Hoover may not be quite as colorful in 2017.
For the past four years, a company called Sack Lunch Productions has put on the Color Me Rad 5K at Hoover Metropolitan Stadium, but declining attendance over the years means the race won’t be coming back this year.
“We just didn’t make any money last year,” said John Malfatto of Sack Lunch Productions. “I am sorry, but we can’t justify putting this event on anymore.”
At the Color Me Rad 5K, runners get the exercise of a 5K (3.1-mile) run or walk, but as they go along the course, volunteers spray or throw colored cornstarch at them. Runners and walkers start out with a plain white T-shirt and run through color stations, each with a different color. By the time they’re through, they’re covered with a rainbow of colors.
About 5,000 people participated in the first Color Me Rad 5K in Hoover in 2013, but attendance has dropped since.
The race was a for-profit event, but 10 percent of the entry fees went to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama when registrants used “Ronald” as their code word, and the charity also received money for each volunteer it supplied.
“It’s a great event. We love it. The walkers love it, and the runners love it … and it’s so much fun,” said Stephanie Langford, the marketing and communications director for Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama. “I’m sad that they’re not coming back, but I’m really not surprised.”
The company running it obviously wasn’t pleased with attendance, she said.
While attendance numbers were not available for each year, contributions to the Ronald McDonald House Charities of Alabama declined from $13,800 in 2013 to $10,700 in 2014, $9,400 in 2015 and $6,200 in 2016, Langford said.
Organizers tried moving the race around to different months but never could find the right fit, she said. One year, they conflicted with another big race in the Birmingham area, and another year it was on a weekend connected to spring break, she said.
Then last year, it rained.
The Color Run, put on by another company, also is held each year in the Birmingham area, and another similar run called the Color Vibe 5K is planned for this year.