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Doused in color

Clouds of pink dust are thrown on participants in the Color Dash Saturday morning in Worthington. Brian Korthals/Daily Globe1 / 12
Julie Buntjer/Daily Globe2 / 12
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Julie Buntjer/Daily Globe12 / 12

WORTHINGTON — More than 400 people were adorned with the colors of the rainbow from head to toe by the time they crossed the finish line Saturday morning in the YMCA’s Color Dash 5K.

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Some were drenched in shades of blue, pink, purple, orange, yellow and green, while others, like Gordy Moore, had just a smattering of color on his white Color Dash shirt.

“I was just going too fast — they couldn’t see me,” said Moore, the first to cross the finish line in tandem with soon-to-be Worthington High School senior Troy Feller.

“Even though it’s an uncompetitive race, I just felt really motivated to run fast, so I just went for it,” said Moore, of Worthington.

Feller said he finished in the Top 10 during the 2013 Color Dash in Worthington, and hadn’t set out for a first-place finish when the race began at 10 a.m. Saturday.

“It was really fun being out here again,” Feller said as he gulped for air at the finish line. “It’s just a really great way to kick off the summer for a lot of high school students. It’s something interesting and new to Worthington.”

Moore, a 2013 WHS grad, and Feller were in track and cross country in high school, much like several of the others who crossed the finish line early on in Saturday’s 3.2-mile run-walk.

Although a large contingent of participants were teenagers, the youngest were color-drenched kids being pushed in strollers and the oldest were 60 to 70 years old, estimated Color Dash Race Director Ryan Seykora.

The blond hair of 9-year-old Miles Fischer was coated with hues of blue and green after he finished the race with his mom, Kathleen. The Worthington boy didn’t like the taste of the corn starch-colored dust as it coated him along the route, but he sure had fun.

“I liked running through it and they sprayed color on you — it was just a big ball of dust,” he said with a grin. “It was awesome.”

Kristy Miller, of Okoboji, Iowa, ran the race with her three children, ages 8, 6 and 3. The youngest was in a stroller.

“I did a color run in Kansas City one time too, but this one was just as good — it was fun,” Miller said, adding that she’d heard about Worthington’s event from a friend and decided to experience it with her children.

Ashley Jansma and Karissa

Balster were among dozens of volunteer Dasher Splashers to scoop up handfuls of colored corn starch to toss at participants as they ran, walked or rolled by.

“It was a lot of fun, except we got some in our mouth,” Jansma said at the end of the race.

How did it taste?

“Not very good!” Balster and Jansma said in unison.

“I think my teeth are blue,” exclaimed Balster.

“And I look like a Smurf,” added Jansma.

This was the first time the two participated in the Color Dash 5K, and Balster said she’d like to run the race next time.

Nevertheless, they had fun splashing participants with color — and perhaps giving an extra dousing to those they recognized along the route.

“Everyone wanted (color on) their back,” Jansma said. “When they came back through a second time, we were telling everyone to take a break and roll — we had so much (color) on the ground.”

Many of the kids did just as Jansma and Balster suggested — and even some of the adults.

Participation was down a bit from the first-ever Color Dash 5K in Worthington last year, which just happened to be in the rain. This time, the rain held off for the race, reaching Worthington shortly after noon.

Seykora said he was glad to see several new faces in the crowd this time around.

“We attracted new people, and that’s kind of what we want,” he said.

The cooler temperature — hovering below 60 degrees — didn’t help.

“The participants … really embrace the elements and do a great job,” Seykora noted. “There’s nothing you can control with the weather.”

Saturday’s Color Dash 5K was a fundraiser for the Worthington Area YMCA. Money raised will be used to support the JC Learn to Swim Program and the Y-Pals Mentoring Program. The Worthington Regional Healthcare Foundation provided matching funds for the event.

Daily Globe Reporter Julie Buntjer may be reached at 376-7330.

Julie Buntjer

Julie Buntjer joined the Globe newsroom in December 2003, after working more than nine years for weekly newspapers. A native of Worthington, she has a bachelor's degree in agriculture journalism. Find more of her stories of farm life, family and various other tidbits at

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