpatrick, COO of fusesport® and former head of the Australian Masters Games.
“They do everything right - from listening and responding quickly and positively to every concern they receive from participants, to conducting post-run surveys that help them gather feedback they use to make improvements. They are always looking for creative ways to keep participants engaged, surprised and delighted by the overall experience,” Fitzpatrick said.
For example one of the most tedious elements of large public sporting events, waiting in line, is livened up by energetic encounters with Color Run volunteers showering participants with random free giveaways to take their minds off the wait.
The Finish Festival is something all runners (and walkers) look forward to, with live music and the chance to douse new finishers as they cross the line with more color. Before-and-after photos at first in white, then after being hit with multi-colored (non-toxic) powders every kilometer along the way, make for happy souvenirs and social media postings that further promote the run.
The messaging on the website is written in a way that telescopes inclusiveness and good times to come. For example, the top question on the FAQ page reads:
Q : Do I need to be some sweet ole’ runner to do this?
A: Oh my goodness, NO. There are plenty of other great 5ks out there to test speed and performance. The Color Run event is all about a color crazy day with friends and family. You can run, walk, crawl, or cartwheel if you wish!
You get the idea.
The Color Run has broken all the old rules in ways that resonate with participants and volunteers, embracing happiness from the registration process to the check-in party to all five kilometers leading to the Finish Festival. No wonder we’re seeing others jump on the bandwagon with paint runs and races, attempting to capitalize on the craze and reach a previously untapped market of run participants.