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Posted on Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 11:17 a.m.

Thousands dash through Ypsilanti in city's first Color Run

By Melanie Maxwell

The first Ypsilanti "Color Run, " in which onlookers tossed colored cornstarch at those running or walking in the 5K event, drew thousands of participants to the city Sunday.

The Ypsilanti run was one of a series nationwide.

The first-ever Color Run happened in Tempe, Ariz. in January, but the event has already garnered a cult following, earning a quarter of a million “likes” on Facebook in a short time, and expanding this year’s originally planned 18-city tour to a 44-city tour.

Ypsilanti runners started in Depot Town and continued to the campus of Eastern Michigan University and downtown Ypsilanti, finally ending back in Riverside Park.

Photographers Melanie Maxwell and Jeffrey Smith captured these images.



Thu, Nov 15, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

This looks like so much fun, i live in ypsi and didn't know about it, but i'm definitely signing up to do it next year!


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 3:43 p.m.

Awesome event! Way to go, Ypsi! You were a gracious and fabulous host. I sure hope you do it again next year even bigger and even better!! (although, this year will be hard to beat ;-) Next year, I'm bringing the family!

Top Cat

Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 2:55 p.m.

Deep down in every adult remains a little kid who still remembers that getting dirty is fun.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

Hats off to Ypsi on this cool event. Thanks to the HVA paramedics, YPD cops, EMU cops and countless other public safety employees and volunteers I saw out and about making sure the event was a success. Kudos


Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 1:35 a.m.

Its called giving credit where credit is do. Do I think YPD has a leadership problem and has allowed itself to become a subpar police department, yes. Do I think when there officers make a good arrest or do a great job helping put on a great event like this that they deserve credit, yes. The run was a huge success, I saw lots of Ypsi and EMU cops out talking to runners and HVA paramedics were out and about helping with issues. Volunteers were doing a great job, it was a success in every sense of the word. So yes I may believe that YPD has a terrible police chief who needs to be fired so that their officers can get back to believing in police work and move forward, I also believe they did a great job on Sunday. You see the problem with people like you is everything is black and white, in this case sometimes a poorly run police department is capable of doing a good job.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 4:10 p.m.

Wow SW40 you sure do jump around with regards to YPD, Last week you were adding ur expert opinon on how YPD was gonna be taken over any minute now by the almighty (in your mind) WCSD (in the blogs under the article about 5 business B/e's in Ypsi). LOL I love people like you!


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 2:32 p.m.

The event was really fun, and the energy was great. But did anyone else have respiratory issues afterward? I can't tell if my problems were just from regular allergens, or if the cornstarch affected me.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 3:25 p.m.

No problems here and the other 6 people that ran with me.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 2:24 p.m.

Ypsilanti deserves a pat on the back for how they organized and helped run this event. Street crews were out helping clean up with the color throwers (as a thrower, this was greatly appreciated), businesses were open and welcoming (Fantasy Attic even had white costumes on display), and the overall mood from everyone was amazing. If this comes by next summer, I vote it be hosted in Ypsi over Ann Arbor again.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 3:06 p.m.

I agree whole heartily! Ypsi did a GREAT job hosting it!! I've been an Ann Arborite for nearly25 years and Ypsi has always played second fiddle. But, over the last few years, my heart has grown to love Ypsilanti. What a great little town. Much less pretentious that Ann Arbor. You know, all these 'Nay Sayers', take a chill pill. This was a great, fun event. It was handled wonderfully by Ypsi. I hope and pray Ypsi handles it again. The people were so friendly and wonderful. You could truly feel how grateful and happy Ypsilanti was to have hosted this event. Good job, Ypsi! You have a fan for life!


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 2:21 p.m.

It was very in convenient but hey.... it's not like it happens every week.....

Tammy Mayrend

Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 2:13 p.m.

The event was FANTASTIC and Ypsilanti did a wonderful job with it - My son and I loved it. Can't wait for the family to do it again when Color Run comes back to town. For those of you nay-sayers know that anyone who wanted to protect their breathing was encouraged to wear a face mask or bandanna. Goggles or glasses were also encouraged however I was sprayed directly in my eye and had no ill effects! What a perfectly happy day it was.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 1:56 p.m.

i really want to do this next year...and I don't even run!! Very awesome!!! Yay Ypsi!!!

Wolf's Bane

Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 11:49 a.m.

I'm still beating myself over the head for having missed registration. Boy, did it look like a ton of fun; I've never seen Ypsi look more colorful!!!


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 2:17 p.m.

Then you have never been to an Elbow Deep show.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 11:17 a.m.

What a neat event. Too bad the organizers had one participant hold up a giant cardboard cut out of a bottle of tea during the color toss at the finish line! They spoiled a lot of otherwise good photos.

Jimmy McNulty

Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 10:28 a.m.

