Color Your Campus coming to the UI this spring


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Hubbard Park may be white and peaceful today, but the grass will be speckled in black and gold when the University of Iowa hosts the first Color Your Campus fun run in April.

“We are bringing the fun-run phenomenon to college campuses across the country,” said Color Your Campus cofounder Grant Kamins. “We’re using school colors, so it really will be about school spirit and camaraderie.”

Registration opened on Monday for the event, a casual 5K in which participants will begin dressed in white and will end showered in black and gold dye. At numerous points during the run, participants will be splashed with the dye. Details about the route will be released later this month, but the race will begin and end at Hubbard Park.

Planning for the event began in August 2013, when Kamins and cofounder Jared Satkoff reached out to Alexis Kuennen, a UI senior and the president of the UI chapter of the American Marketing Association. Kuennen said the group “jumped at the opportunity.”

“We had already thought about doing a 5K ourselves, so this was perfect,” she said.

The founders told Kuennen they needed to gauge the interest level from students, so the marketing association began promoting the event on Facebook this past year. UI students, Kamins and Satkoff said, seemed particularly eager to host the event, earning the university the first Color Your Campus run. In October, university officials cleared the event.

After partnering with the UI, the organizers reached out to local businesses.

Molly’s Cupcakes, Swankie Frankie, Running Wild, and BlendCard will donate prizes to participants registering early for the event, including free food and gift cards.

“They contacted me and said they heard we were one of the hot new places in town,” said Clyde Guillaume, the Swankie Frankie owner. “Since we were just getting going, we were interested in getting our name out there.”

University officials capped registration at 5,000 people, and Satkoff thinks the event will reach the limit.

“We have a very, very good estimate that this is going to sell out within three to four weeks,” he said. “We know that people like to wait till the last minute, but for this one, don’t, because it’s not going to happen.”

Satkoff and Kamins anticipate making this first run one of many at UI.

“We 100 percent plan on making this an annual event at UI,” Satkoff said. “The day after the event, we will start the planning for the following year. I can tell you one thing: You won’t want to miss the first.”

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