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Color the Grove 5K set for May 3

The Color the Grove 5K run is co-hosted by Flint RiverQuarium and Darton State College

Eleven-year-olds Avery Eakes, left, and Emily Foy cross the finish line on Pine Avene covered in colored corn starch during last year’s 5k Color Run Saturday hosted by the Flint RiverQuarium and Darton State College. This year’s run is scheduled for May 3. (File photo)

Eleven-year-olds Avery Eakes, left, and Emily Foy cross the finish line on Pine Avene covered in colored corn starch during last year’s 5k Color Run Saturday hosted by the Flint RiverQuarium and Darton State College. This year’s run is scheduled for May 3. (File photo)

ALBANY — Runners are hoping to paint a running rainbow next weekend at the second Color the Grove 5K fun run hosted by Flint RiverQuarium and Darton State College.

Scheduled for Saturday, May 3 the Color the Grove 5K is billed as an ideal event for everyone from casual walkers to serious runners.

Runners and walkers who attend the race will wear white t-shirts and will be showered along the way with non-toxic, colored powder by volunteers manning six stations throughout the course.

The race will begin on Front Street at 10 a.m. Participants will navigate a 3.1 mile course through downtown Albany before wrapping up at the riverfront.

The Color the Grove run serves as a fundraiser for both the RiverQuarium and Darton College Boosters. Event organizers are hoping to exceed last year’s donation total as well as attendance.

Vicki Churchman, manager of member and volunteer services at the Flint RiverQuarium, said more than 1,000 people participated in the 2013 run along with roughly 100 volunteers.

“We had a really successful year last year,” said Churchman. “We had about a 1,000 people run. My goal is to have at least as many runners this year. It (also) takes about 100 volunteers to make this work. We’re looking at about 130 this year.”

Last year organizers were able to raise $10,000 to split between Darton College and Flint RiverQuarium and organizers expect they’ll be able to raise even more this year.

Darton events coordinator Martha Snow said she expects a better turn out due to some changes in the route. She said the run will not be paired with an outdoor musical performance like last year.

“We listened to the evaluation of last year’s participants and changed the course,” Snow said. “We also had a music festival last year which raised our expenditures.”

Snow said organizers are also going to have a timed portion at this year’s run at the request of previous participants that wanted to have official times.

“We’re going to time it this year, too,” Snow said. “Overall it’s going to be bigger and better.”

Awards will be given to participants of the timed event in the following categories: master male and female, overall male and female, male and female 10 and under and age groups 11-19, 20-29, 30-39, 40-49 and 50 and over.

Individuals can preregister for the run for $30 through Tuesday. Beginning Wednesday the registration will be $35. Groups of four can also register together for $100 until 5 p .m. Wednesday.

The entry fee includes a custom race t-shirt, a bag of color and free admission to the Flint RiverQuarium on race day.

Registration can be handled at raceroster.com. More information can be obtained at colorthegrove.com or by calling Snow at (229) 317-6770 or Churchman at (229) 639-2650.