The color run craze comes to Moscow for Saturday's Colors of Hope 5K

Every spring Hindus around the world celebrate Holi, a festival where friends and strangers throw vibrant-colored powders at each other in wild abandon. In the end everyone looks like a walking rainbow.

That will be the effect Saturday at the first Colors of Hope 5K in Moscow. The untimed, family event is sponsored by the Light a Candle program at Gritman Medical Center, which aids people with cancer in Latah and Whitman counties.

Participants are encouraged to wear white and will be showered with colorful cornstarch-based powder at points along the trail. The idea for the 5K comes from a new wave of fun runs called color runs sweeping the country. A 5K called Color Me Rad advertises “a tsunami of color” at its races held nationwide.

For Colors of Hope run organizer Becky Chavez, cancer hit home when both her mother and mother-in-law were diagnosed with breast cancer within two weeks of each other, she says. She helped found the Light a Candle program at Gritman where she works as an administrative assistant. The program provides services like oncology massage, gas, grocery vouchers, housekeeping and other needs as requested.

“Anything a patient might need,” says Chavez. “There are bigger national groups to help with medical bills.”

She wanted a fundraiser for the program that was fun, different and unique, and so organizers decided to hold one of the region’s first color runs.

“The colors will represent the ribbon colors for cancer,” Chavez says. There will be five color stations along the route. At the turnaround the color will be purple because the purple ribbon represents all cancers and cancer survivors, says Chavez.

The color mostly washes off but some people preserve their colors by spraying their shirt with vinegar and ironing it before washing. Event though there will be a cleaning station at the race it’s recommended people cover their car seat with a towel when leaving.

Race registration is $25 and will be open from 7:45 to 8:45 a.m. Saturday at the old Tidyman’s parking lot, where the race starts at 9. White T-shirts with the run’s logo are an additional $5. Advance registration is $20 from 4 to 8 p.m. today and Friday at the Latah County Fair in the Hospice Food Booth. People can also print a registration form at www.gritman.org to bring to the race.

If it catches on organizers plan to make it an annual event, Chavez says. “It’s gonna be fun. I think the cause is great.”

What: Colors of Hope 5k When: 9 a.m. Saturday Where: The old Tidyman’s parking lot, 1638 S. Blaine St., Moscow Cost: $25, free for children age 5 and under

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