A rare sporting concept is set to hit Harare at the weekend when the inaugural Zimbabwe Fun Colour Run gets underway at Borrowdale Race course on Saturday.
The event’s organisers are so excited about it and believe that “Zimbabweans have embraced our concept beyond our expectations and we are certainly going to have the biggest running event that has ever been hosted in the country”.
Four months ago the radical game changing idea made commercial and logical sense to the small team of event planners and the Zimbabwe Colour Run was born — combining colour powder traditionally used in holi festivals with a fun run is a global phenomona that has been sweeping the world thus it has caught on to Zimbabwe.Just recently Venezuela hosted its first Colour run which saw some 2 800 runners taking part on Monday in a seven-kilometre event which included a walk and a run.
The Zimbabwe run is a five kilometre event which, from the number of runners who have registered is going to be a much bigger event. Participants in the Zimbabwe run will be blasted with colour powder during the race, which sets the event apart from recently held road runs and half marathons and then be treated to a long line up of entertainers.
Director of operations and public relations for the colour run Mr Echo Meza said that the massive response from runners is encouraging and that the event is designed in such a way that it will never be oversubscribed.
“We had a low turnout of people coming to register in the first few weeks when we announced it but it grew exponentially with each week and we have had a really positive response from people especially families and small groups.
“We had to extend the registration deadline at Sam levy Village until the morning just to accommodate last minute sign-ons. Just by having a look at the people coming we are encouraged to keep this going annually because we have runners from different professions, ages and some coming from out of the country,” Meza said.
Unlike competitive races the colour run has no ultimate winner as it incorporates professional athletes run on the same track as regular people, which is encouraging for most people who avoid the shame of being branded as losers in other running events.
“I am very competitive, serious and full of adrenaline but for oneself. However with a fun run it’s not about winners or losers, it’s about supporting a cause and taking time out to achieve something greater than yourself, besides you won’t be stung emotionally for finishing last,” said Farayi Matare a super model and accountant who will be taking part in the run.
Meza said that one of the main reasons for the positive response by runners is that the event is mostly a charity event which will benefit Emerald Hill School of the Deaf and the SPCA with a donation in kind worth $30 000-00, at the very least 20 percent of the total revenue from corporate and other streams will be channelled towards this cause.
Zimbabwe is the second African country to adopt colour running and if facebook responses are anything to go by at least 4 000 users have pledged to take part while the page has over 6 000 likes.