Almost 1,200 people ran, danced and twisted their way through colourful clouds of powder during the inaugural Grant Thornton 5K Run in Colour on Saturday in Kelowna.
The big winner was the Kelowna General Hospital Foundation, which raked in a lot of green at the inaugural Grant Thornton 5K Run in Colour - nearly $90,000 as of Friday. A final total will be released Tuesday.
Almost as if it was planned, the sun burst through grey clouds just as the first wave of delighted runners went through an inflated start-finish portal at Waterfront Park. More than 60 teams and many families took part.
"I saw this little glimmer of sunshine this morning, so I was focusing on that, hoping it was going to come out," said Jeanette Hoft, run spokeswoman.
"It's going to be a fantastic year. It's been a really, really good event. It had to be organized in a very short period of time - three months to put this together. It has exceeded all of our expectations," she said.
The Kelowna community has always been "fantastic" in volunteer support, with about 220 for this event, said Hoft.
It's the first Run in Colour for Kelowna. Doug Rankmore, CEO of the KGH Foundation, came up with the idea.
"It's really made fundraising for the foundation accessible to everybody," said Hoft. "We have great involvement by young
people. It's very popular with the younger generation, with Okanagan College and UBC Okanagan students."
Runners wound their way along the waterfront and through Rotary Marshes, then through the North End, and were peppered with coloured powder when they reached stations on Bay Avenue, in Sutherland Park, at the foot of Knox Mountain and then the Justice Institute of B.C. grounds before returning to Waterfront Park.
After crossing the finish line and going through one last powder line, they were handed bags of powder for a mass powder throw after everyone had returned. However, most couldn't wait and started tossing it at one another.
"It was a lot of fun," said Josie Morgadinho, 16, a student at Mount Boucherie Secondary.
"It was so fun; it was great," agreed Kaitlin Bailey, who was joined by friends, all of them exercise psychology students at UBC Okanagan. "I think I need to jump in the lake now (to wash the powder off)."
"This was so much fun. It's not every day you get to go on a run and then get covered with paint as you are running. It was a blast. I loved it," added another one of her friends, who only identified herself as Courtney.
The coloured powder was food safe and eco-friendly, according to Hoft, but run organizers were not allowed to spray it on any paved streets, only on park lawns.