the Color Run Qatari athletes ready to join fun photo credit Juliette Sawyer

The Color Run continues to gather support from all corners of the community in Qatar, this time from some of the nation’s most promising young athletes who have signed up for the original five-kilometre colour powder race.

With the help of Sahtak Awalan: Your Health First – the health campaign run by Weill Cornell Medical College in Qatar (WCMC-Q) – the ‘Happiest 5K on the Planet’ will come to Doha on 24 January 2015 [postponed to 7 February 2015 in respect for the death of King Abdullah], and star athletes from the Qatar Athletics Federation (QAF) cannot wait to join in the fun.

Rising stars from QAF, including hammer thrower Ashraf ElSeify and runner Mariam Farid, have voiced their excitement in taking part in the event as a way to relax and have fun. The 16-year-old Farid, who won silver medals in the West Asian Championships and the GCC Championships said:

I’m really looking forward to The Color Run because it’s something totally different for Qatar. What’s really cool about it is that it’s meant to be totally fun! There’s no stress, no worrying about the competition or the time you get like athletes normally do when we are running. We can just enjoy being outdoors with friends, family and the rest of The Color Run community.’

Less about a 10-minute mile and more about having the time of your life, The Color Run is a five-kilometre, un-timed fun run where participants – or ‘Color Runners’ – can run, jog, walk, or even push their children in strollers around the course under a shower of coloured powder. The fun continues at the finish line with a gigantic Finish Festival designed to create happiness and lasting memories.

In addition to being tons of fun, The Color Run also focuses on promoting healthy living. Over 60% of Color Runners are first-time 5K participants and the event hopes to further Qatar’s commitment to improving health and wellness across the country.

Two-time World Junior Hammer Throw Champion ElSeify said:

You don’t need to be a star athlete or a member of the Qatar Athletics Federation to enjoy The Color Run and that’s what’s so great about it – literally anyone can do it. As athletes we want to help everyone in Qatar live a healthy and active lifestyle and The Color Run is a perfect opportunity for everyone to take a step in the right direction in a fun and relaxed way.’

The Color Run Qatar is presented by Sahtak Awalan: Your Health First, an initiative of WCMC-Q in association with the Supreme Council of Health and the campaign’s strategic partners, Qatar Foundation, Supreme Education Council, Qatar Petroleum, Occidental Petroleum Qatar, ExxonMobil, and Qatar Olympic Committee. The five-year educational health campaign, which was launched in 2012, focuses on encouraging young people between the ages of 10 and 25 to make healthy lifestyle choices.

The event is being held on a course around Qatar National Convention Centre (QNCC). Online entry is now closed but a limited number of entries will be available for sale by cash only at QNCC on Wednesday 21 January 2015 from 3 pm to 8 pm. These will be available on a first-come-first-served basis and organisers are urging hopefuls to arrive early to avoid missing out.

For more information, visit The Color Run’s Facebook page.