Tue | Aug 22, 2017

We got the runs for charity

Published:Monday | January 12, 2015 | 1:00 AMRichard Mitchell

Four years ago, they began running purely for fun. Today, the founders of We Got The Runs (WGTR) fitness club are still running for fun, but later this month, they will be doing so with a greater purpose.

On January 24, the Kingston-based fitness club will be hosting the second staging of the Colour Me Happy Run, through which it will donate all proceeds to the Kind Hearts Foundation.

The Kind Hearts Foundation will use the proceeds to build a basic school.

Andrew Walcott, president of WGTR, said the fitness club selected Kind Hearts Foundation to partner with because of the charity's significant ongoing initiative.

"This year, we went with Kind Hearts, not only because we are close to them, but because what they are doing is sustainable and really important," Walcott said.

"Kind Hearts' mandate is to build five schools in five years," explained Kind Hearts Director Christina Lechler.

"The schools are built in partnership with Food For The Poor. To date, three schools have been completed."

The charity plans to build the fourth school with proceeds from the run. The location of the school is to be determined later this year.

Tagged as 'Jamaica's first run in colour', participants will not only complete a 4.5-kilometre run through Hope Gardens in St Andrew, but they will also be showered with powder of various colours along the route.

Popular local figures Kamila McDonald and Michael Cuffe will co-host the event.

When asked about the unusual distance, Walcott responded: "The distance isn't important; this isn't a competitive event where you're trying to beat your last time. Colour Me Happy is mostly about having a good time."

Just days before registration deadline, Walcott said the public's response to this year's event has been exciting so far.

"Jamaicans are very last-minute, but so far, the response is looking better than last year. We are very excited," Walcott said. At the same time, he urged interested persons to visit the website, www.wgtrja.com, to register before January 16.

Included in the $4,000 admission, runners will be invited to join the after-party, where more coloured powder and popular disc jockey DJ Cruise will be the main draw.

Last year's Colour Me Happy Run concluded with WGTR donating $800,000 to the BrushUp Jamaica charity.

richard.mitchell@gleanerjm.com