VICTORIA — For three friends, it was “Run or Dye” Saturday morning. But it was actually both, as they and 72 others took part in the first color run at Victoria’s annual celebration of its Volga-German roots, Herzogfest
At several stations on the 5-kilometer route through town, volunteers waited to douse the racers with colored powder. As they crossed the line, the white T-shirts — and sometimes faces, legs and arms — of the runners and walkers were covered with varying amounts of green, purple, orange and yellow.
For Kris Desbien, the race became a bit of a dare from friends Stephanie Schoemaker and Ashley Allen. The trio ran in T-shirts with the “Run or Dye” slogan on the front and lacy tutus.
“He said if we got him one in black and gold, and we found a black one with gold polka dots,” Allen said.
When asked why black and gold, Desbien pulled up his shirt sleeve to show a Pittsburg Steelers tattoo.
“If I’m going to be humiliated I might as well have my team colors on,” Desbien said.
But really, Desbien said, wearing the tutu wasn’t all that bad.
“Once you get through the first five minutes, it’s all fun,” he said.
Stopping for a cold beer along the route helped, too, he said.
The 5K run has been part of Herzogfest for a while, and the festival organizers just wanted a way to “jazz it up,” said race organizer Sam Voorhees.
“It’s just more fun,” she said.
Medals were given for male and female winners in age categories, and Joshua Schulte also won a plaque for being the overall winner with a time of 19:07.
Runners ranged in age from toddlers in strollers to 65 year olds.
The Atkinson family started the race together, with mom Rachel pushing 21-month-old Ivy in a stroller and Alivia, 9, and Lily, 6, alongside. Dad Scott finished first among the family and watched as daughter Amelia, 8, crossed the line hand-in-hand with Tamy Slayton. The two had run close together throughout the race, with Amelia in the lead until the end. Slayton held back and took the girl’s hand to finish together.
Other activities at the two-day event included stein hoists, Friday night concerts with Jaron Bell and the Bart Crow Band, and on Saturday a classic car show, the Herzog Heritage Market, corn hole tournament, a polka Mass, music from the Wes Windholz Polka Band, and concerts from Candice and the Business Casual and DOC.