On a forty-degree partly sunny winter day with scudding clouds, the cold wind howled across the Pima County fairgrounds, knifing into the stalwart St. Philippians huddled awaiting the starter’s signal.
“Increasing Our Visibility” is one of the four areas of St. Philip’s strategic plan, and one of the bullet points under that goal is “participating in community events wearing St. Philip’s clothing.” Nineteen sturdy souls signed up to participate in the Color Run on St. Philip’s team, “St. Philip’s Synestheisa” (the color of sound): Taylor Picolli, Brad Dow, Vicki Hesse, Leah McCullough, Sue Agnew, Joe Yukish, Tom and Sue Cross, Gary, Theresa, and April Huckleberry, Scott, Vicki, Paige, and Audrey Carlson, Nancy Atherton, and Jeffrey, Elizabeth, and Amanda Higby.
The race was on Saturday, December 21, which had seemed like a good idea earlier in the year, although the frigid temperatures around Thanksgiving and the rain the day before caused some misgivings. We donned our team shirts, provided through the generosity of an anonymous donor, and met up at the fairgrounds, where Joe Yukish presented us with colorful crocheted lanyards to further cement our team identity.
After joining several thousand other Tucsonans to warm up to Zumba routines, we assembled at the starting line.
The race was billed as a “fun run/walk” — some teammates actually did run, while others walked the three-mile distance. At four points along the way, we passed through Color Zones, where were doused with paint (a colored cornstarch-based product).
The Color Run claims to have two rules: wear white at the start, and finish plastered in color. St. Philip’s Synesthesia certainly followed the rules!
Our shirts garnered lots of attention and comments, both in person at the race and later on Facebook.
An unexpected additional benefit was that, because not all of our team knew each other at the beginning of the race, we had the fun of making new friends as well as cementing existing friendships, thus strengthening our sense of community within the parish.
Special thanks to the generous anonymous donor who provided our custom team shirts, and thanks to the teens who chose our team name. Also thanks to Elizabeth Higby for organizing the team. She commented: “I am hoping we will make the color run a regular event for St. Philip’s. It was a blast!”
The date for the 2014 Color Run in Tucson has not yet been announced. Watch the bulletin for news!