They approached the Sports Centre from all sides, and all angles. Some turned up alone, many arrived in groups. All of them were armed with trainers, clutching drinks, and sporting garishly-coloured attire. The result? The Saints Sport Colour Run 2014, taking place last Saturday, was a veritable kaleidoscope of a 3 kilometre fun run, and the first event of its kind ever staged in St Andrews.
For those who may not be aware, a ’Colour Run’ is a non-competitive, untimed run, with the added twist being all participants must embrace – or, at least, endure – being showered with coloured powder at set stations along the route. Although colour runs are prevalent across the world, from Latin America to Australasia, it is fair to say East Fife hasn’t exactly served as a colour-running redoubt in years gone by.
Bearing this in mind, Saturday’s turnout was mightily impressive, with the event’s powdery appeal appearing to reach beyond the swathes of keen university students already in attendance. The very first runners were small children, which (unless said university students have been keeping themselves very busy recently) would imply local residents unaffiliated with the University were also participating. One person I spoke to had even turned up with no intention of running at all, acting on the basis of “enthusiasm despite no enthusiasm”. Evidently, the light-hearted fun of the event managed to infect just about anyone who strayed too near the Sports Centre this morning.
This broad appeal is exactly what Sarah Thompson, the AU President, had hoped the Colour Run would possess. She spoke afterwards of how the run had successfully attracted people “who might not have been that keen on taking part in other sporting events”. In this way, the run was a microcosm of one of Ms. Thompson’s main aims for Saints Sport as a whole; namely, to expand the appeal of sport for everyone at the University and beyond. Immediately after making this comment, a runner who had just finished asked her “when the next one was happening”. Coincidence? I think not.