What you may ask is a color run? These are road races, often advertised as being done to help a charity, in which the runners wear white clothes and along the route are doused with bright powdered dyes that turn their clothing into rainbows of color. While this may seem like fun, the Better Business Bureau and a number of law enforcement agencies including the police departments in Baton Rouge, Louisiana and Bangor, Maine are warning people that many of these color runs are scams being operated by scam artists who steal the registration fees, cancel the race and refuse to refund the fees.
Making this scam more complicated is the fact that there have been legitimate color runs such as the recent Color Vibe Run in West Palm Beach, Florida which had more than 7,000 runners with funds raised benefiting the local Habitat for Humanity charity.
Two of the organizations sponsoring these color runs that have been accused of being scams are Color 5 Mile and Run or Dye. Anyone considering participating in such a run should first make sure that they pay any entrance fee by credit card so that if the race is cancelled, you can more readily dispute the charge with your credit card company and get your money back. As always, there is little fine in fine print, so you should make sure that you read carefully the fine print of any application to participate in such a race, particularly as to the refund policy. Finally, if the race is advertised as being done to benefit a charity, check out the charity first with charitynavigator.org to make sure that the charity is legitimate and if it is, contact the charity directly to confirm that they have an arrangement with the sponsor of the color run.