By Joseph Pratt
Kelsey Davis, Miss Portsmouth West, is stretching and warming up for her colorful platform this weekend, which will be the area’s first-ever color run.
Davis’s event is called “Color Me Cheerful Color Run.” The color runs are often described as the happiest run on the planet. Runners receive a packet of color that is to be deployed into the air at the start of the race. A haze of colors explodes all over the runners and they are sent off sprinting, running, walking, crawling or whatever they feel comfortable with, through the course. More color is thrown throughout the trek and runners are promised to have a healthy coating of color all over them before the end of the 5k.
The color dye isn’t harmful to people or the environment and is made with a dyed cornstarch compound. The dye easily washes out, but can be permanently dyed into clothing by a special process taught on the Color Run website.
“Color runs are just a happy thing in themselves. I mean, who doesn’t want to do a color run, honestly? We don’t have one around here and I wanted to make it happen,” Davis explained. “I’m not much of a runner, so I will probably just stroll through it, but what other kind of event would you do for cheerleaders?”
Each candidate for the Portsmouth River Day’s crown was responsible for organizing a platform in which they would raise awareness and funds for an important organization or cause. The candidates then took that promise one step further and also committed to volunteering at each of the platforms the rivaling candidates organized. The platforms have not only shown the ladies the benefits of volunteering and philanthropy, but have also brought the walls of the rivaling schools down, causing most of the candidates to form friendships with each other.
“This has been a really awesome opportunity to branch out into my community and give back,” Davis said. “I really think that is what River Days is all about.”
The idea for the color run can from Davis’s desire to do something positive for the cheerleaders at the Scioto County Board of Developmental Disabilities (SCBDD) and the Vern Riffe School.
“As a cheerleader, it makes me happy to see people come out and support cheerleaders everywhere,” Davis said. “I recently saw that Vern Riffe has a cheer squad that often cheers with local schools in the area. I figured that is a program that could use extra funding and support and I really wanted to help out.”
All profits from the color run will go directly to support the SCBDD cheerleaders and their Special Olympics team. Davis said she has not yet had a chance to see either of the groups perform or compete yet, but looks forward to it in the future.
“I’ve been talking to Shawn Jordan at Vern Riffe and she has been catching me up on everything. I didn’t even know they had a Special Olympics and cheerleading team,” Davis said. “When I learned about it, it was already too late in the season, but I definitely look forward to getting to go and watch them next year.”
Davis explained that she believes her cause to be an important and meaningful one, because she wants everyone to have the chance to experience the things they enjoy in life.
“I know how much cheerleading has affected me in my life and I think it is just a really great opportunity to get out there and cheer and show people you can do whatever you want.”
Color Me Cheerful Color Run will be at Portsmouth West High School this Sunday, July 27. Registration will begin at noon and the run will start at 1 p.m. The cost of registration is only $30, while a preregistration fee is only $25. There is a discount for registering three or more participants. Online registration can be found at www.tristateracer.com.
“I decided to run for River Days, because I wanted to represent my school. I had people asking me to run and giving support, it was something I’ve always dreamed about since I was a little girl. So, when the time came, I decided to run.”
Joseph Pratt can be reached at 740-353-3101, EXT 1932, or by Twitter @JosephPratt03.