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Let your colors run: Color Blast Fun Run honors SLO High senior 

We all know that exercise is an important part of maintaining a healthy lifestyle, but it’s also terrible, and that’s just a fact. To quote the immortal words of Ann Perkins, “Jogging is the worst! I mean I know it keeps you healthy, but God. At what cost?”

Of course, there are always the outliers in a society, and by outliers, I mean those weirdoes who actually enjoy exercise, or at least they say they do.

click to enlarge ALL THE COLORS OF THE WIND:  The Color Blast Fun Run began in honor of local high school student Alex Maier. - PHOTO COURTESY OF SLO COLOR BLAST FUN RUN
  • ALL THE COLORS OF THE WIND: The Color Blast Fun Run began in honor of local high school student Alex Maier.

For those of us who need a little more motivation to commit to something as heinous as exercise, there’s the Color Blast Fun Run, coming to San Luis Obispo on Jan. 24. I know it sounds a little strange to have ‘fun’ and ‘run’ in the same sentence, but if you don’t think that pelting people running by with colored dust made out cornstarch, then you must be absolutely crazy. 

The Color Blast Fun Run, however, grew out of a not-so-fun tragedy. In 2013, San Luis Obispo High School senior Alex Maier was killed in a car accident. Maier was a varsity soccer player who was known for his motto: “choose happy.”

“Alex’s death caused quite a stir in the community for a lot of reasons,” Dan McGee, the coordinator of the event, said. “He was a well-known soccer player. He grew up in this small community, and played sports, and went to school here, and his mom is a doctor. A lot of people knew him in some way or fashion. 
That’s just the way this town is. In 
any event, Alex’s death had a big impact on many of us.”

According to McGee, Maier’s sister, Leah, put the idea for the Color Run forth.

“She mentioned that we should try and do a color run, which is the latest fad, and that Alex would have loved it,” McGee said. “That got us thinking, ‘Why not?’ So we put it together, and people came out everywhere to participate, and we had over 100 volunteers. It was sort of a miracle how it all came together, and how everybody showed up to help and participate.”

All the proceeds from the run will be donated to the Alex Maier Memorial Fund and Scholarships, which helps graduating high school seniors as they enter college. McGee said that Maier’s parents wanted to encourage any student thinking of going to college to just go for it, which was Maier’s attitude.

“This is a grass-roots event, put on by local volunteers, and we want it to be fun,” McGee said. “It’s an opportunity to do something fun with your friends and family, and it has become a community-binding event. Many people come out to celebrate life, and to think about the fun of past loved ones, and that is our goal. It’s a fun run, so anyone can participate regardless of your ability to actually run. Many will walk. It’s all on the campus of SLO High School, so it is a fun, safe environment. And you will get color thrown all over you, and you can throw it on your friends. It just turns into a lot of good times.”

The Color Blast Fun Run will start at 10 a.m. at SLO High School, at 1499 San Luis Drive. There will be a pre-race entertainment and warm-up at 9 a.m. Registration is $35, and the form is available at


Fast fact

The Cal Poly Theatre & Dance Department will present the Orchesis Dance Company’s 45th annual concert, Release, Jan. 23 through 24 and 29 through 31. The concert features 30 students in 11 dance pieces ranging from ballet, jazz, contemporary, and modern. The performances showcase guest choreography from Mike Esperanza, Nancy Cranbourne, and Mark A. Haines. In addition, the show features the work of four student choreographers. Tickets for the show are $20 for the general public, and $12 for students, seniors, and children and will be on sale at the Performing Arts Center Ticket Office between noon and 6 p.m. For more information, call 756-4849, or go to


Intern Adriana Catanzarite hates to run but loves to throw colored dust at random people. Send your business and nonprofit news to

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