JEDDAH: The renowned Color Run, described as “the happiest race on the planet,” lived up to its name as it completed its last stop in Saudi Arabia on the shores of Jeddah on Saturday.
More than 10,000 smiling runners finished the event with each wearing a white T-shirt covered in green, yellow, orange and pink colors to mark each kilometer of the run.
Entrants’ white shirts acted as a blank canvas to be filled with colors as participants ran toward a fitter and healthier life.
The colors brought back memories of home for Filipino expats living in the Kingdom.
“Every year this event is held in the Philippines,” said Roy Bucad, a 31-year-old Filipino expat. “It is a fun event we go to as friends. The fact that it was held in Jeddah is amazing. It looks very much like the one back home.”
Another runner said: “The run was so happy and free. My favorite part was when they would splash you with color at the end of each stop.”
Arnel Garrido told Arab News: “I have been living in Saudi Arabia for six years which means I have been missing out on a lot. This event allowed me to be part of something everyone talked about.”
Almost 40,000 color runners took part in two events in the Kingdom with entrants running, jogging or strolling to the finish line.
Fitness coach Reham Kamal said she was delighted by the enjoyment on display at the event.
“These types of activities help families be more active and grow together because they are enjoyed by both children and adults,” she said. After the run a DJ had people dancing and jumping to music, throwing their colors in the air in unison. Even after covering 5km people were high on energy.
The Color Run is a part of the General Entertainment Authority’s (GEA) efforts to attract top entertainment to Saudi Arabia and enrich the lifestyle of residents.
The run first took place in Alkhobar in March, which attracted more than 10,000 people.
The largest running series in the world, the Color Run has been experienced by over 7 million runners worldwide in more than 40 countries.
Saudi Arabia is making efforts to stimulate investment in the entertainment sector and enhance economic activity to help achieve the strategic objectives of Vision 2030.
The GEA this year introduced entertainment seasons in each city and region and is encouraging local investors and small- and medium-sized businesses to participate.