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Posted on Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 12:32 p.m.

Ypsilanti Color Run: Registration re-opens after 14,000 people sign up

By Katrease Stafford


Runners throw pink powder into the air as they participate in the Ypsilanti Color Run 5K last year.

Melanie Maxwell I

More than 14,000 people have signed up for the widely popular Color Run event in Ypsilanti and due to a large demand, organizers have re-opened registration for a short time.

Christine Laughren, manager of marketing and communications for the Ypsilanti Visitors Covention Bureau, said Color Run representatives were in Ypsilanti last week working out the logistics of the upcoming May 11 event.

"It's all really working out nicely," Laughren said. "We're super excited to have them back this year and I think it will be a great event."

Organizers haven't specified how many more slots can be filled, but are urging individuals who missed the initial signup to register quickly. The initial registration began Feb.1.

Laughren said the route will be the same as the first event, in which onlookers tossed colored cornstarch at those running or walking in the 5K event.

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

Riverside Park will be transformed into the "race village" and the starting line will be right across the river on Cross Street in Depot Town. The race starts at 8 a.m. and runners will not all start at once, but will begin in waves.

"We’ve been working in conjunction with the city and Eastern Michigan University to make sure it's smooth and a great race and everyone has a great time," Laughren said.

Visitors Bureau Executive Director Debbie Locke-Daniel said the event, which is expected to attract nearly 15,500 runners and 10,000 additional observers, has a significant economic impact on the area community.

This year, since the event is on a Saturday, Locke-Daniel is hoping participants and family members decide to stay in the local hotels over the weekend and visit the many restaurants and businesses in the area.

"I hope they make it a whole good weekend experience," Locke-Daniel said. "To come back to a city of our size speaks to the community and how they felt everything worked last year, which is what they keep reiterating to us."

Color Run organizers worked closely with Locke-Daniel's staff and the city to ensure the event went well and the same will be done this year.

"It has been such a good experience," Locke-Daniel said. "They like our park and being on the river. I think of course our bureau looks at it as a positive on many levels. It's amazing how fast they sell out. There's nothing about it to me that is a negative."

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

Katrease Stafford covers Ypsilanti for her at or 734-623-2548 and follow her on twitter.


Sam S Smith

Sat, Mar 2, 2013 : 4:19 p.m.

I would think this would be very harmful to someone's lungs. When you run, you could really breathe this stuff into the lungs.

Jack Gladney

Sat, Mar 2, 2013 : 4:12 a.m.

With what do they "color" the cornstarch? Do they use natural hypoallergenic agents? This should be investigated for public safety. Ypsilanti's city council should commission a study of the dyed cornstarch. I'm afraid if people with COPD (like me) go near this event, they could be adversely affected.

Sam S Smith

Sat, Mar 2, 2013 : 10:45 p.m.

Not only with COPD but healthy lungs could be adversely affected!

Anne Cain

Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 9:50 p.m.

this was a phenomenal event last year, and cleanup was surprisingly efficient! beside the fact that it was great to see Depot Town packed on a Sunday morning. A2 missed out when they passed on this one.


Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 7:38 p.m.

Looks like a big mess.


Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 7:36 p.m.

My husband and I live in Ypsi - we did this last year and signed up as soon as it opened this year. It is a ton of absolutely ridiculous and unnecessary fun!

Julie Baker

Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 7:02 p.m.

The people in the photos and videos always look like they're having so much fun! Seems like a great event for Ypsi to be involved in. I had a great time just watching the runners and walkers in downtown last year!

Katrease Stafford

Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 6:57 p.m.

Here's a map of the full route: Anyone plan on signing up now that you know the registration has re-opened?


Sat, May 4, 2013 : 2:46 a.m.

I wonder if it is possible to drive in and out of downtown Ypsilanti at all that morning.


Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 6:36 p.m.

That is a marathon that would take on a whole new life with rain....

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 6:51 p.m.

From the Color Run website- Less than ideal conditions: Color Zones may be limited or altered. Start time may be delayed. Finish Festival Color Throws will still take place as planned. Runners should Slow down and be prepared for worsening conditions. Potentially dangerous conditions exist. (Severe rain-lightning- heat or cold-wind): Course may be altered. Start time may be delayed. Color Zones on the course will be limited or cancelled. Finish Festival Color Throw may be limited. Runners should Slow Down and Observe Course Changes. Extreme and dangerous conditions exist: Event will be cancelled. Runners should Follow event official posted instructions


Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 6:34 p.m.

25,000 "participants"? That's great for Ypsi. Last year we ran into some of the runners after they returned to A2. They had obviously had a great time. Good luck this year (and may the Michigan Weather be with you!)


Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 6:08 p.m.

Is this in celebration of the Hindu holiday of Holi? The time of year and the throwing of colors seem appropriate.

Kyle Mattson

Fri, Mar 1, 2013 : 6:40 p.m.

The Color Run is an event held in cities across country throughout the year. This year there will also be runs in Grand Rapids (Aug 3) and Lansing (July 13).