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CBHA Run for a Cause promotes child health awareness

by JOEL MARTIN
Staff Writer | August 28, 2022 2:51 PM

OTHELLO — The streets of Othello – and some of their occupants – were dappled with color on Saturday morning for the fifth annual Run for a Cause, hosted by the Columbia Basin Health Association.

“It’s a great thing,” said volunteer Jeraldine Estrada, who was helping out for the first time. “It gets the whole community together.”

The fifth annual Run for a Cause brought out more than 900 people, according to one volunteer. All of the participants gathered at the Columbia Basin Health Association building for the privilege of being painted. The goal of the event, according to its website, is to raise awareness of childhood health issues and promote healthy activities for children. Funds raised from the event are used to help maintain local parks and assist families in need.

The weather was cooperative, for the most part, with the temperature in the upper 70s. There was a little difficulty with the wind; at one point it blew hard enough to snap one of the cables holding down the inflatable starting gate, which had to be wrestled back into place.

At organizer Courtney Martinez’s starter pistol shot, the runners poured out of the parking lot and onto Scootney Street. Serious runners soon took the lead, while more casual joggers and walkers, some whole families with children on foot or in strollers, took their time.

Along the route, stations had been set up staffed with volunteers, who threw powdered paint on the runners as they came by. By the end of the run, some participants were covered head to toe with pigment. The paint was water-soluble to make it easy to wash off, volunteers said.

The procession turned right at Seventh Avenue and continued past the high school, then looped around Pioneer Park onto Main Street before turning down 14th Avenue for the home stretch. The last paint station usually sees runners about half an hour after the start, said volunteer Claudia Castillo.

“It takes about 30 minutes, but we’ve been surprised every year. You never know,” Castillo said.

Frank Lopez of Othello wasn’t the first to finish, but he said he thought he was among the first 15. His sister and father were both running as well.

“Me and my family come back and do this every year,” he said. “My dad talks about it all year. He wants to beat his time.”

Not all the runners were from Othello, Castillo said.

“You have people from different places. It makes it more meaningful.”

“It’s a good family event, like, to wrap up summer,” said first-time volunteer Luz Rojas.

Joel Martin can be reached via email at jmartin@columbiabasinherald.com.

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JOEL MARTIN/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Volunteers douse runners in powdered paint at the Columbia Basin Health Association’s Color Run starting line on Saturday.

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JOEL MARTIN/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Runners stampede from the starting line at the Columbia Basin Health Association’s Color Run Saturday.

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JOEL MARTIN/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

Volunteers Kaydence Guerra, left, and Claudia Estrada add a little color to a runner at the Columbia Basin Health Association’s Color Run Saturday.

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JOEL MARTIN/COLUMBIA BASIN HERALD

A runner nears the finish line in a cloud of color at the Columbia Basin Health Association’s Color Run Saturday.

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