Growing up in Missoula, my family did our fair share of races and fun runs. While I wasn’t an avid runner, nothing beat that satisfying feeling after you crossed the finish line. Plus, races like the YMCA Riverbank Run gave out awesome t-shirts that I’d parade around in for the rest of the day. Color Me Rad takes that race-day excitement to a whole new level.

Color Me Rad came to Missoula in 2012. This unique 5K sends runners around downtown Missoula and through their famous color-blast stations. The color-blast stations are manned by volunteers anxiously waiting to throw handfuls of colored cornstarch powder on you, a volunteer position I imagine would be very fulfilling. Each color-blast station adds a new layer of color to your outfit. As you can imagine, wearing white is the best way to show your colors. Runners of all ages sport all sorts of fun outfits. You’ll see togas, tutus customized t-shirts and more. My personal favorite t-shirt from the day said, “I thought you said ‘rum’.”

Despite being wildly out-of-shape, the race was a blast. It is easy to have endurance running in a beautiful place like Missoula. Plus, the crowd is humming with excitement thanks to the added element of the color-blasting. My favorite part of the whole race was the post-race festivities in Ogren-Alliegance field. Once you crossed the finish line, participants gathered with individual color-blasters and awaited a count-down to simultaneously throw them into the air. The result was a beautiful sea of color floating over the crowd. Color Me Rad will definitely be marked on my calendar for next year.

The 2014 Color Me Rad race was Saturday, May 3rd. For more information on events in Missoula click here.