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.
Three hours later, once the fog of powdered paint had cleared, their besmudged faces wore ear-to-ear grins. Billed as “the happiest 5K on the planet,” the Color Run had lived up to its reputation.
“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!
Really a great activity with very special people! Thanks for representing St. Philip’s to the community as a fun loving group of people with pzazz! Geri
Great! Love it! Congrats on the broad participation and everyone’s “get up and go”! I envy your abil;ity to still do such! Joyce Schumann
I still have red colored cornstarch coming out of my ear…and I do wash them!!!! But, each time I unearth more of the color I remember the happy day with fellow parishioners. Hopefully, many more will join the group at future Color Run Events.