1) What was the purpose of the Color Run, i.e. what do the colors signify, was there a beneficiary of the run proceeds (such as American Cancer Society, etc.)? 2) Was anyone concerned about breathing in that cornstarch? I know it may sound inoccuous, but the photo of Shaunte Jackson shows her wearing a filtering mask.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 11:14 p.m.

Mrunner: there are plenty of non-gimmick road races. Every weekend. Instead of complaining, why don't you go to one of those and let other people enjoy themselves? Everyone knew this was not a timed race.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 4:51 p.m.

According to the Color Run website, the Ypsilanti Color run benefitted The Michigan Elvis Fest, The Ypsilanti Area Jaycees, Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels and SOS Community Services. Each run helps their LOCAL organizations. As for the cornstarch, I think the mask would be a good idea, especially if someone had a breathing problem. But, I don't think it's up to the race organizers to have to provide a mask to each runner. At some point, people have to take responsibility themselves.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 3:13 p.m.

The Color Run in general does not promote one charity or another, but that does not mean you can't use the event to raise funds for a cause that you believe in. If you go to their website you will find that they do team up with local charities. As far as the cornstarch goes any participant willing to read the instructions would have read that they are encourage to wear bandanna or mask. All this information can be found on their website if you just do a little research.

Jimmy McNulty

Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 1:41 p.m.

I'm curious as to why everyone is voting these questions down. It sounded like a fun event and question 1 was directed towards the author of the article. Question 2 was to see if anyone shared what would've been my concern had I been running.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 1:34 p.m.

I wasn't concerned about breathing it in at all... But, if I was going to stand in one spot for 90 minutes where that color dust was constantly coming out, I'd wear a mask.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 11:32 a.m.

I am with you on this but to say, it is a gimmick. Road races are not what they used to be. They are more entertainment and not about competition. Achievement is now defined as just finishing. If that's what is all about, fine. I can morally support it but I choose not to partake.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 2:23 a.m.

Ypsilanti rocks, Ann Arbor might have the Art Fair but we have a whole lot more. Go Ypsi.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 12:43 p.m.

Hater! :)


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 2:16 a.m.

You go Ypsilanti, have been a resident since 1972. I love this city.

J Shaker

Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 1:53 a.m.

sounds like a blast and i wish i had been there. next year!

J. A. Pieper

Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : midnight

Love this, it is beautiful! Would be cool if it was some kind of fund raiser!


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 2:22 p.m.

The run actually supported several charities - from the Color Run website - "Our 2012 Ann Arbor/Ypsilanti Charity Partners are The Michigan Elvis Fest, The Ypsilanti Area Jaycees, Ypsilanti Meals on Wheels and SOS Community Services. They are a wonderful organizations that do so much for the community. For more information or to inquire about openings, please email"

Sheila Compton

Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 10:21 p.m.

Well done Ypsilanti! Great to see so many people enjoying themselves in Ypsilanti. Everything was well organized and very safe. Those of you concerned about the cornstarch bandannas were passed out to cover mouths and the website gave instructions, but it was up to runners to follow them. I had a blast and home it comes back to Ypsi next year!


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 10:08 p.m.

A little bit of fun and pleasure inspite of the devasting affects of Obama, his leaders and their decisions.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 3:10 p.m., bitter much? Can you not read sarcasm at it's finest? are way too funny...


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 1:50 p.m.

The tin hat helps with the channeling. I can't believe someone would bring presidential politics into this discussion. I also can't believe someone would talk about the "devasting affects" of Obama.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 1:37 p.m.

You must be channeling the comments of xmo.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 11:10 a.m.

HA! I get it Goober. keep em coming.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 12:52 a.m.

Seriously, Goobs, it's not always about politics. Lighten up a bit.


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 11:34 p.m.

Obama leading the evolution of our society to socialism has nothing to do with our Color Run, Goober!

In doubt

Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 10:07 p.m.

I am glad so many people were happy and had such a good time. I just feel that it could not be a safe thing to inhale that. Hopefully they will come up with something alot safer to use in this event. I have heard of a babies that almost died because of inhaling baby powder, and people with breathing problelms are NOT suppose to use any kind of talculm power. Maybe colored water? That would feel good on a hot day. Keep the event for the people that want it, just be sure it is safe.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 4:41 p.m.

I think cornstarch is as safe as you can get. If you really have a problem with it you could, I suppose, wear a surgical mask. People need to get a grip and realize the air they breathe in their homes probably isn't "safe" by these standards. We can't all live in a bubble-wrapped world.


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 11:31 p.m.

Talc is not good for te body.


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 10:57 p.m.

Baby powder used to have talc in it, which is where the name "talcum" powder came from. Somebody discovered that talc's not good for the lungs, so talc was removed from most brands of powder marketed for babies/kids and replaced with corn starch. Johnson's baby powder, for example, now contains corn starch instead of talc.


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 10:06 p.m.

That looked sooo fun, wish I would have known about it. Great coverage of a COLORFUL event!


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 9:47 p.m.

Glad I wasn't there.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 1:48 p.m.

No, we are also glad, and NOT kidding!


