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Embrace fitness and fun, community and color at Hartford Run or Dye 5K

The colorful Run or Dye 5K is about to hit Rentschler Field in East Hartford for the summer, on Saturday, July 19. The playful fitness event, featuring dashes of colored dye, is open to all—athletes and loungers, old and young. Children aged 6 and under can even participate for free.

Starting at 9 a.m., the 5 kilometer race is non-competitive and not timed. Participants are welcome to run, walk, or even skip and dance the route at their own paces. There are no winners or prizes—other than the celebration of fitness and community.

"It's about people coming together, celebrating and sharing an experience with people they care about," said Run or Dye spokesperson Katie Langston.

The Hindi festival, Holi, a springtime festival of colors in India inspired the Run or Dye event. A Holi festival typically features people playfully chasing and color each other while moving from place to place, singing and dancing.

"People throw colors on each other as a symbol to welcome the arrival of spring and celebrate new beginnings with family and friends," said Langston. It is a time to cast away bad feelings, move past negative experiences and let worries go.

Mirroring that theme, there are five dye stations along the Run or Dye route, where volunteers throw eco-friendly, plant-based color on 5K participants as they pass through. Many participants prefer to wear white for full dye exposure. "It can get really colorful," Langston said. "The stations help mark the passage and progress through the course."

The Dye Festival follows, where this is an MC, music and dancing. Participants also Tie-Dye the Sky—each person receives a color packet, and they can throw dye up in the air. "It creates an awesome visual," said Langston.

Participants receive a special swag bag, which—in addition to the dye pack—includes a race bib, Run or Dye t-shirt, colored bracelets, and temporary tattoos.

Founded in 2013, there have been 200 events put on around the country. Run or Dye will also be holding a 5k in the United Kingdom soon, and France and Germany will hopefully follow, said Langston.

Run or Dye partners with non-profit companies in every city the event is held. "For the Hartford run, Special Olympics Connecticut is our local sponsor," she said.

So grab your Rainbow-Brite socks, legwarmers and leopard-print hat and get ready for this fun fitness event!

Tickets are $49 for individuals, $42 for those registering as part of a team, $37 for folks in the military, and $25 for kids aged 7-12. Register online at

For a list of Run or Dye event in locations across the United States, visit Run or Dye online.

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