It wasn’t quite the turnout there was last year in below freezing temperatures, but it was still a lot more than organizers figured would show up when the inaugural Dash for DD 5K Color Run was held a year ago.
The first event registered 446 runners and walkers and this year there were 372 that ran and walked through the uptown Hillsboro area Saturday morning while having colored powder showered on them at every kilometer mark.
The event serves as a fundraiser Highco Inc., the program at Hills and Dales Training Center that serves disadvantaged adults in the community.
Highco said before the first dash last year that it was hoping for 50 participants.
“We are very excited with the weather and turnout for our second annual Dash for DD. We originally created the Dash for DD for a fun, community event that would help bring awareness for developmental disabilities as well as for Highco,” said event organizer Nicole Haines. “With such a great success our first year, we knew this was an event we wanted to do yearly. We had an outpouring of support again this year.”
A year ago temperatures were well below freezing when the event was held in mid March. To avoid that issue, the dash was moved back a month this year and it worked well with temperatures that climbed into the mid 70s.
“It was much better than last year weatherwise. People were actually sweating and that made the powder stick better,” Haines joked.
The dash was not timed, although awards were given to the first male and female to cross the finish line. Haines said she was not sure of the winners’ names.
Participants paid anywhere from $20 to $40 to enter for the dash, depending on how early they registered. Kids age 5 and under were free.
Before the dash started at 9 a.m. there were games with prizes like water bottles from Merchants National Bank; Columbus Blue Jackets tickets; signed memorabilia; Columbus Crew tickets; Ohio State apparel; and gift certificates from Lularoe, Great Clips, Paul Mitchell, Stephanie’s Pet Spa, Cundiff’s Flowers and Wanda’s Grill given to the winners.
Afterward, anyone wearing their Dash for DD T-shirt received 50 cents off speciality drinks at Holtfield Station.
The dash began and ended in front of the Highland County Courthouse. There were five “color stations” along the course at each kilometer mark where volunteers showered runners with colored powder. The powder was non-toxic and was environmentally safe. Each registered runner received a Dash for DD shirt. The first 200 registered runners also received a Dash for DD headband. There were only two rules for the dash: Runners and walkers were supposed to wear white at the starting line, and finish plastered in color.
All money raised goes to support Highco individuals with developmental disabilities. It provides opportunities for community activities and events.
“We appreciate the ongoing support from the community,” Haines said. “Our intent is for it to become an annual event.”
In May, Highco will host a Highland County Biggest Loser competition. Thirty-one teams entered the event a year ago and one of them from the Fairfield schools won $1,000. Highco is looking for teams for the event.
Reach Jeff Gilliland at 937-402-2522 or on Twitter @13gillilandj.