Dream world tour

By Chen Shasha Source:Global Times Published: 2017/9/25 18:33:39

Annual Color Run fitness event passes through Shanghai

Fitness is now one of the hottest trends among urban Chinese young adults. Fashionable routines such as working out at a gym, doing yoga or running have become a popular preference as they are less skill-demanding and more suitable for all ages. Running events and races are attracting millions of enthusiasts in cities such as Shanghai.

The Color Run, an annual series first started in the US in 2011, welcomed over 20,000 runners last weekend with Dream World Tour as this year's global theme. Different from a competition, the event does not time runners and does not announce any winners.

Calling itself "the happiest 5,000 meters on the planet," The Color Run, as its name indicates, encourages participants to run through showers of colorful food-grade powders and dyes to celebrate happiness and healthiness.

Kyle from the US was covered head to toe in a prism of powders when he told the Global Times that this was the first running event he had ever joined.

"I thought it would be a good fun-try as my first race. It is short. You don't have to run fast. You can also walk if you want to, so it is not tiring at all. Everyone can take their time," he grinned.

Before Jerry moved to Shanghai from Zhengzhou, capital of Central China's Henan Province about a year ago, she once ran an international marathon. Her friend invited her to join The Color Run.

"I finished the entire course by walking. It is still so much fun although it was raining," she said, adding that she will consider running more marathons with her friends.

Stressing fun over stress

Adrienne from the UK and Mari from the Philippines are running enthusiasts. Besides going to the gym often, they also run marathons in Shanghai, Wuxi and Suzhou, East China's Jiangsu Province. But she finds that The Color Run, an event that stresses fun over stress, is enjoyable.

"This is a fantastic and very well-organized event. Everyone is having fun. There are lots of activities to do here. We walked most of it just to enjoy the fun of all the activities, such as throwing color packages and passing through bubbles from bubble machines. The scenery is also very beautiful in the park," said Adrienne, who will run a 15-kilometer race in Chongming district on October 14.

The Color Run was first brought to Beijing and Guangzhou in 2013 by IMG, a company originally known as the International Management Group catering to global sports and events. Currently, they have been organizing 18 color run events in eight Chinese cities.

This was the third time that IMG organized The Color Run in Shanghai, according to Barbara Zhang, vice president of IMG events of China.

Born into a military family, Zhang used to be a parachutist in the Air Force of the Chinese People's Liberation Army and joined many competitions during her athletic career of more than two decades.

She continues to exercise because she believes that sports keep people young, happy and enthusiastic. As a person who has never left the sports field, Zhang shared with the Global Times her ideas about running and other exercise trends happening in China.

GT: Why did IMG bring this event to China?

Zhang: The sports industry in China has seen increasing growth in recent years. We started to think about bringing it to China since The Color Run was initiated in the US. Back in 2011, running was not as cool as it is today, but we still felt it was promising as it combines sports, colors and happiness.

It has developed very well in China, as we expected. We are confident to say that, since 2013, people have got to know that running can be such a cool activity. Soon afterward, other running events sprang up. People now have more chances to join different events. It is good that we could lead such a trend.

GT: What do you think of the running fad in China now?

Zhang: I think running now has become a fashion. Running could be boring and marathons have a high demand in skills and physical energy. Some fashionable and untimed running events like The Color Run are more suitable for more people, as it requires neither skills nor speed. It is more like a platform for people to show their happiness and healthiness. That's why more people would like to join.

We don't have a lot of outdoor activities for youngsters. The things that could relieve them from their heavy studying tasks or take them away from television and electronic games have to be funny, relaxing and zero pressure. I think an event like The Color Run is the best choice.

GT: Why did you use Dream World Tour as the global theme this year?

Zhang: We have new themes every year to make participants feel and experience different things. We proposed Dream World Tour partly because it fits the China Dream we have been talking about in recent years.

Moreover, we believe that there are no boundaries in dreams. Everyone has dreams of all varieties, big or small. As the world now has more understanding of China, and China is welcoming more ideas and concepts from outside, we decided to use this theme and it was warmly accepted.

A runner holds trophies. Photo: Yang Hui/GT


Participants with colorful pigments and dyes Photo: Yang Hui/GT


A runner at the event Photo: Yang Hui/GT


Runners at the event Photo: Yang Hui/GT



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