More than a couple dozen runners showed up to participate in the first ever 4-H Color Me Green 5K run the morning of the 2019 Plumas County Picnic, June 1.
Hardly a jacket was needed in the early morning while race preparations were being made and runners signed up.
“It was our first annual,” said 4H organizer Kari O’Reilly. “We plan to do it again since it was so much fun. We felt like everyone who ran had a great time.”
Participant T-shirts read, “Color Me Green” and that is literally what happened as runners passed volunteers lined along the course. O’Reilly was busy in the early morning before the run as she gathered volunteers to train them on how to spray the runners with a non-toxic 4-H green powder. She allowed herself to be the test runner for their practice. “If they’ve had enough or don’t want to be sprayed,” cautioned O’Reilly, “then leave them alone and don’t spray them.” Eight year-old Deacon Steffanic did a fine job spraying on the green powder, he really enjoyed volunteering.
“We had around 30 participants and an additional 15 teenage 4H helpers,” said O’Reilly. The runners’ route circled the fairgrounds two-and a-half times before reaching the big 5K-finish line. Providing color at the finish line were 15-year-old volunteers Sophie Ward and Gaia Nelson.
The age range for the run was impressive. The youngest was about two and the oldest, well she’s not telling, did say she’s a grandma.
Stephanie Driscoll brought her two nephews to participate in the run, Cooper, 10, and Kade, 7.
Young Cooper Driscoll crossed through the finish line gate first. Andrew Patota was on the young athletes’ heels in second place. Before the race began Cooper said, “This is my seventh or eighth race.” The youngster sure knows how to do it, every picture showed him smiling and laughing all the way, enjoying the journey. Way to go Cooper!
The McCarthy family brought four members to the race, Greg, Carly, Cooper and Skylar. “This is our first time competing as a family,” said Carly. It appeared that each member of the family individually had prior race experience, but never in a race they all ran together, until now.
Sarah Bracher brought her two daughters, Lilly and Kaycie, from Loyalton to participate in the County Picnic opener. “We are from the Loyalton Echo 4-H group,” said Sarah. “It was a super fun family experience. The kids throwing color at us throughout the course was the best,” she said.
The youngest runner was Cole Staton at age two. He made the trek with his mother, Wendy. Every time Cole was spotted, he was running, or laughing. It was obvious that he especially liked the green powder applied by volunteers because he passed them in slow-motion so they could spray. Money is on Cole running again, he clearly liked it.
“We are excited to make this shift in our fundraising to these kind of healthy fun events as opposed to just another fundraiser selling candy bars or donuts,” said O’Reilly. Here, here.