Color Race for Grace
When: 2:30-4:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23
Where: Flowery Branch High School, 6603 Spout Springs Road, Flowery Branch
Cost: Early online registration $15-$25; day of race registration $30-$50
Running 5 kilometers may not sound inherently fun, but Flowery Branch high schoolers have developed an event to make such a trek enjoyable.
Instead of hearing encouraging cheers from a crowd of people, runners will be doused with non-toxic colored powder eight times during the fourth annual Color Race for Grace. The first colors will be tossed at the start line followed by six stations throughout the 5K. Then competitors will be bombarded with a final powder color at the finish line.
The students choose the color-race theme since the race benefits two organizations that deal with human trafficking.
“We try to inform but still give hope,” race coordinator and Flowery Branch senior Hailee Miller said. “That’s why we chose a heavy topic with the color, to give a fun atmosphere, so it’s not heavy on hearts.”
Participants are encouraged to wear an unimportant white shirt to highlight the color thrown, making runners part of the bright atmosphere, though the color is supposed to wash out of clothing. They also may choose to run or walk the course that encompasses the circumference of the Flowery Branch High School campus.
The Color Race will begin at 2:30 p.m. Saturday, April 23, at Flowery Branch High School at 6603 Spout Springs Road in Flowery Branch. The awards ceremony will follow at 3:30 p.m.
Coordinated by Flowery Branch High school juniors and seniors in a peer leadership class, the Color Race for Grace is open to all ages.
Participants may register online at www.fbhspeerleadership.com under the ‘Color Race’ tab. It costs $25 for adults and $15 for children 12 and younger. The cost includes a race bag with information and runner’s number. Online registration closes at 11:59 p.m. Monday, April 18.
Adults who miss the online deadline may sign up for the race at 1 p.m. April 23 at the school for $50. Children 12 and younger must pay $30 the day of the race.
The proceeds will benefit two organizations: Street Grace, a locally based organization in Atlanta, and A21 Campaign, a California-based international organization. Both groups aim to end human trafficking.
Originally, Street Grace was the lone benefactor of the race for two reasons. It is a local organization and partners with the Georgia Department of Education to help provide sack lunches to hungry children.
This year, funds will go to A21 Campaign as well, as student coordinators desired to make a global impact. A21 has made efforts to provide information to refugees in Europe about human trafficking, since they are one of the largest groups at-risk of being trafficked.
To spread awareness about the issue, colorful, informational signs are set up with statistics and information about human trafficking throughout the race.
“(The race) was a really positive environment,” said Cassie Ward, who ran the event in 2014. “Everyone was really happy to be there and to be a part of a race that stood for something more.” Last year, Ward helped organize the event. She said she was proud of “how passionate everyone was to help make a difference.”
That passion lives on in this year’s race organizers.
“This … is a great event because it brings … awareness to an issue that is too often pushed away,” Flowery Branch senior Ashley Grant said.
Grant has been involved in different facets of race planning for two years. She recognizes the weight of the issue, but knows “society … needs to be making greater strides towards ending (human trafficking), and we feel that is exactly what the Color Race for Grace does.”