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Big Crowd Expected at Bridgeport Rec Complex this Saturday for 3rd Annual Johnson Color Jam Fun Run

April 26, 2018
EDITOR'S NOTE I: This story originally ran March 8 on Connect-Bridgeport. Organizers are hoping for a large turnout for the event and unlike last year the weather appears to be ready to cooperate.
 
It’s not the first Johnson Elementary School color run. However, it is the first where the proceeds will likely be benefitting the new Johnson Elementary School.
 
Organizers of the Third Annual Johnson Color Jam have announced that the event has been scheduled. The near 5K event where individuals can walk or run is set for this Saturday, April 28.
 
The race will begin at 9 a.m. at the Bridgeport Recreation Complex. Registration begins at 7:30 a.m.
 
So what’s different about the Johnson run?
 
It’s a “color run,” which means those taking part will be showered with multi-colored handfuls or cornstarch coming from a variety of areas. The event is popular with sports enthusiasts looking for a run and youngsters and family members looking for fun.
 
“It’s a fun run to promote physical activity and community spirit in what has become the largest fundraiser for the (Johnson Elementary) PTA,” said Marjorie Toohey, one of the event organizers. “This year the funds will go toward purchasing new items at the new school.”
 
Toohey said some of the money will be earmarked for specific needs. She pointed to benches, picnic tables, funds to help with a digital display sign and playground equipment. Toohey said only one of the existing playgrounds will be able to be transferred to the new school and the addition of pre-K students will facilitate the need for additional playground equipment.
 
“We really hope to have a solid turnout and a lot sponsors,” said Toohey.
 
In 2016, roughly 100 participants took part. Organizers expected to double that last year and were on their way with 160 registered participants, but thunderstorms that persisted until the start of the race led to 130.
 
“We’re hoping for 200 participants this year,” she said. “Getting that many last year considering the weather was a good turnout.”
 
As of Wednesday morning,they were on their way. There were 139 individuals registered and they anticipate several to register the day of the race.
 
If you participate, the course is just under the standard 5K distance. Toohey said it is three laps around the recreation complex trail system. Along the course will be color stations manned with volunteers to dust the runners, while those coming that day can purchase “color rockets” to cover their favorite or even random participant.
 
“We’ll also have concessions. Proceeds from that, along with everything else, will benefit the PTA,” she said. “We’re asking people to not to forget to bring their wallets.”
 
Last year, between registrations and sponsors Toohey said $6,000 was raised. She added that they hoped to do $10,000 this year and said there is a need for sponsors.
 
As for the cost of the race, children three and under are free, but do not get a race t-shirt. Student runners in the 4 to 11 age bracket will have a fee of $15 to participate and will receive a t-shirt, while all participants over 12 years of age cost $25 to take part. Those runners will also receive a t-shirt. Those taking part will get a pair of sunglasses and a bandana.
 
The “dust” thrown at runners is cornstarch that is used at races nationwide. Toohey said it is completely safe.
 
Individuals can still register at the race Saturday from 7 a.m. to 8:30 a.m. Cash or checks will the only payment form accepted, said Toohey.
 
You can also click HERE for a registration form. Organizers are asking, if possible, to bring a completed registration form with you to help facilitate the process.
 
Editor's Note II: Photos are from last year's race by Tyler Maxwell of www.benqueenphotography.com.