Optimist Park is set to become a colorful place this weekend, with the grays and browns of the Wyoming spring replaced by rainbow-tinted runners.
The COMBAT Color Fun Run, now in its fourth year in Laramie, is scheduled to start at noon today. Organized by the University of Wyoming group Students Supporting Veterans, the event is a fundraiser for a scholarship for veterans.
Registration is $30 for adults and includes a registration packet with a T-shirt, pair of sunglasses and bag of colored powder. Children and students can run for free, but children who want a registration packet must purchase one for $20. Free packets are available for students. Race-day registration is scheduled to open at 11 a.m.
Race director Luke Cloud is a UW Ph.D. student who served in the Marine Corps from 2001-08, including four years of active duty and tours in Iraq and Africa. He started the COMBAT Color Run in 2013 while he was a student at Sheridan College, where it continues to be hosted, in order to give back to fellow vets.
“It was started by a veteran to help veterans,” he said. “That’s our whole purpose.”
Cloud described the COMBAT Color Run as “a color run with a twist — you get to throw the color back.”
During the 3-mile run or 1.5-mile walk along the Laramie River Greenbelt, volunteers will throw colored powder on participants, who are invited to return the favor.
“It’s a game of color tag,” he said.
Participants are encouraged to wear white T-shirts to show off their colors and camouflage to show their support for veterans.
Proceeds from the event will fund the Connor Montgomery Cloud Memorial Scholarship for Veterans, which Cloud said was the only general scholarship on campus for veterans. He’s hoping to have enough money saved this year to endow the scholarship.
The scholarship is available to military veterans and their dependents, with recipients decided by the UW Veterans Service Center in conjunction with Students Supporting Veterans.
Cloud said he’s expecting more than 200 participants this year. Students Supporting Veterans is also open to more members. Club activities include monthly game nights as well as annual participation in Toys for Tots during the Christmas season.