Local Runners Brighten Up Day with Second Annual Color Run

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A young runner gets covered in color as she reaches the finish line at the 5k Color Run Extravaganza at Imperial High School on Saturday.
A young runner is splashed with color as she reaches the finish line at the second annual 5k Color Run Extravaganza at Imperial High School on Saturday.

IMPERIAL – With flying colors, the Imperial High School Link Crew succeeded in bringing the community together Saturday for their 2nd annual 5k Color Run Extravaganza.

“We wanted to help out the community,” explained Yvonne Keatza, main coordinator of the Imperial High School Link Crew. “We chose the Humane Society of the Imperial County. We’re benefiting them with the proceeds we make from the run. We also want to bring the community together and link them through color.”

Starting at 8 a.m, runners were splashed with a starting dose of color to cover their white shirts before beginning the race. Dogs were also welcome to come run with their owners.

“The Humane Society’s goal today was to spread awareness,” said Devon Apodaca, executive director of the Humane Society of Imperial County. “We wanted to get our name out there and let our community know that we have animals that need our community’s help.”

An area at the event was set up that displayed several dogs ready for adoption. There was also information about what the shelter needed and would like to have donated.

“This year seems a bit larger,” said Keatza. “We’ve had a better turnout this time than we did last year. We’re really excited about it.”

As runners finished their 5k run and crossed the balloon-decorated finish line, they were sprayed with chalk color until it filled the air.

“There was a lot of people today,” said Apodaca. “I was expecting a few people, because we did some advertising and it had really good response, but there’s actually even more people than I was expecting. It turned out to be a really great event.”

There was kettle corn and water available for runners once they were finished. The Imperial Fire Department also made an appearance to hose down runners who wanted to get rid of too much color on them.

The first three men and women runners to finish were awarded a medal and honored on stage for their accomplishment.

The community’s well-known man, myth, and legend, Richard Lyles, was also present at the event, placing third overall.

“This is the first run I’ve been to,” explained Lyles. “It was tiring. It was fun though. I got to run with my team: two soccer players and a basketball player. My favorite part is when they gave us water at the end.”

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