Wednesday, May 4, 2016

Color run provides smiles for new and old faces

By Emily Kim

PLATTSBURGH, N.Y. – It’s the paint, the exploding colors, and the smiles on every

face in the field; it’s the dedication and promotion for healthiness and happiness that

makes the Color Run the single largest event series in the world.

It’s 10 a.m. on April 30

Plattsburgh beings. Colors of blue, pink, green, and yellow cover the area for a second

time. The Color Run is a nationwide 5K run that was founded in 2011 to bring

communities together and promote healthiness and happiness. The City of Plattsburgh

decided to host a Color Run of its own in 2015. The money goes towards Autism Speaks

U, a national organization, with a portion going to the women’s soccer team at SUNY


“We wanted a fun way to raise awareness and raise money for Autism Speaks,

which is helping people who have Autism,” Will Hodge, Secretary of Autism Speaks U


Bringing it back for a second year, more timing and planning had to be made in

order for this year’s turn out to be bigger and better for the community and for the cause.

President Breanna Syslo and Soccer Coach Tania Armellino, oversaw all of the

committees that were created for this event. It has been an ongoing project since the day

after the first year’s run ended.

th and the 2

nd Annual Color Run at Memorial field in

“It’s a years worth of work,” Syslo said. “This semester we have had weekly

meetings to coordinate, as well as large group meetings every month.”

The ultimate goal for the upcoming years in Plattsburgh is for the Color Run to

continue annually. It’s an opportunity for the community of Plattsburgh to come together

and spread knowledge of the issues of autism.

“We are raising the money for the National organization, but more than that, we

are raising awareness,” Hodge said.

People of the community joined together as participants, volunteers, and

supporters to help the cause. It also encourages fitness and health, in which participants

can run for five miles while being splattered on with paint, creating an exciting and

colorful victory at the finish line.

Nicole Rescigno, participant, said, “It was overall a great experience, especially

because it was not a timed event with any winners or prizes.”

It’s refreshing for people when they can be a part of something that doesn’t

consist of physical prizes and titles. The Color Run gives the ultimate prize: individual


Some people like Rescigno, come to the Color Run for the health and happiness

aspect, while others, come because of personal relations with autism. Hodge became a

member of Autism Speaks U because of his cousin. He grew up with autism and Hodge

and his mother took care of him for a couple of years. His cousin’s development skills

were slow, and so Hodge’s mother helped him learn how to speak more, develop social

skills, and other things that people with autism are not able to learn as well as people

without it.

“I am a part of this club for him to get the services he needs,” Hodge said.

It’s an event with incredible scenery. People are smiling different colors while

exchanging laughs and comments about how the paint looks on their white t­shirt.

Claire Murphy, a volunteer, got to experience how much joy and fun this event

gives to the community as it was her first time at a Color Run. She was stationed behind

the Plattsburgh High School and was in charge of throwing purple powder over the

runners. She encourages people to volunteer for this event and is eager to come back

another year to throw more colors and watch the runners enjoy the event as much as she


“It gets a lot of the students excited to volunteer for it because it’s so much fun

and it also gets the entire community together because there are not only students that run

in it, but also families,” Murphy said.

Serena Thomaidis, participant, is a big supporter of the Color Run. She’s moved

around a lot in her lifetime and has gone to different Color Runs. This was her first time

going to this event in Plattsburgh, and she had no complaints. Like others, she has a

personal connection with autism, and with this Color Run donating to the cause,

Thomaidis had a deeper appreciation to the event.

“I run for awareness and for love and support,” Thomaidis said.

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