AUGUSTA — Fast dance music filled the downtown Saturday morning, bouncing off the Olde Federal Building and rollicking back again as runners and dogs ran and raced and jogged past in a 5K Color Dash.

“We Wanna Party” rang out from DJ Chris Lothridge’s speakers set up in Market Square along Water Street.

Signs, including one that said “Run like you stole something,” kept up runners’ spirits as well as they sprinted through stations where they were dusted with cornstarch colored blue, pink, yellow and green.

The run — a benefit for both the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce and the Augusta Downtown Alliance — attracted about 330 entrants.

Lothridge, who is sales director for the Fairfield Inn & Suites and the Hampton Inn, both in Augusta, when he’s not spinning tunes, praised both groups for organizing the event. “I like to have events like this,” he said.

One of the runners was Bill Tozier, who works for the KV Federal Credit Union, a major sponsor of the event.


“It’s really a great cause for the downtown and the Chamber of Commerce,” Tozier said, drinking from a water bottle after finishing the race. “I do it for the run, and they get me pretty colorful.”

Since he ran last year in the inaugural event, he’s learned a few tricks to running through the color stations.

“It’s a good idea if you turn around backwards,” he said. “Otherwise, it’s a good idea if you close your eyes and close your mouth. You get thirsty if you get it anywhere near your mouth.”

Katie Doherty, president and chief executive officer of the Kennebec Valley Chamber of Commerce, said last year’s even raised $13,000 and this year more than $10,000 had been collected so far. “It’s a big family event,” she said, pointing to the groups featuring dogs, children and strollers. The money goes toward business community outreach, according to the chamber’s newsletter.

Kristin and Josh DuBois ran the race with their son Ethan, in a stroller, which also showed some patches of color. Jenna Dubord, of Newburgh, had signed up for the run a couple of days ago. “I’ve been looking for a color run to do, and I had a free weekend,” she said, as she stood with her dog Lux. “She made it through the pink and blue. She just didn’t want to be yellow or green.”

Maggie McKeon, of Rangeley, held Macallan, a now-colorful Corgi, on a leash as she gave him water from a water bottle after the run and dusting. “He didn’t mind it,” she said, adding that he enjoyed chasing the other dogs.


It was a first Color Dash for Maggie Lynn, newly moved to Hallowell. “It was fun,” she said, as the runners awaited the finale and the announcement of race winners.

Sam Coffin won the children’s portion of the race, with Alison Johnson as the first woman and her brother, Isaac Johnson, as the first man across the finish line, according to Doherty.

Many of the runners used cellphones to capture images of their colorful compatriots.

Earlier Betsy Curtis, owners of Betsy’s Home Decor, Furniture and Formal Wear store, and Kim Meservey, owner of the Downtown Diner, cheered for friends and family as they came by, including Wyatt Green and Casey Gallant, who ran past with colorful tutus atop their black shorts.

Sister Lewis of Idaho and Sister Scherzinger of Utah, both missionaries with the Church of Jesus Christ of Later-day Saints, volunteered their help with the event at the blue station, just below Hartford Fire Station.

“We had to practice,” Lewis said, explaining why most of the volunteers’ clothing had more color than the runners. The aim was to pelt the runners below the shoulders.


But all that aiming went out the window with the “Color Explosion” that celebrated the finale of the event in the parking lot of Augusta City Center, where the B-52s “Love Shack” resounded.

Betty Adams — 621-5631

[email protected]

Twitter: @betadams

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