First Color Run excites more than 10,000 runners in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province

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The Color Run, also known as the ‘Happiest 5K on the Planet,’ celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality. (AN photo by Essam Al-Ghalib)
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The Color Run, also known as the ‘Happiest 5K on the Planet,’ celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality. (AN photo by Essam Al-Ghalib)
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The Color Run, also known as the ‘Happiest 5K on the Planet,’ celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality. (AN photo by Essam Al-Ghalib)
Updated 25 March 2019
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First Color Run excites more than 10,000 runners in Saudi Arabia's Eastern Province

  • The 5-km marathon is part of the Sharqiah Season’s fun-filled activities

ALKHOBAR: Everywhere you looked it was a sea of color at the Alkhobar corniche as the Eastern Province’s first Color Run took place early on Saturday morning.

With 10,433 runners competing, the 5-km marathon began at 7 a.m., as part of the Sharqiah Season festival in the Eastern Province, which continues until the end of the month. Only one of 83 events scheduled throughout nine eastern region cities, the Color Run was rated high on the fun scale by 10-year-old Rania from the Philippines.

“I joined in the Color Run and I ran, and it was nice and fun,” said Rania who came with her cousins and aunt. “On a scale of one to 10, I think this was a nine. It was special because I got colorful and my hair got more beautiful.”

Rania, like all other runners who completed the course, received a medal commemorating the achievement.

The Color Run took participants along a 5-km path, and with every kilometer completed, those taking part would be showered by a single bright color. Each 1-km marker had its own color, so participants became more and more colorful as they progressed. 

Widyan Ayash, a mother from Syria, attended the event with her husband, Wael, and her daughter, Naya. “This is something new in Saudi Arabia,” she said. “We went through the five stops and at every stop there is a color that people start throwing on you, having fun, laughing, listening to nice music. The kids were very happy. It was a very nice family activity that we completed and we all got our small medals.”

By the time they reached the finish line, they were all a rainbow blend of neon colors that most laundromats would consider to be a nightmare. But no one Arab News spoke to said that they were rushing home to do laundry. 

It was quite the opposite.

The Color Run, also known as the ‘Happiest 5K on the Planet,’ celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality.  (AN photo by Essam Al-Ghalib)

“I am not going to wash my clothes,” said Jessica, a nurse at John Hopkins who has lived in the Kingdom for three years. “I am going to keep them as they are, to keep reliving the experience. It was a memorable day for everyone.”

Jennilyn Martha, another nurse, also had an exciting day. 

“I came here to join the Color Run,” she said. “It was so fun, and it is the first time it happened in the Kingdom. It was really great and we were excited. We walked and jogged and ran for 5 km. It was a good experience.”

Manal Bahareth, from Ras Tanura, also joined the Color Run.

“I had a great time,” she said, as she brandished her completion medal. “I finished the 5 km. It was kind of hard. I walked and ran. There has been great improvement in the country now and we should have more and more events like this.”

The Color Run, also known as the “Happiest 5K on the Planet,” celebrates healthiness, happiness and individuality. 

According to the Color Run website, it is the largest running series in the world and has been experienced by more than 7 million people in more than 40 countries.


Saudi Arabia's King Salman offers $1m to International Civil Aviation Organization

Updated 17 June 2019
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Saudi Arabia's King Salman offers $1m to International Civil Aviation Organization

RIYADH: Saudi Arabia’s King Salman has provided $1 million to the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO), the Saudi Press Agency reported Monday.

The announcement came as part of the “Kingdom’s efforts in supporting international organizations and bodies and the leadership’s keenness to play an important role in the most important international and regional organizations,” SPA said.

The aid will go towards supporting ICAO’s No Country Left Behind (NCLB) initiative, which aims to assist developing countries in applying the standards and recommended methods for the safety and security of civil aviation.

The aid will also contribute to the costs of translating the organization’s documents and publications into Arabic.

The President of the Kingdom’s General Authority for Civil Aviation (GACA), Abdulhadi bin Ahmed Al-Mansouri thanked King Salman for his support to the aviation sector locally, regionally and globally, 

He said: “this contributes to the development of the aviation industry and to improve the safety and security of civil aviation in developing countries, least developed countries and island states.

The $1 million of financial assistance is an extension of the Kingdom's previous financial support in 2016 which “ the level of safety and security of civil aviation in the Middle East and Africa," Al-Mansouri said.

Olumuyiwa Benard Aliu, the ICAO’s president, thanked the king for the support.