If you thought the mud run trend was crazy popular, you haven’t seen anything yet.
Color runs, the first of which arrives in the Charleston area on Saturday at the Exchange Park in Ladson, are sweeping the nation, much as mud runs have in the past five years.
For the uninitiated, color runs got their inspiration from Holi, the spring festival of colors celebrated by Hindus primarily in India and Nepal. Subtract the religion and add a 5K where participants are bombed with packets of neon corn starch, and the modern American phenomenon of the color run was born.
Just like mud and obstacle races, several upstarts by young business people, relying primarily on Facebook to market the events, have seized the opportunity to put on color runs. Among them are The Color Run, Color Me Rad, Color Vibe, Gnarly Neon and the nighttime version, Neon Splash Dash.
As of last Saturday, 7,415 had signed up for Color Me Rad in Ladson, according to Wyatt Grow, the Utah-based race director.
With in-person registration 11 a.m.-7 p.m. today and Friday, Grow expects that number to top out at around 8,000. Late registration is $45.
“Things in Charleston are going well,” said Grow, who, with friends from Brigham Young University, directs both Color Me Rad and The Dirty Dash mud and obstacle races.
To put those numbers in perspective, the second largest race in Charleston in 2012 was the record-breaking 35th annual Turkey Day Run with 5,833 finishers.
Granted, color runs can’t be compared to competitive road races. Color runs aren’t timed, which Grow thinks is part of the appeal. Surveys show that 40 percent of participants have never participated in a run before Color Me Rad events.
But bigger than the noncompetitive nature of the event, Grow credits the popularity to “being part of something that is visually beautiful.”
A community yoga class, Let Your Love Flow, will be 6:30-7:30 p.m. Friday in Hampton Park near the bridge.
The class, led by Mission Yoga’s Kelly-Jean Moore, seeks to bring attention to Colorectal Cancer Awareness Month and to raise money for the medical bills of Caryn Victoria Antos, a local yoga instructor who was hospitalized earlier this year for more than three weeks in Spain after a blockage in her large intestine required surgery.
The event, which will conclude with the launch of 100 Chinese lanterns into the air, is a grassroots effort supported by lululemon athletica. The event seeks donations, but making one is not necessary.
One locally based nonprofit, Water Missions International, will hold its seventh annual Walk for Water 9 a.m.-1 p.m. Saturday at Cannon Park.
Water Missions advocates for those affected by the global water crisis while raising funds to provide safe water around the globe. During the nearly 3.5-mile walk, participants carry buckets filled with water to symbolize the trek that women and children make each day to collect water in developing countries.
In celebration of its first anniversary, The Yoga House of Charleston is holding back-to-back 50-minute classes along with live music 8 a.m.-5 p.m. Sunday.
The fee is a donation to the Jenkins Institute, a local home for girls. Jenkins seeks to build a wellness center that includes a yoga and dance studio.
“We’ll have yoga, giveaways and food all day long,” said Thomas Glenn of The Yoga House.
Barrier Island Eco Tours presents the Capers ECOrun, a 10K and 5K beach run and walk, on Sunday. The event starts at 11 a.m. with a ferry ride from the Isle of Palms Marina to Capers. The fee is $45. Part of the proceeds benefits Charleston Chefs Feed the Need.