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A Run to Dye For in Wolfville a colourful way to engage community in physical activity

WOLFVILLE, NS - It’s a fun running event that is uniquely colourful. In fact, it’s A Run to Dye For.

Exercise is Medicine on Campus Acadia University hosted A Run to Dye For, the second annual, at the Acadia Athletics Complex in Wolfville on April 8. This is a 5-km fun run or walk where participants are encouraged to come dressed in white and leave covered in coloured dye.

Race kits included white t-shirts and packages of cornstarch-based, non-toxic powered dye that are opened and thrown at fellow participants as the run begins. The route throughout the campus and downtown featured stations where volunteers threw more dye on runners. The coloured powder was really flying at the fifth and final station as participants crossed the finish line.

“It’s dye-time at the finish line,” Exercise is Medicine on Campus Acadia University co-president Nolan Turnbull said. “If someone has any white left on them, we’re going to be changing that.”

With the temperature hovering around 3C and with the threat of snow, the crowd wasn’t quite as large this year. However, they still had 40 people register in advance and several more just prior to the run. More than 100 people took part last year when conditions were more spring-like.

Among the runners were Andrea Pothier, Jillian Veinot, 10-year-old Lukah Pothier and 10-year-old Daeshawn Fletcher of Centreville. This was the first time they took part in the event. All agreed that they were looking forward to getting covered in dye.

Andrea Pothier said they thought it would be a fun way to get out and be active with the boys and having the coloured dye involved probably makes the event more enjoyable for kids.

“It’s pretty cool to walk away and be messy, I guess,” Pothier said.

Lukah Pothier said he was looking forward to having fun and getting dirty while being active. He said the coloured dye run is “the greatest idea ever invented” and a great way to help get kids their age active.

Veinot agreed that the Run to Dye For is a great idea and “a good reason to get dirty.” Since it was a fun run with no timing, there was no pressure and participants could approach it as they wished.

Fletcher, who was the third participant to cross the finish line, said he has participated in runs before but never one where people throw powdered dye on you.

Exercise is Medicine on Campus Acadia University co-president Majeedah Belding said the club wanted to hold a fun event that is inclusive of everyone to end its year. They’ve had everyone from children in strollers to people in their 80’s take part in club activities.

She said participants in A Run to Dye For can walk if they prefer and the incorporation of the dye is all about having a good, memorable time.

“It’s something that you laugh about, when you look back at those pictures and have those memories, it’s just to make it a really great event,” Belding said.

She said Exercise is Medicine is a global movement and the purpose is to get people out enjoying physical activity. They want people to understand that by exercising and incorporating movement in your everyday life, you can get healthier and perhaps avoid having to take medications.

Turnbull, who is also the national Exercise is Medicine on Campus east coast representative, said the initial Run to Dye For was very successful. They received a lot of positive feedback so they decided to bring it back this year. It will likely become an annual tradition. The goal is having fun while being active and bringing the community together.

“It’s a chance to kind of welcome spring in a sense, that’s how we look at it,” Turnbull said. “Spring is filled with lots of new colour and things coming into bloom. Sadly, we’re not seeing much of that yet in Wolfville but maybe this will kick start things.”

He said this is the third year for Exercise is Medicine on Campus at Acadia University. They’re fortunate because Kinesiology professor Dr. Jonathon Fowles is the Canadian chairman of Exercise is Medicine and serves as a mentor, helping to oversee the on-campus program.

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