Colorful characters

Even before Giordyn Riopta actually started running Saturday morning, she was yellow, pink, green and blue.


“You become colorful,” she said of the prerun “color explosion” that was part of the Color Relay Extravaganza at Puakea Golf Course.

The Kauai student was one of about 100 kids and adults who joined the fundraiser for the Kapaa Middle School Choir and Ukulele Band. Many wore costumes, tutus, goggles and glasses as they ran and walked along the course, while having powered paint tossed at them every few hundred yards.

A downpour that rolled in late added to the festive atmosphere. Many said while they preferred to sleep in on Saturday mornings, they didn’t want to miss this one, despite the threat of Hurricane Ana. Plenty of laughs and screams went up as volunteers threw handfuls of powder that colored participants.

“It’s fantastic,” Ann Wooton said of her first color run.

Wooton had a busy morning that started with Zumba and ended with a women’s veteran conference. In between, she squeezed in a run/walk that left her smiling and twirling when she was pummeled with powder.

“It’s great fun,” she said.

Desiree Pia and her niece Siren Hahn donned colorful skirts, suspenders and goofy glasses as they jogged and walked the 5K course.

“She always wants to run,” Pia said of her niece.

Young Kaylee Tukuda climbed out of bed and joined her parents for the 7 a.m. start. She wasn’t bothered by all the flying colored powder that came her way.

“I never really wanted to go this morning. Just for my mom,” she said. “I was falling asleep in the car.”

Mary Lardizabal, director of Kapaa Middle School chorus and ukulele band, said despite the small turnout, it was great fun.

“It’s not the quantity, it’s the quality, and the people who came out to support us had a great time,” she said.

Lardizabal got the opportunity to check out the course and watch the runners and volunteers. She liked what she saw — people having a good time while raising money to help send some 70 students to the Heritage Music Festival in Anaheim, California, in March.

“It was worth it, definitely worth it,” she said.

Another color run is already in the works.

“We have to plan our rerun next month because we have a lot of powder paint left over,” Lardizabal said.


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