The second Saturday in June promises to be one of the most colorful days ever seen on Main Street when the Color Vibe 5K comes to town.
Runners (and walkers) signed up for the event will be blasted and doused with dyed cornstarch mixtures in the non-timed "fun run" that separates itself from the competition with a huge post-race dance party, environmentally-friendly dye and partnerships with local charities and non-profits.
For the Middletown race, the Utah-based Color Vibe will partner with Middletown Main Street, Inc., a downtown revitalization organization.
"We're so excited about the race," said MMS Executive Director Tracy Skrobot. "I'm really hoping that it draws in a new crowd of people who are not familiar with Middletown while also reminding locals how much fun downtown can be."
She's also looking forward to the influx of money, adding that as Color Vibe's non-profit partner, they'll get a portion of each runner's registration fee.
"Depending on how many people sign up, we could see as much as $2,000 or $3,000," Skrobot said. "And, in the grand scheme of things, it feels like we have very little that we have to do for that. I just couldn't be more excited about it."
Middletown's Color Vibe Director Ryan Hall confirmed that as the non-profit partner, MMS will receive a donation but as a general rule, the company does not disclose financial agreements.
The course will begin and end at Silver Lake while also snaking through parts of downtown as well. Participants do not have to run and need not worry about award ceremonies that honor the fastest pace of the day. As a non-competitive event, people are encouraged to walk or run at their own paces and there are no age limits or fitness requirements.
Color Vibe has hosted hundreds of 5K events in cities throughout the country, with 153 currently planned for 2014. It's not unusual for several thousand people to register and participate. Hall said that as of Tuesday evening, a little more than 500 people were already signed up.
"Race participation is growing at a promising rate," Hall said. "It's actually outpacing some of our other locations."
Color Vibe announced the event on Facebook on Tuesday, January 28. More than 1,000 people have since shared the event and nearly 250 people have commented on that post. Skrobot has been monitoring the post and is pleased with the feedback she is seeing so far.
"It's overwhelming and exciting to see how many people are excited about the event and excited about coming to Middletown," she said earlier this week. "I can't wait for them to see how great Middletown is and how much our downtown area has to offer."
Page 2 of 2 - Participation could guarantee future Color Vibe events in Middletown as well.
"If it keeps growing and people are still interested, we'd definitely love to come back every year," Hall said.
She added that she's also excited that Middletown stands out as one of the smaller, quainter towns that Color Vibe has visited and one of the few historic districts that the course will be set in. Hall said that the towns typically define the courses and races have been held on tracks, at farms and everywhere in between.
Hall and his team actually visited Middletown in November and he was immediately impressed with what he saw.
"I liked the small town vibe and its central location within the state," he said. "I'm optimistic that the event will bring in more people who will see the charm that we saw."
As of right now, one of the few aspects still being hammered out is parking. The lot at Silver Lake Park is small and Skrobot doesn't want to interfere with scheduled activities like Little League.
"We just want to pick a parking location that will be convenient for participants and non-participants," Skrobot said. "We're looking at several locations and considering shuttles."
Other event details still being discussed are potential sponsors for water and snacks.
Those interested in signing up can do so here. Registration is currently priced at $40. On Wednesday, Feb. 19, the cost will go up to $43. By race day, the event will cost participants $50.
Information about Middletown Main Street can also be found here.