FARMINGTON — More than 1,000 runners crowded before the starting line on Saturday morning at McGee Park for the Run or Dye 5K race.

Saturday's event in Farmington was among hundreds of color run races across the country organized by Run or Dye, a company based out of Salt Lake City, Utah. A portion of the proceeds from Farmington's Run or Dye went to Big Brothers Big Sisters of San Juan County.

In color runs, dye is tossed or sprayed at runners from stations positioned along the course.

On Saturday, participants counted down from 10, and then the first wave of runners took off. Because of the number of runners, the race was divided into three waves. The last wave left the starting line half an hour after the first wave.

The Farmington race is the only Run or Dye race scheduled in the Four Corners this year. The next nearby Run or Dye race will be April 12 in Albuquerque.

Because of that, people traveled from Durango, Colo., Kayenta, Ariz. and other cities from throughout the Four Corners to participate in Saturday's event.

Sloan Mazur, 14, and Joey Sandrey, 15, traveled to Farmington from Bayfield, Colo., for the race. Mazur participates in track at his middle school, and Sandrey runs for the high school track team. They both also participate in cross-country in the fall.

Mazur was the second runner from the first wave to cross the finish line.

"I like running, and all the colors made it seem all the more fun," Mazur said.

Sandrey said the race seemed faster than the high school cross-country races he participates in. Plus, he liked running on a flat course.

"I was kind of surprised at the start that it wasn't as jumbled as I thought it would be," Sandrey said.

He said in cross-country races, the starts often get tangled and people fall down and trip over each other.

Not everyone who ran on Saturday had to travel far. Aztec High School students Jeff Esquibel and Deja Greenleaf didn't have to drive far to participate in the race.

Run or Dye participants get doused with red powder on Saturday at McGee Park in Farmington. More than 1,000 runners participated in the 5K race.
Run or Dye participants get doused with red powder on Saturday at McGee Park in Farmington. More than 1,000 runners participated in the 5K race. (Jon Austria — The Daily Times)

Greenleaf decided to run the race with her boyfriend, Esquibel, who celebrated his 16th birthday on Saturday.

"It's easier when someone's with you," Esquibel said. "You can talk to them and make jokes."

Runners could register individually or as a team. One team, Tutus and Tattoos, hailed from Cortez, Colo.

One of the team's member, Kim Franchini, said the race was her first 5K. She described it as a pleasant event.

"The color dyes and different stations made it go faster," she said.

Hannah Grover covers news, arts and religion for The Daily Times. She can be reached at 505-564-4652 and hgrover@daily-times.com. Follow her @hmgrover on Twitter.