It was a new event for Hillsboro a year ago, yet despite bitterly cold temperatures an unanticipated 446 runners and walkers showed up for Highco, Inc.’s inaugural Dash for DD 5K color run. In hopes of avoiding those frigid conditions the event has been moved back a month and this year will be held Saturday, April 16.
“When planning the event last year we had hoped for at least 50 participants. We were blown away when we had over 400,” said Nicole Haines, Highco, Inc. habilitation manager. “On top of the 400 participants we also had several volunteers including Paint Creek Fire Department, Highland County Sheriff’s Office, Hillsboro City Police, and multiple others.
“March is Developmental Disability Awareness Month. Every year we attempt to do special events during this time. The past several years we have had a lot of fun with the different events we have done, but the Dash has reached the most people, so we are hoping to make it an annual event.”
Anyone registering by Feb. 26 gets a discounted entry fee of $30 for ages 16 or older, $20 for ages 6-15, and anyone 5 years and under is free. From Feb. 27 to March 25 the fees go up to $35, $25 and free, respectively; and from March 26 to the day of the race the fees are $40, $35 and free, respectively.
There is a discount for teams of 8-10.
Each registered runner will receive a Dash for DD T-shirt, plus the first 200 registered runners also receive a Dash for DD headband.
Those not registering before by March 25 will not receive a race T-shirt.
The race beings and ends in front of the Highland County Courthouse. Along the way there are five “color stations” at each kilometer mark where runners will be showered with brightly colored powder. The powder is non-toxic and environmentally safe, but runners may want to wear eye protection to keep from getting the powder in their eyes.
The event benefits Highco, Inc., a non-profit organization based in Hillsboro that serves individuals with developmental disabilities. It offers services including, but not limited to, day habilitation, vocational training, job development and job coaching.
There are only two rules for the dash. Participants are asked to wear white at the starting line; and to finish plastered in color.
Before the race starts Haines said there will be games and trivia along with event sponsors passing out coupons, discounts, water bottles and other similar items.
Race organizers are looking for both monetary and non-monetary sponsors. All sponsors who donate $50 or more will be represented on the Dash for DD T-shirt each registered participant receives. The size of the logo will be determined by the amount the business donates. The dash will award several prizes in exchange for the best outfit, youngest runner, oldest runner, correctly answered DD awareness questions, etc. Non-monetary sponsors are asked to donate items that can be used for those prizes.
The race starts at 9 a.m. and there will be a registration time before that.
Haines said she’s not sure why so many people turned out a year ago.
“I think 5Ks are popular, especially ones that have fun things with them like mud runs, color runs or things like that, and that’s what we are hoping,” she said.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.