Run or Dye 5km Colour Run at Hever Castle, Kent – Sept 2015

Trek and Run were supported during this event by;

Salba Chia 

Columbia Sportswear


Helly Hansen


Words by Laura Kimberley

Photos by Dave Sherman and Peachy Snaps

The Run or Dye 5k took place on Saturday 3rd October in the stunning grounds of Hever Castle. This event was inspired by the Hindu festival of Holi where participants throw coloured dye at each other to celebrate diversity and individuality. 5000 runners took part in the event last year and it proved to be just as popular this time around with some choosing to run all in white ready to be decorated, and some in bright and vibrant fancy dress.


We entered the event village and were issued with our race numbers, t-shirt, paint pack, wristband and shoulder bag. After getting into our t-shirts and throwing the first handfuls of paint at each other it was a quick stop at the bag drop and then we were on our way.


There were 3 waves that went off at about 10 minute intervals from 10am, but it was a really relaxed atmosphere and you just joined the wave that suited you when you were ready.

Along the route we ran through the woodlands that surround Anne Boleyn’s childhood home, Hever Castle. The route included a beautiful lake, ‘Miniature Houses’ and Hever Castle itself and at each Kilometre we were greeted by race volunteers who covered us with a new colour of powder paint. The grounds are stunning and it really added to the energy of the whole event to have it set in such a breath taking place.

Once we had completed the 5k and returned to the event village there was a mini-festival set up with a stage and a DJ who also fired more powder paint into the crowds with his trusty powder cannon (basically a modified leaf blower).

The event village had plenty of toilets, a variety of food options and tables and chairs set up so if dancing wasn’t for you there was somewhere to relax. Interestingly there was no opportunity for runners to go inside the castle at this event but no one can blame them for making that decision as I’m sure they didn’t want their valuable exhibits covered in multi-coloured handprints!


Here’s how our Trek and Run colour runners, including our 11 year old Junior reporter Kaci, found the event…

What do you feel made this different from a standard 5k run?

Dave: The obvious answer here is ‘the coloured paint’, but to be honest the fact everyone was there to get messy, enjoy the event and have a laugh created this amazing atmosphere that washed over you as soon as you entered the race village – it really was an amazing feeling!

Laura: Yes the paint – obviously! But the real reason is the family vibe that the event had. Everyone was there to have fun and there were participants of all ages and different levels of ability but we were all there for a good time and to get into the spirit of things.

Vijay: Well at the risk of stating the obvious, it was the colour! The whole atmosphere was different to a normal run, as soon as we turned up we started throwing powdered paint at each other and generally making as much mess as possible. It was great fun.

Kaci: At each mile the coloured paint got you messy and I really liked that.


What was your highlight of the event?

Dave: For me it was the enthusiasm of the people at each colour station. At most races you’ll get the odd ‘well done’ or ‘keep going’ at each marshall point, but as these guys were throwing paint they genuinely loved being part of the event. At the final paint station (which featured green paint) we decided to lay on the floor and said ‘do your worst!’ and they did!

Laura: The green paint station was brilliant for me. We had been trying to get each of the teams at the different colour points really riled up and the volunteers on the green station totally went for it. We lay on the floor snow angel style and they tipped loads of powder over us. We all looked like Kermit the frog by the time they were done with us.

Vijay: I had a lot of fun points on the course but my favourite was the last colour station of the run, where our whole group stopped and laid on the ground, trying to make green snow angels at first, all the volunteers at this point ran over and pretty much tried to bury us in green powder! This was hilarious and the volunteers really got involved.

Kaci: That you were distracted by all the colour. I generally struggle running 5km but all the colour distracted me and I was at the end before I knew it.


What did you think of the venue?

Dave: Hever Castle is absolutely amazing! Although we didn’t go inside the castle this time, the grounds really are beautiful (possibly even more so now they’re covered with coloured paint!) and it’s a lovely venue to run around.

Laura: It’s gorgeous. I’m also a bit of a nerd so I always love when a venue has some interesting History attached to and you don’t get much more interesting than one of the most famous second wives in the world.

Vijay: I love the venue, it’s a stunning place and half way round the course there was a little water maze that we had a little play on. It would be a great place to visit on any normal day but really makes it for an event like this.

Kaci: It was very green, apart from at the colour stops, and an even brighter green at the last colour stop! The water maze before one of the colour stops was working so when we went into that it made us even more colourful as we got wet which was fun!


Would you take part in a future Run or Dye event?

Dave: Definitely. Knowing there are Run or Dye events across the country, taking part in this one has whet my appetite and I can’t wait to take part in one again at another amazing venue!

Laura: Definitely and I would recommend it to anyone. Get a team together of family and friends and just have a really amazing time.

Vijay: I’d never done any colour or dye related events and wasn’t sure I’d be that enthused by one before this. But I was quite shocked at how much I enjoyed it and how much fun the whole event was. I would definitely do another!

Kaci: Yes! It was fun and different from all the other 5km events as you end up so colourful! The music on the stage at the end was great too and the man with the giant cannon was covering the crowd making everyone even more colourful!


If you could describe this event as a colour, what would it be and why?

Dave: I think I’ll have to go with ‘bluregreeyellpinorange’! It’s hard to pin down one colour as by the end of the event you end up looking like an item of tie-dye clothing from the 80’s, although when you shower later it merges into a strange murky shade of brown!

Laura: Probably purple as this was the colour I was still finding on my cotton buds a couple of days after the event. Gross but true!

Vijay: Bright Green. It was our last colour check point of the course so we were all pretty green by the end of it and anyone who didn’t do it should be green with envy!!

Kaci: I’d describe it as green as that was my favourite stop where we tried to make green paint angels (like snow angels but messier) and we ended up covered in paint!

Run or Dye’s tour of the UK (and Paris) continues in 2016 – to find out more about each venue visit:


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