A sea of white shirts crowded the starting line, color packets in hand, participants in the Youth Wellness 5K Color Run were ready to go.

The anticipation to start the spectacle was palpable and while organizers of the event gave directions to the crowd small, puffs of color shot up above the runners. With the color already flowing, the time to start the 5K was near its start.

After the last speaker wrapped up, more color ranging from blue to purple filled the air and the participants took off. One of the speakers and organizers of the event was Tarren Buford.

“We came up with the date in May,” Buford said.

Once finished with the race, the first 200 people to pre-register for the race were able to refuel with a free lunch and music in the park. Set up around the park were informational booths where people could learn more about things like tobacco prevention and the organization Communities That Care.

One of the most popular booths visited by participants was the one that featured a large snake. Organizer Carmen Cortez said of the snake, “It was just something for the kids to do,” and finding the snake wasn’t hard because her boss was the one who brought it.

This was the third wellness event put together by the Otero County Health Department, the first two runs focusing on Womens and Mens health, the run on Saturday was focused on youth wellness.

“We are planning on doing it every year,” Buford said, “I think it's great for the kids and their families to get out.”

To learn more about the Otero County Health Department you can visit oterogov.com or call at 383-3040.

jconlan@ljtdmail.com