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 2:17 a.m.

We are glad also. lol, just kidding.


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 10:19 p.m.

Glad you weren't too!


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 8:45 p.m.

Just FABULOUS, a contact high! The human spirit craves THIS! Color, laughing, dancing, music, movement! Oh YES! "Never underestimate the power of dreams and the influence of the human spirit. We are all the same in this notion: The potential for greatness lives within each of us". ~Wilma Rudolph


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

I can't believe breathing air thick with corn starch can be all that good for you. In fact, I Googled it and found infants can be harmed by breathing it in. And, a toxic site says NOT to breath it. I don't see the point.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 12:03 p.m.

Wear your tinfoil hat and hold your breath you'll be just fine...maybe the weather forcast should include a " cornstarch " alert


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 3:56 a.m.

Eating at MacDonald's is toxic, but people do it every day.


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 10:43 p.m.

In addition to the cornstarch itself, breathing in all the dyes has got to be very unhealthy for everyone, especially the kids in attendance. Keep the event, ditch the cornstarch.

In doubt

Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 10:08 p.m.

I surely agree with you on this. Keep the event but make it safe.


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 8:49 p.m.

Good thing we weren't smoking the corn starch!


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 8:34 p.m.

Some one please post an update on best methods for cleaning auto upholstery. Thks.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 11:09 p.m.

Vacuum the loose stuff. For some other spots in the car, I just used a baby wipe and that worked fine.


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 11:47 a.m.

I bet a good vacuum will do the trick


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 2:09 a.m.

Dish detergent took it out of my kid's hair. Not sure about the car.

Brian Halloran

Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 7:58 p.m.

The Happiest 5K on the Planet?? You betcha! Totally impressed with Ypsilanti and the Riverside Park was the perfect celebration venue. Also, having the course tour through EMU gave me a new appreciation for this fine institution. I recommend that the 20123 Color Run be in September when EMU is in session to tap into some campus spirit.

Adrien Antaya

Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 7:38 p.m.

This has got to be one of the coolest things I have done. There was no denying the positive vibe in the air. The crowd was full of smiles. Let's hope Ypsi keeps this going, such a cool experience!


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 7:32 p.m.

A dogfight at the farmer's market and this race, my hometown is really going eclectic.


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 7:15 p.m.

According to Ned Flanders, corn starch is good for "keeping down the urges".


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 6:44 p.m.

Throwing colored cornstarch at runners on a very hot day? Is this a good thing?


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 7:53 p.m.

Yes - a very good thing. You missed out.


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 7:07 p.m.

Yep! It helps control underarm B.O. and helps prevent blisters on the feetsies!


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 7:07 p.m.

Why would you even ask that. The race was from 8-10am, it was nice out.


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 6:33 p.m.

I would like to compliment the city of Ypsilanti for pulling off such a large event having had so little time to plan for it when the city of Ann Arbor bowed out at the last minute. What a well oiled machine. We spoke to runners and volunteers who had a blast. Bravo Ypsilanti. Bravo.

Aaron Mercer

Tue, Jul 24, 2012 : 2:11 a.m.

Maybe the Color Run organizers can take over for more race duties instead of Champions for Charity from now on...


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 6:20 p.m.

I hate to be that technically correct guy, but it isn't a city -run event, it's organized by a private organization. They've been selling/hosting these events all over the country this summer.


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 8:10 p.m.

I am glad it was in Ypsi, as well. The city doesn't get much positive recognition, and I am glad that so many people found their way through town and saw the sights. I hope that many of the 15,000 participants checked out some of the local restaurants and businesses. What a great day for Ypsi.


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 6:49 p.m.

I am personally very glad that Ypsi organized it. They did a tremendous job and it was as smoothly as it could go. As a participant, it was a TON of fun!


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 5:41 p.m.

Let the complaining about how the race inconvenienced people commence...

Paul Knickelbein

Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 2:31 p.m.

Actually - It was handled quite well. I am the church administrator at Cross and Resurrection Church which is located on the edge of the race and the roads around it were closed. We received notices in the mail, on an almost daily basis in the doors, and then a visit from folks to ensure that we were aware of the race. Our church took the opportunity to worship outside and incorporate a church picnic off site. While the race would have made it very difficult if not impossible to hold a "normal" service at our location - the organizers gave us plenty of warning to make alternate arrangements. I believe that was handled VERY, VERY well!

Depot Townie

Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 1:53 p.m.

Nah . . . that only happens in Ann Arbor. We actually enjoyed it and are glad they did it in Ypsi!


Mon, Jul 23, 2012 : 3:54 a.m.

I think the event seemed cool, however, I really was inconvenienced because the City did a poor job of telling people about it before hand. It took me 45 minutes to get a mile to the high way.

greg, too

Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 7:50 p.m.

It's the exact opposite. I live in the area and had no idea it was even going on.


Sun, Jul 22, 2012 : 5:40 p.m.

Some coverage as well:|topnews|text|FRONTPAGE