Debut of The Color Run in Bellingham


Note to self: get plastic bags and wrap cameras.

That was my thought as I headed out the door Sunday morning after only 4 hours of sleep. Stayed up late to finish a portrait project and had and assignment for The Bellingham Herald

So I grabbed some old grocery and a few ziplock bags, then headed out the door. I wanted to get to the library early so I can get a parking spot that would allow me easy access to escape the masses.  I also made sure to put UV filters on my lenses.

Selfie as he Runs –

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Volunteers Holley Bennett, left, and Carleeh Mulholland powder a participant runs through silver checkpoint during the debut of The Color Run 5K through downtown Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning Aug. 16, 2015.***Spelling is Carleeh MulhollandThe Color Run representative Kaitlin Syndergaard said over 5200 runners were registered for what is known as the Happiest 5K. She added that The Color Run partnered with the Whatcom Family YMCA to help raise funds for the organization.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Volunteers Holley Bennett, left, and Carleeh Mulholland powder a participant runs through silver checkpoint during the debut of The Color Run 5K through downtown Bellingham.

Once I got my gear wrapped and taped up so as not to get them destroyed by the colored powders (I was warned by a few friends and fellow photogs), I headed to the race to get some info.

Orange is the new … Color? –

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Participants get sprayed by volunteers Mayu Takahashi and Jeff Bermudes, both from Bellingham, as they run through colored powders during the debut running of The Color Run 5K through Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning Aug. 16, 2015.The Color Run representative Kaitlin Syndergaard said over 5200 runners were registered for what is known as the Happiest 5K. She added that The Color Run partnered with the Whatcom Family YMCA to help raise funds for the organization.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Participants get sprayed by volunteers Mayu Takahashi and Jeff Bermudes, both from Bellingham, as they run through colored powders during the debut running of The Color Run 5K through Bellingham.

I did a quick check of the course and found out that the race had “color stations” with volunteers spraying participants with powder. There were two within a 6 blocks of the finish line so I stuck with those as it was only a 5K.

BUBBLES!!!

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Participants run through bubbles as they approach the finish line during the debut running of The Color Run 5K on Sunday morning Aug. 16, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash.The Color Run representative Kaitlin Syndergaard said over 5200 runners were registered for what is known as the Happiest 5K. She added that The Color Run partnered with the Whatcom Family YMCA to help raise funds for the organization.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Participants run through bubbles as they approach the finish line during the debut running of The Color Run 5K in Bellingham.

As I shot, I made sure to continually clean my lens with the 1/2 dozen lens cloths I brought. I didn’t want to use cleaner as I think it would have caused the powder to cake on the lens and cause more harm than good.

Tiny Volunteer –

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Volunteer Bob Horne and his daughter Sadie, 3, of Sedro-Woolley spray a participant as she runs during the debut The Color Run 5K through Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning Aug. 16, 2015.The Color Run representative Kaitlin Syndergaard said over 5200 runners were registered for what is known as the Happiest 5K. She added that The Color Run partnered with the Whatcom Family YMCA to help raise funds for the organization.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Volunteer Bob Horne and his daughter Sadie, 3, of Sedro-Woolley spray a participant as she runs by during the debut The Color Run 5K through Bellingham.

The only worry I really had was having to unwrap the cameras to change the cards. But that was easily solved by moving away and upwind from the stations to keep the chances low of getting any powder in the card slots.

Crowd Surfing –

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - A crowd surfer is helped over a sea of particpants as they attend a DJ concert after completing in the the debut running of The Color Run 5K at the Bellingham Public Library on Sunday morning Aug. 16, 2015, in Bellingham, Wash.The Color Run representative Kaitlin Syndergaard said over 5200 runners were registered for what is known as the Happiest 5K. She added that The Color Run partnered with the Whatcom Family YMCA to help raise funds for the organization.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – A crowd surfer is helped over a sea of particpants as they attend a DJ concert after completing in the the debut running of The Color Run 5K in Bellingham.

When participants finished the course, they were treated to a DJ playing on a stage. After I finished shooting people getting sprayed with colored powders, I headed over to the finish area to get some images of people having fun.

Whoopin’ it Up –

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Participants run through colored powders through the streets of Bellingham, Wash., during the debut The Color Run 5K through on Sunday morning Aug. 16, 2015.The Color Run representative Kaitlin Syndergaard said over 5200 runners were registered for what is known as the Happiest 5K. She added that The Color Run partnered with the Whatcom Family YMCA to help raise funds for the organization.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – The energized crowd during the after party for the debut The Color Run 5K in Bellingham.

I loved the backlighting on the people as they danced to the DJ and threw powder everywhere. It made for some great pictures. Problem was that I was too low and needed to get on stage.

Fun For All Ages –

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Participants and spectators celebrate finishing the debut The Color Run 5K during the after party at the Bellingham Public Library in Bellingham, Wash., on Sunday morning Aug. 16, 2015.The Color Run representative Kaitlin Syndergaard said over 5200 runners were registered for what is known as the Happiest 5K. She added that The Color Run partnered with the Whatcom Family YMCA to help raise funds for the organization.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – Participants and spectators celebrate finishing the debut The Color Run 5K during the after party in Bellingham.

So, I went to the side where there were stairs confidently walked past two security guards and went on stage. I kept quiet, shot a lot, and stayed out of the way. It worked. I was on the stage for a good 45 minutes before I left.

If It’s Too Loud, You’re Too … –

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald - Participants run through colored powders through the streets of Bellingham, Wash., during the debut The Color Run 5K through on Sunday morning Aug. 16, 2015.The Color Run representative Kaitlin Syndergaard said over 5200 runners were registered for what is known as the Happiest 5K. She added that The Color Run partnered with the Whatcom Family YMCA to help raise funds for the organization.

© Paul Conrad/The Bellingham Herald – People celebrate during the after party for the debut The Color Run 5K in Bellingham.

Overall, it was fun and exciting to cover the debut of The Color Run here in Bellingham. And yes, my cameras survived the onslaught of the colored powders.

For more fun images, head over to my gallery The Color Run in Bellingham 2015

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Paul “pablo” Conrad

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Paul Conrad is an award-winning, nationally and internationally published freelance editorial photographer living in Bellingham north of Seattle, WA, in the Pacific Northwest. His work has been published in newspapers and magazine throughout the United States and in Europe. He is available for assignments anywhere in the Pacific Northwest.

His clients include Getty Images, Wire Image, AirBnB, The Bellingham Herald, and many local business in Whatcom County. Previous clients are Associated Press, the New York Times, L.A. Times, Denver Post, Rocky Mountain News, and many others.

His specialty is photojournalism covering news, sports, and editorial portraits, he also is skilled in family portraiture, high school senior portraits, and weddings.

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