MONTREAL – Nothing says autumn like seeing red, orange and yellow leaves falling to the ground. Those weren’t the only colors catching peoples’ eyes at l’Île Notre-Dame on Saturday.
The Color Run hit the streets of Montreal for the first time, bringing together thousands of runners of all ages and skill levels. For their inaugural event in the city, The Color Run joined forces with the Montreal Canadiens Children’s Foundation.
|Youppi! gets the runners warmed up before the big race.|
“We were really lucky. The people from The Color Run approached us about getting involved in this great event. It’s a race that encourages physical activity and fitness,” explained executive director of the Children’s Foundation, Genevieve Paquette. “The mission of the Foundation is to encourage children to adopt healthy habits, including an active lifestyle. This was a good mix for us.”
More accustomed to welcoming the most powerful machines on four wheels, le circuit Gilles-Villeneuve proved to be the ideal host for the 5km run, comprising four different “color zones” where runners had their white T-shirts dusted with colorful powder. Worry not: the powder is 100% natural; runners – and their clothing – were never in any danger.
“Before this morning – and we know we’ll get more registrations in person, we had over 7,500 participants confirmed. That’s the power of social media,” mentioned Paquette. “For those who know about The Color Run, which has been in existence in the States for over a year and a half, you see them showing up to events all over the place. There were a lot of people registered who weren’t from Montreal. It’s a really diverse group.”
|Rejean Houle joined runners and Youppi! at the first Color Run in Montreal.|
After proudly donning bleu, blanc and rouge throughout their careers, Canadiens alumni were also game to hit the ground running for a good cause. The former Habs were more than willing to brave the elements – and the color wheel – to lend a hand to the Foundation.
“It wasn’t hard to convince me to come, that’s for sure,” shared Rejean Houle, who is the president of the Canadiens Alumni Association. “You know why? It’s a younger, more vibrant event and it’s definitely a lot more colorful than any other race out there!”
The Color Run raised thousands of dollars for the Foundation, which provides help and support to children in need. Based on the success of the debut event, it’s safe to say this won’t be the last time amateur artists flock to le circuit Gilles-Villeneuve for the most colorful day of the year.
Hugo Fontaine is a writer for canadiens.com. Translated by Shauna Denis.