Color Me Rad Comes to Fukuoka

After five successful ventures in Tokyo, Osaka, Aichi, Okinawa and Chiba, the color run makes its first stop in Fukuoka.

On Nov 22, under a clear blue sky, 8,500 runners gathered for Fukuoka’s Color Me Rad event in Uminonakamichi Seaside Park. Color Me Rad’s idea is simple: a 3km run, powdered paint, music and crowds of jubilant people. The result: a Jackson Pollock piece on steroids, a heaving mass of color and smiles. No intensive training is required so Fukuoka Now sent some of its reporters into the fray to report on the event.

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Over the last few years, Color Me Rad has established its reputation as one of the loudest and most colorful races in the world, and its first venture to Fukuoka didn’t disappoint. Participants of all ages came dressed up in their new Color Me Rad t-shirts which were, for the moment, crisp and white. But beneath the t-shirts were a range of wacky costumes that fitted Color Me Rad’s festival vibe: a giant pink gorilla, twenty Jackson 5 look a likes, two mime artists and a wide range of fluorescent tights, leggings and wigs.

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Following registration, runners assembled beneath the starting arch and were launched onto the course every ten minutes. The track itself was both flat and pretty and followed the park’s paths through field and forest, with great views overlooking both the sea to the north and Fukuoka to the south.

So where does the paint come in? Every kilometer, a station was set up with little choice but to run through a cloud of blue, orange, green, pink and yellow paint. That nice white t-shirt suddenly became a ready made canvas and each runner was turned into a piece of art on legs, a streak of running color.

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Powdered paint on the floor gave a great opportunity for paint fights and, by the end of the run, everyone was covered head to toe in a thin layer of paint (it comes out in the wash) and grinning teeth were the only white left to be seen. Meanwhile, next to the finishing line, Color Me Rad’s DJs, set up on a vast festival stage, blasted out music to entertain finished runners.

To keep the dancing suitably colorful, each runner was given a bag of paint and every time the music crescendoed an explosion of color rose from the crowd. From afar, a turbulent cloud of paint could be seen swirling above the mass of dancing bodies, mixing with smell of the food stalls that provided the hungry runners with delicious snacks throughout the day.

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As runners relaxed in the warm November sun, Fukuoka Now took the opportunity to talk to participants and asked them to sum up their thoughts on the day in one word. From ‘Panda’ to ‘Happy Time’, their messages show just what a fantastic day out Color Me Rad is:

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Official website: http://colormerad.info/

Text: Oscar Boyd
Photos: Oscar Boyd & Tsubasa Mori

Oscar is a student from London, UK. He is a keen hiker and aims to summit every mountain in Fukuoka visible from his bedroom window. If you have any suggestions contact him on Twitter @omhboyd

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