If running and getting messy sound like your idea of a good time, several local events cater to you. Some of them include having powdered paint thrown on you while you run through the course while others are expected to go through mud to get to the finish line.
One of the first 5K runs in the area this year was the Color Blaze on April 12 at the Canfield Fairgrounds. Around 4,000 people came to run, jog, sprint, skip, or dance to the finish line.
Brad Gossard, CEO for the Color Blaze, prides himself on helping the local communities when he helps organize his races. For this event, he partnered up with different charities and helped them raise money for their causes.
Special to the Tribune Chronicle / Mike Capps
Mya Caggiano and Katie Enright sixth graders from St. Christine School in Youngstown walk during the 5K Color Blaze held April 12 at the Canfield fairgrounds.
"We are more of a local brand rather than a national series," Gossard said. "We have partnered with Marching for Miles and Children's Miracle Network on a local level. We're supporting all of the children's hospitals throughout the state of Ohio. We are not only doing the Mahoning Valley Children's Hospital, we're also going to do the Columbus Nationwide Hospital, all of them."
He also linked up with the Second Harvest Food Bank. People either had to donate $2 or a nonperishable food item for parking. Also, the Humane Society brought a few of their animals to show off.
This race is not timed and is a day for families to come out and just have fun, according to Gossard.
"I felt good after the run," Visna Klatka, Color Blaze participant from Cortland, said. "I had been working out since the end of January for it. I heard about it from a friend from work. I had a blast and will definitely come back if this comes through next year."
Another participant shares the same feelings about the race.
"I found out through Facebook about the run and wanted to try it out," Ariel Breakiron, 24, Austintown, said. "I felt really great afterward. It was a really big accomplishment for me, though I'm still aiming to run it without stopping. This was definitely a wonderful experience and I would love do this again next time."
Those seeking more of a challenge may want to check out the Tough Mudder, set for May 17 and 18 at the Mansfield Airport. This run is a 10- to 12-mile obstacle course through mud that tests limits while having a good time. Around 9,000 people are expected to attend this event.
"We set the standard in the obstacle course industry," Alex Patterson, chief culture officer at Tough Mudder said. "However, our events are different from all others because they're challenges, not races. Our events are untimed - Tough Mudder is a value system, and we believe that challenging yourself while having fun is more important than achieving an individual time."
Tough Mudder helps to raise more than $6.5 million for the Wounded Warrior Project and has had more than 1 million participants. On average, only 78 percent of people actually finish the race.
"Tough Mudder is more than just a weekend event - it's a lifestyle," Patterson said. "Members of Mudder Nation share core values - overcoming obstacles, pushing boundaries, and helping your fellow Mudder."
On June 14, the Covelli Center is hosting the Color Run. It is now sold out with 8,000 participants.
"The Color Run is the originator and innovator of the paint race genre," Jessica Nixon, public relations specialist, said. "With 220 events in 50 different countries in 2014, it is one of the largest running series in the world."
Their new Kaleidoscope Tour is being introduced this year.
"Kaleidoscopes demonstrate the beauty of motion and change," Nixon said. "Whether it's new runners getting ready for their first 5K, or seasoned athletes remembering what it feels like to just run for fun, the Kaleidoscope Tour will be an unforgettable event that will be filled with 5K magic. Participants can expect novel course attractions and fresh participant gear."
The Color Run organizers are working with the Akron Children's Hospital Mahoning Valley.
One of the last events of the summer is the Warrior Dash. It is taking place on Aug. 9 in North Lawrence. It is 3.21 miles and has 13 obstacles that people have to go through. Organizers expect to have around 10,000 people there.
"Warrior Dash attracts a wide variety of participants," Emma Haley, director of Warrior Dash, said. "The course is challenging, yet approachable, so it appeals to the elite athletes as well as the first-timers looking for a challenge. The festival atmosphere brings a crowd out for a fun Saturday with friends. It really is an event that has something for everyone, and that's what sets Warrior Dash apart from other OCR events."
The Warrior Dash partnered with St. Jude's Children's hospital and launched the St. Jude Warriors Program. It had raised more than $8 million.