Chapel Hill: Sports

Color The Hill expecting a bigger crowd this year

Runners at ther Color The Hill event, like these last year, will be “blitzed” with nin-toxic powders tha create a tie-dyed effect.
Runners at ther Color The Hill event, like these last year, will be “blitzed” with nin-toxic powders tha create a tie-dyed effect. Courtesy of Laura Malinchock

Organizers of next weekend’s Color The Hill 4K and Fun Run are hopeful that they’ll reach their registration goal — if not exceed it — before runners even take their first step May 3 at Finley Fields.

“We’re at 500 runners and the number is growing every minute,” Laura Malinchock said early last week.

Malinchock, a spokeswoman for the group of volunteers putting the second annual event together, said they were expecting a minimum of 700 runners and realistically hoping to top 750.

The 4K and fun run begin at 10 a.m. with a series of staggered starts Saturday at UNC’s Cross Country Course at Finley Fields.

Color The Hill is unique among local running events. Entrants proceed through the course at their own pace and, at five disparate stations, will be “ blitzed by race volunteers with non-toxic, colored powder,” says the run’s website. (Participants are advised to wear as much white as possible to heighten the effect.)

The event continues at the finish line with a party featuring music, food trucks and free giveaways.

“It’s just fun,” Sondra Komada said.

Komada, who heads up the fund-raising efforts of Color The Hill, noted the event has a charitable origin. She took part in a similar “Color Me Rad” run a couple of years ago in Greensboro. When she and some other friends were discussing how best to help some local non-profits, she suggested uniting their efforts behind a “Color The Hill” banner.

Last year’s inaugural run attracted more than 600 runners.

This year’s event will benefit three local non-profits: the Academy of Information Technology of the Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools, A Drink For Tomorrow and the SKJAJA Fund.

The Academy of Information Technology introduces Chapel Hill-Carrboro City Schools students to the broad career opportunities in a digital workforce.

A Drink For Tomorrow is a UNC student-run organization that helps construct sustainable water and sanitation projects in Latin America.

The SKJAJA Fund provides underprivileged local children the opportunity to participate in social and educational enrichment activities, asking each of them to “pay it forward” in return.

“This event is an all-volunteer effort,” Malinchock said. “Part of the fun for everyone is knowing that they’re doing something for the community and that all the proceeds go to local charities.”

Registration costs $35 for participants ages 11 and up. The fee includes a “Color The Hill” T-shirt. Ages 5-10 are only $15 with a paying adult. All entrants receive sunglasses, a race number and a color packet.

See for more information.