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Posted on Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 6 p.m.

The Color Run will return to Ypsilanti in May

By John Counts


A runner is covered in yellow powder in the Ypsilanti Color Run 5K in July. The event will return in May.

Melanie Maxwell |

See a photo gallery from the 2012 Color Run in Ypsilanti.

The Color Run is returning to Ypsilanti for a second straight year.

The 5K run that takes participants through stations where they are showered with bursts of pink, blue, yellow and green corn starch is scheduled for May 11, 2013. Once again, plans call for Riverside Park to be transformed into "race village." The starting line will be right across the river on Cross Street in Depot Town.

The popular event is expected to attract 15,500 runners and 10,000 additional observers, said Debbie Locke-Daniel, executive director of the Ypsilanti Area Convention and Visitors Bureau.

"We're excited about it," she said. "It's a really huge positive event in my mind. It's a hot thing to do. We're excited about it this second year."

Locke-Daniel estimates the event will fill 1,500 to 2,000 area hotel rooms as people from across the state -- and even out of state -- flock to the event. Restaurants also will likely benefit.


Thousands gather in Riverside Park at the close of the 2012 Color Run.

"It's a behemoth of an event for our small town," Locke-Daniel said, adding the run takes place in much bigger cities across the nation. Last year, everything went pretty smoothly despite the large crowds -- about 20,000 -- that converged on Ypsilanti, Locke-Daniel said.

"We really didn't get a lot of complaints," she said.

The 2012 run was held on a Sunday — the same weekend as the Ann Arbor Art Fair. This year, it will be in May and will not have to compete with that big event. The Color Run Eastern Michigan pricing and deadlines will be announced Thursday, Nov. 15, according to the event's website.

Charities also can get in the mix. Members from the Ypsilanti Jaycees, SOS Community Services, Meals on Wheels and the Downtown Association of Ypsilanti -- among other organizations -- volunteered and received donations from Color Run, which charges an entry fee.

The run begins on East Cross Street, then goes north on North River Street, west on East Forest Avenue, northwest on North Huron River Drive, south on Lowell Street, west on West Forest Avenue, down to West Cross Street, south on North Hamilton Street, east on West Michigan Avenue, north on North Huron Street and then up to West Cross Street and over to its end at Riverside Park where bands will be playing. (Check out a map of the course on the Color Run website.)

Along the way, runners will encounter stations where volunteers will unleash the canisters of colors. Participants will also get a color packet and are encouraged to save it until the very end for the grand finale. Runners will wear white T-shirts for maximum color impact.

The race starts at 8 a.m. Runners will not all start at once, but will begin in waves.

Below, see a video of the 2012 Ypsilanti Color Run.

John Counts covers cops and courts for He can be reached at or you can follow him on Twitter.


Judy Batchelor

Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 5:47 p.m.

For those wanting to walk (me too), this is from their website: Sign up as a solo runner/walker, or get together with a team of four or more to participate in The Color Run™ 5k.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 4:07 p.m.

I volunteered at the Color Run last year and had a blast. This year I will be 'a runner'. I don't run. I will walk & dance my way thru the 5k. I will get covered in color & then join the festival and dance some more. The energy is infectious. Do it once & you will be addicted to the happiness.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 1:13 p.m.

John, I know this year it was a big question around town of how much the local non-profit/charities were receiving for their work, as well as how much the city was being compensated for mobilizing extra police and public works staff on a Sunday to close down streets and clean up after the event. Perhaps could look into this for future articles? I don't ask for the purpose of criticizing the event -- I saw a lot of people enjoying a day in Ypsi -- just to get the full picture.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 11:51 a.m.

Thanks for asking, Honest Abe. Sounds like the objective is having fun, helping charities, and making money.

Joseph Welch's Ghost

Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 2:32 a.m.

#Honest Abe. If you have to ask, you'll never know.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 3:14 a.m.

Apart from your comment being false, it's not even a good cliché.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 2:30 a.m.

Kinda wondering that myself Abe......


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 12:59 a.m.

If you don't like it, don't participate. If the city doesn't like it, they won't let it happen. Calm down.

Honest Abe

Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 11:15 p.m.

Can someone please explain the objective of the Color Run?


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 1:16 a.m.

pseudo......I'm not arguing with you but where are you getting your info


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 12:41 a.m.

1) yes, this is a for-profit big business who has an owner. Travis somebody, a quick google will get you that info. 2) the math from the last one goes something like this: $35/runner * 15,000 runners = $525,000. Amount left with the charities: 13K - the charities provided the volunteer staffing for the event so this was more like getting paid less than minimum wage per hour of volunteer time. $13K was less than 3% of the revenue Ypsi has a lot to offer an event like this: wide streets, nice hills, great views, huge parking lots and a huge park for staging. its good match but lets not get delusional about how much of those entry fees are going to the charities involved.


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 12:31 a.m.

Abe...I'm just gonna take a guess ( just a guess ) and say you could,I mean it doesn't really look like its some kind of uptight event


Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 12:30 a.m.

Honest Abe

Tue, Nov 13, 2012 : 12:18 a.m.

Can you 'walk' the Color Run? What options does one have for participating? What draws the large amount of people? Any info is appreciated, just trying to get a better understanding of this event. Who knows, I just may take part.


Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 11:32 p.m.

pseudo.....Huh ? what " owner " are you talking about ?


Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 11:23 p.m.

To make a TON of money for the owner. They actually leave very very little money behind.


Mon, Nov 12, 2012 : 11:20 p.m.

To have fun.