By Will Ravenstein, Fort Riley Public AffairsMay 21, 2018
FORT RILEY, Kan. -- Showers of colored powder greeted runners May 12 outside Riley's Conference Center as nearly 300 runners participated in the Directorate of Family and Morale, Welfare and Recreation's Rainbow Road Run.
"We wanted to make a rainbow," said event coordinator Melissa Phelps. "It's a good event that brings everyone together. It's a great family event for everybody. People think it's a lot of fun to get color thrown at you. It's a really great event to come out to, get color blasted and you look like a rainbow when you get done."
The 2-mile course through the large field allowed for participants to run or walk, as it was not a timed race. The faster runners made their way out front as the leisure runners and walkers stayed to the back.
However they made it through, one thing was certain -- they were going to get colored powder on them.
For Sgt. 1st Class Ashley McGuire, 41st Route Clearance Company, 1st Engineer Battalion, 1st Armored Brigade Combat Team, 1st Infantry Division, it felt as though the color throwers were aiming high on her. Green powder covered her face as she finished the race.
"I feel like I had a height issue," she said with a smile. "It's like they were aiming it at my face. I thought the kiddos were going to get the lump some, but oh well. It's the point of the color."
The event featured an entry fee that goes back into MWR programming to benefit Soldiers and families assigned to Fort Riley. A fact that motivated Staff Sgt. Joseph Thurn, 116th Military Police Company, 97th Military Police Battalion, to attend with his wife Tanya and their two boys; Eli, 8 and Aidyn, 11.
"Everything that comes back to the Army is a win for us," he said. "MWR has always been a great experience, great program. Whatever we can provide to them to provide back to the Soldiers is a plus for us."
After the race participants were asked to fill out surveys, like at other MWR events on post. Once they finished, participants were given tickets and entered into giveaway drawings Phelps said.
"These are the surveys we do at the end of all of our events," she said. "We give them drawing tickets from here and they can get MWR prizes. There is a pool pass, wine and cheese tour, Warrior Zone gear that we are giving out, Country Stampede is doing tickets for their event and we have a guy doing $50 gift certificates for Dick's Sporting Goods."
Phelps said that the partnership and relationship with the sponsors helps events like the Rainbow Run.
"We have good sponsors," she said. "They are very helpful of the Soldiers and their families. We love our sponsors. We are willing to help them and they help us."