The Color Run Tropicolor World Tour 2016 showed Orlando some color on Jan.16. Veronica Brezina


From their running shoes to sweatbands to fake wigs, runners were drenched in wild colors during The Color Run 5k Tropicolor World Tour 2016 event at the Central Florida Fairground on Jan. 16.

The wacky event known as “the happiest 5k on the planet," is popular for its reputation of spraying dyed corn starch onto its color runners. The Color Run is one of the largest 5k event series in the world. The Tropicolor World Tour 2016, which marks the fifth anniversary of The Color Run, added even more excitement with a Tropicolor Zone where runners are bathed in tropical colors and island scents. After the finish line, runners came to Tropicolor’s Rainbow Beach, which included music, color throws and dance performances.

Many UCF students took a break from their first week of school to join in the fun.

“I think that UCF students can benefit from any 5K or race that he or she chooses to run. Running is a way to cope with stresses that you have throughout college, such as having a bad roommate, struggling to do things on your own without your parents, or worrying about how you are going to lose the horrifying freshman 15,” said Annie O’Connor, a senior interdisciplinary studies major.

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“When I was in high school I ran multiple 5ks because I was part of the cross-country team. Throughout college, I have run various 5ks that were sponsored by UCF, such as the zombie 5k, and the midnight 5k. I also ran the Tour de Pain in 2013 and the YMCA's Turkey Trot every Thanksgiving Day with my family for the past five years,” O’Connor said.

This was also Liza Marrero Pettett’s first time running the Color Run 5k – a UCF alumna who graduated in 2001.

“I am running the race with team Los Tainos, which is the indigenous Indian tribes of Puerto Rico. The members are myself, my daughter, Isabella Zahara, 8, my son, Levi Morgan, 4, and my father Eliu Marrero, 61,” Pettet said.

Others such as Joanna Knowles, a UCF alumna who graduated in 2003, came back for a victory after an incident in 2013.

“I ‘ran’ the race with my older sister.  Her knee gave out in, like, the first 30 seconds, so I walked with her for most of it.  There were brief stretches where I ran, mainly just through the clouds of color.  I didn't place, of course, but it was a zany experience.  It made the streets of Orlando come to life in a way I hadn't seen them before. I decided to participate again because I want to push myself and see if I can, at least, jog the whole time," Knowles said.

Knowles ran with her running friend Cherish Bellamy, a senior education major, during today's event.  After racing past the finish line, participants received a limited-edition souvenir shirt, finisher’s medal on a floral-printed ribbon, embroidered headband and temporary tattoos.


Veronica Brezina is a Digital Producer for the Central Florida Future. Email her at

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