Obstacle Course/Color Run Walk Collaboration Brings Colorful Fun, Raises Funds

May 6, 2016

The first annual St Croix Regional Technical Center Obstacle Course/Color Run Walk, a collaboration between area schools and organizations, was a grand success with participants and volunteers leaving the event significantly more colorful than when they arrived. The event was held on Saturday, April 30th, on a day when Mother Nature contributed her own beauty through ample sunshine and luminous green grass.

“It was such a beautiful day. The color of the day itself combined so well with the colors being thrown everywhere,” coordinator Janice Rice said. “There were smiles everywhere.”

The event, which spanned between the campuses of Calais Middle High School, St. Croix Regional Technical Center, and Washington County Community College, attracted 72 participants, 30 spectators, and about 20 volunteers, raising a total of $1,415. The money will be used for three $400 scholarships for a student from the area schools to attend WCCC, leaving $215 for seed money for next year.

Participants were broken up into groups, who each began their run at the sound of a herald trumpet played by CMHS music teacher Chris Plaisted. Along the run, stations of color were arranged to enable participants to stop and fling color at each other. At the very end, all participants were invited to participate in a 40-second “color war”, having only a short amount of time to throw as much color as possible.

“There was a cloud of color drifting across the field,” volunteer Bob McShane said. The colored powder was all non-toxic and safely dissolvable. McShane participated as a thrower, and soon discovered that there was a bit of technique to be mastered for proper throwing. “If you threw it against the wind, you’d wind up covered in color yourself,” he explained.

“It was a great collaboration for the community,” Rice said. Volunteers from Calais JMG, Shead JMG, WCCC, CMHS student council, SCRTC, the fire department, and the community all assisted to ensure that the event went off with no issues. “It was very well coordinated and cleanup took about ten minutes,” McShane added.

The Color Walk Run was paid for by funds from a MELMAC grant, SCRTC and CMHS schools received earlier this year. The grant purchased all the colored powered and the volunteer aprons.

Next year’s event is already being planned. More colors will be added (“My granddaughter asked for pink, so we’ll have pink,” Rice said), along with more color stations, a barbecue will be held, and informal volleyball games will follow. The goal is to secure the inflatable National Guard obstacle course well in advance, and to create more obstacles for those that wish to participate. Additionally, a mister may be used so that the colors stick better to participants.

Trophies were awarded to the youngest participant, Chiron Ham at five months old, the oldest participant, Heidi Williams, and the largest team, which had fifteen members.

“We’d like to get more kids here next year,” McShane said. “They really seemed to enjoy it.”