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Color Me Rad runners warming up to Zumba outside Jamsil Olympic Stadium.

Parts of Seoul were literally covered in color on Saturday, July 20, 2013, thanks to the Color Me Rad 5K held at Jamsil Sports Complex. The rain took a break long enough to allow a beautiful, hot morning to host and toast participants. Thousands of people from various countries and ages were brought together for one purpose—to get plastered with as much color as possible.

Apart from minor glitches within the online registration process, it seems the international event’s debut in South Korea was a huge success. Long lines to pick up race packets the night before didn’t appear to damper anyone’s enthusiasm either. Staff and volunteers were organized, polite, and looked as though they were having just as much fun getting colored, while covering everyone in color.

Not a runner? That’s okay! Best part about a Color Me Rad 5K is it’s not a competition. It’s not even timed. In fact, it doesn’t matter if you run at all. It’s more of a throw-colorfulpowder-in-my-face-as-I-walk-five-kilometers type of run. The only thing you have to be able to do is have good time.

Even after the experience, those who took part could be spotted all over Seoul looking like a rainbow. Seoul Metro patrons that happened to brush by a Color Me Rad finisher too closely even got to join in on the fun. No need to be upset about an extra splash of color to your outfit, however. All dyed powders for the occasion are apparently nontoxic and washable.

Yet, remnants may remain for a few days. The “temporary” tattoo is still on my forearm. Guess I’m now a walking advertisement for the Color Me Rad 5K until it fades away. And except for a few random splotches of blue all over my skin, the powder did wash off after one shower.

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First wave of runners entering Jamsil Olympic Stadium.

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Color Me Rad participants getting ready to be splashed with lots of blue powder.

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Handfuls of blue powder being thrown at a runner.

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Pink powder outlines where cups once were at a water station along the Color Me Rad route. 

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A Color Me Rad temporary tattoo.

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Runners getting one last dosing of color before making it to the finish line.

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Covered in color from head to toe. 

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A splash of yellow from a color bomb near the finish line.

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A wave of Color Me Rad runners ready to begin the race.

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Color bombs being thrown into the air after a countdown to start.

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More Zumba, dancing, and color bombs kept the excitement up even after the race.

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A little boy holds out his hands to collect colored powder from his father.

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Color Me Rad runners throwing color bombs after the race.

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Riding on Seoul Metro after the event.

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Trying to rinse off colored powder in a public restroom after the Color Me Rad race.

If you didn’t get a chance to participate this time, be sure to join the next Color Me Rad 5K in Incheon on the 7th of September. You get a pair of sunglasses, a white Color Me Rad t-shirt, and a “rad” temporary tattoo as part of the fee. Once you’ve registered, just show up to the race clean. Have a blast. 

Words and images by Chase Chisholm of the blog Join Chase. Check it out and follow him on and .

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