By Nathan Pfau, Army Flier Staff WriterAugust 31, 2017
FORT RUCKER, Ala. -- As hundreds of runners took to the starting line, winning wasn't on their minds -- having a messy good time during one of Fort Rucker's most popular runs was the goal.
More than 400 runners took part in the 2017 Fort Rucker Color Run at the festival fields Aug. 26 where people started in all white and ended covered in colors from across the spectrum.
"The color run is an exciting event that gives people an opportunity to enjoy the outdoors and get their daily dose of Vitamin D," said Micah McElderry, fitness specialist.
The event was more than just a run, with bounce houses and food vendors for people to enjoy before and after they took to the 2-mile course, which started out on Division Street, next to the festival fields, then circled the air assault track, ending on Crusader Street.
From the start to each corner of the track, runners were met by volunteers who were tasked with making sure every inch of every runner was covered in color by the time they reached the end of the course.
And for sister runners Jessica and Danielle Jamison, civilians, the day couldn't have gone any better if they planned it themselves.
"It's nice to be able be part of a run that isn't about times or competition," said Jessica. "Danielle and I are pretty serious runners, and even though we enjoy every race we're a part of, we don't always get to enjoy it like this. We're not focused on trying to beat each other's times or getting a personal best -- we were more focused on trying not to get doused in colors."
The Jamison's have been avid runners for a combined 18 years, but trying different things and new challenges is what keeps them interested in the running game.
"Being pelted with colors definitely brings a different aspect to the run -- it's hard to focus on anything else," added Danielle. "This is the first time I've been in a color run and I thought it was absolutely great. It's difficult to see when you round those corners and people are throwing all that color on you, but it's hilarious to see what you look like at the end of it all -- we weren't even recognizable."
Although the race had its fair share of avid runners, it also catered to novice runners and those who don't normally run at all, like Patricia Hadley, military spouse, who said she came out with her daughter, Adrienne, just to have a good time.
"We just moved here recently and we heard people talking about the color run coming up, and I asked [Adrienne] if she would be interested in it and her eyes absolutely lit up," said Hadley. "How often do you get to let your children get as messy as they want? It was like a dream for her.
"It was really a great experience and it's not going to be a lot of fun getting all of this color out of our hair, but it's something we'd do again in a heartbeat," she added. "Next time I'll just have to remember to keep my mouth closed so I don't get a mouth full -- lesson learned."
After the run, people were invited to take photos with each other, mingle, play in the bounce houses, eat and dance before taking part in the color explosion, where they chose cup of color of their choice to toss in the air simultaneously to officially close out the race.