How to protect yourself from inhaling the powder during Color Run


Running, in recent years, has becoming increasingly popular all over the world. Besides the traditional marathon events for the extremes, more people are attending the half marathons and 10Ks; but most importantly, there are many “themed” runs being hosted for both the running enthusiasts as well as the general public who just want to have fun. These runs are generally short, only about 5km long, so anyone can finish it. It’s not timed, so no pressure, no need to rush; you could literally just walk the entire route if you want, and just take your time to enjoy the theme.

So last weekend I attended one of these “themed” run called the color run here in Vancouver, Canada. All attendees start the run with a white t-shirt from the event, and like the name describes, you “get colored” during the run, and at the end of the run you “become colored”.


“How was it?” If you ask, I’d say it was a pretty fun event, a half day well spent with a couple friends.

One problem, that some runners have with this event, is the “getting colored” part. Basically, there are 4 set up points along the run course, each point is called a color zone with a unique color assigned to it (purple, yellow, blue, orange). Volunteers in each color zone continuously throw packs of colored corn starch powders into the air and onto the runners, so that the runners get colored as they pass by.


While the event host claim these powders are safe, they still recommend people who find the powders irritating should wear a mask or goggle or something to cover their eyes, nose, and mouth. Nonetheless, it’s best to keep these powders outside of your body.

So, if you can, try to take a full breath in just before you enter the color zone, and hold your breath until you completely pass the color zone. For people who have been trained with Buteyko Breathing, this should be a piece of cake for you all.

If you can’t hold your breath throughout the zone (the zone really isn’t that long), then please make sure you keep your mouth closed and breathe only through your nose! If you breathe through your mouth, you literally become a vacuum for the powders, all those powders in the air will go directly into your lungs. If you find eating those powders disgusting and unhealthy, shuffling those powders into your lungs (instead of stomach) is much much worse! If you breathe through your nose, at least the filters (ie. ciliary hair) inside your nasal cavity and along the trachea can help filter out most of the powders.

Our body has it’s own natural cleansing mechanism, gradually over time the trapped powders will slowly get pushed out from the nasal cavity by the mucus. If you want to make sure your nasal cavity is cleaned fast and thorough, then you can use a pulsatile nasal irrigator to help you rinse out all the trapped powders in your nasal cavity.

Enjoy the run, and stay healthy!

(This post was copied over from my old blog)

One response to “How to protect yourself from inhaling the powder during Color Run

  1. The colored dust can get a little messy once you start to sweat. However, this does not mean that you should let sweat ruin the fun. The solution? Wear a headband, which is already included in the registration kit.

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