Four-hundred runners, 3.1 miles, 250 lbs. of colored powder.
For four East seniors, this list is just the beginning. The student council executive board is hosting a color run for the first time at East.
The Color Run is the brainchild of senior student body president Annie Savage. She and the rest of the board hope they can start a new tradition at East by holding the five kilometer race, where runners can throw colored powder throughout the course.
“When I won student body president, I wanted to do something different.” Savage said. “I knew it was going to be a lot of work, but I didn’t know what I needed to do, where I needed to start.”
After Savage cleared the idea with East’s administration, she and the rest of the board met with the Prairie Village city council to get permission for the run. Council members approved, but also told the student council how much planning the run would take.
“After meeting with city hall, we learned of a lot of things that we didn’t even consider,” senior class president Spencer Frank said.
The city requires noise permits to have a DJ outdoors. Police officers must be present to guide traffic around runners. Student council had to send letters to every Prairie Village resident along the running route, and they compared six different vendors of colored powder before buying supplies for the run.
In addition to planning the run’s details, student council chose to donate the profits to the Love Fund, an account operated by the counseling office that helps low income students at East.
“We have the potential to almost double the budget that they run on each year,” senior student body secretary Maggie McGannon said.
The board decided to set prices at $15 for all Shawnee Mission students and $30 for adults. All proceeds will go towards the Love Fund’s budget for the next year. Although they expect around 400 runners to participate, they only need 120 to make up for their expenses.
“We learned how to operate a run on a professional level.” senior student body treasurer Noah Marsh said. “You cannot tackle these events by yourself.”
Since this is the first time East has held this kind of event, this year’s student council has no example to follow. Savage hopes that after they hold the Color Run this year, next year’s student body executives can continue a new tradition.
“If [the exec board] start right away next year, they are going to have it completely done a month before the event,” Savage said. “We started so late that it really affected us.”
When the day of the run comes, Savage will be directing the other student council members to manage food stands, water stations, raffles and three areas in the route for colored powder. Above all, she will be tracking mistakes so next year’s board doesn’t have to repeat them.
“I look at STUCO events that we do, and they’re just traditions,” Savage said. “I want to start a tradition that everyone will remember our exec. board did for our year.”