Color Dash returning to Owatonna with a new twist - Owatonna MN: News

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Color Dash returning to Owatonna with a new twist

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Posted: Wednesday, July 31, 2013 4:30 pm | Updated: 8:04 pm, Thu Aug 1, 2013.

OWATONNA — Though residents are likely familiar with the concept of Hamid Torabpour’s “Color Dash” events, he’s trying a new theme for the fundraising event this weekend.

On Saturday night, Owatonna’s Morehouse Park will play host to the “UV Splash Color Dash,” the first race of its kind here in Owatonna. For Torabpour, Saturday’s 5K event is about trying to offer a fun activity for families and raise money for a good cause.

“It’s a fun run. It’s not competitive and we don’t time it at all,” said Torabpour, Color Dash organizer. “At every mile marker, we have a UV station. It’s 60 feet of black light and people spraying UV water. We have yellow, orange, green and pink. You don’t see it until once you’re under the black light. But once you see it, you’re dripping neon colors.”

Torabpour said the neon colors are safe and wash away after one rainfall. The paint for the UV Splash event isn’t as strong as the paint for the other Color Dash events because it can only be seen under a black light.

The UV Splash Color Dash will be the third Color Dash held in Owatonna. The first two events in Owatonna helped Torabpour raise money for his suicide awareness film, “To Say Goodbye,” but this time, he’s raising money to help community partners.

“We can now start helping other places locally. We are partnering up with Owatonna High School, the Music Boosters of Owatonna and Let’s Smile, Inc.,” Torabpour said. “My wife loves music boosters and so we wanted to give back to them. The high school let us shoot the movie, so we also wanted to get back to them. Let’s Smile, Inc. reached out to us and I thought it was a great cause.”

Since starting and trademarking the Color Dash, Torabpour has branched out to different kinds of races, including the UV Splash run, a foam run and a zombie run that he plans to bring Owatonna later this year.

Torabpour’s film, which he intends to donate to suicide awareness groups and schools after making 1,000 DVD copies, was shot on location in Owatonna throughout the month of June. The film is currently in the post-production stage and is expected to be ready for distribution around Christmas.

Currently, there are more than 300 runners registered for Saturday’s event. Registration fees are $35 for members of a team, $40 for an individual and $80 for a family of up to six runners. Half the proceeds from the registration will go toward the charity component of the event while the other half helps cover the event’s expenses.

“For this you get to get out, exercise and raise money for a good cause,” Torabpour said. “You can come here, have a blast, exercise and always have those pictures of you and your kids dripping in neon paint.”

Because final registration numbers aren’t in yet, it’s not clear how much money has been raised for the organizations in town, Torabpour said.

Saturday night’s event will start in Morehouse Park and the route will take runners down Mosher Avenue and then onto the trail running between Morehouse Park and Kaplan Woods Park, which will bring the runners back to the start. Pre-registration goes until midnight on Thursday, but runners can register up to the day of the race. The run starts at 10 p.m. Saturday.

Torabpour said he’s anticipating having about 500 runners for the first UV Splash Color Dash, something he would be proud of for the first running of the event.

“The fact that we’ll get to about 500 people will be incredible,” Torabpour said.

Reach reporter Al Strain at 444-2376 or follow him on

Reach reporter Al Strain at 444-2376 or follow him on

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