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A run of a different color


When Zac Brown sang about having his toes in the water and ass in the sand, it’s a good bet that he wasn’t envisioning himself doing so on an Iowa beach.

Why not? Well, our beaches come with broken logs, busted fishing line attached to four-pronged hooks with “tetanus”

The Color Run will take place on July 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State Capitol Grounds. Photo courtesy of Courtney Rose

The Color Run will take place on July 9 from 9 a.m. to 1 p.m. at the State Capitol Grounds. Photo courtesy of Courtney Rose

written all over them, and dead carp carcasses. Just for starters.

So unless you’re willing to put in in thousands of miles of road time to get to palm trees, tropical island flowers and that certain “Je ne sais quoi” that comes with a “real” beach, you are out of luck — unless you’re at the State Capitol grounds on Saturday, July 9 at 9 a.m., that is.

Prep Iowa

Yes, read that again; it is 100 percent correct. Get ready folks, The Color Run — a.k.a., the Happiest 5K on the Planet — is back, and this time, they’re bringing some beach with, too.

The Color Run, which is a paint race to “celebrate healthiness, happiness and individuality,” according to organizers, is now the single largest event series in the world with 250 events in 35 countries to this point.

The run combines a 5K run and an island-style vacation in which participants are bathed in a tropical array of colors and island scents as they pass through the shade of palm trees, arches and island-style music. As if that’s not enough, after the proverbial finish line has been crossed, runners can relax at Rainbow Beach, an interactive island featuring music, dancing, photo opportunities and massive color throws — all in downtown Des Moines.

In other words, Des Moines, get ready for some tropical fun.

“We are excited to be back in Des Moines for the fifth year,” said Lance Duncan, The Color Run race director of Des Moines. “We have made a stop in Des Moines since The Color Run started, and we always have a great turnout. The participants in Des Moines always display The Color Run spirit of health and happiness, which is why we love coming back.”

The thousands of participants in previous years will attest to the good time that is had in being drowned in powdery fun representing every color under the sun — all in downtown Des Moines, a fact that isn’t lost upon Duncan.

“The Des Moines race offers a unique course,” he said. “We are in the heart of the city, as the race takes place on the State Capitol Grounds. Participants get to run over the Des Moines River, making it a unique venue for our Color runners.”

Duncan said each participant will receive a kit that will include a limited-edition Tropicolor race shirt, finishers medal, headband and a gold temporary tattoo that says “Happy.” To purchase a ticket, or for more information about the The Color Run Tropicolor World Tour, visit

Best of all, it’s for a good cause.

The run will benefit Variety — The Children’s Charity of Iowa that is dedicated to improving the lives of underprivileged, at-risk and special needs children throughout the state.

“We are also excited to partner with Variety-the Children’s Charity of Iowa, Huntsman Cancer Foundation and the Sigma Chi International Fraternity,” said Duncan. “We hope to see everyone out there.”

Zac Brown, eat your heart out. CV

The Color Run

July 9, 9 a.m. to 1 p.m.

State Capitol Grounds

1111 East Court Ave., Des Moines

See for more information



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