Originally from Sudbury, Paquette joined friends for a five-kilometre trek through the trails at Moonlight Beach, one of some 450 participants in the first-time event. Everyone started with nice, white T-shirts, but by the time they arrived at the finish line, they were caked in multi-coloured dust that was thrown at them at every kilometre mark.
“It was amazing -- everyone should try it,” Paquette said. “I've seen this type of event before, and when I heard about it happening in Sudbury, I really wanted to jump in on it.”
Likewise, Krystal Morrison said the Colours of Hope run provided the perfect opportunity for her and her friends to get fit and do something good.
“It's for a good cause that raises money and awareness of cancer research,” she said. “It's called the happiest five kilometres in the world, and if you're going to do something for the first time, this is a good event to do that. We're all coming back next year, and I can only imagine it will be better.”
That seemed to be the spirit that prevailed among the hundreds of participants who either ran, walked or jogged the route. But, it wasn't all about fun and games. At the end of the day, the event is a fundraiser – and it raised more than $25,000.
“That has exceeded our expectations,” said Tim Whalen, volunteer president of the community advisory council for the Canadian Cancer Society in Sudbury. “This is an event that has been taking place in various places in Ontario, and it's the first time we've held it here in Sudbury as a fundraiser. As of (Oct. 20), the Sudbury chapter achieved the highest number of registered participants, and perhaps the highest fundraising amount.”
Even the weather exceeded expectations, Whalen said.
“When you're able to have this kind of success for a first-time event, and iron out the wrinkles, then the plan is to make it a staple event and bigger and better year after year,” he said.