Runners of all ages will be splashed with colored cornstarch — from head to toe — for a good cause May 18.

The Color Craze 5K Run/Walk to benefit Communities in Schools of Ottawa is scheduled to kick off 10 a.m. at Forest Park, 320 N. Locust St., Ottawa. The course will continue through historic downtown Ottawa, where runners will be doused in powdered colors by volunteers in four color zones, according to a Communities in Schools news release.

The un-timed race is open to runners of all ages who are asked to wear white shirts, the release said.

Participants can register individually or as a team. Single-entry registration, received before April 30, is $35 or $120 for a team of four, according to the release. Registration can be completed online at or by picking up an application at any Ottawa public school or by calling (785) 229-8135, the release said.

“Communities in Schools would like to invite everyone to participate in or watch the run where you start wearing white, but end looking bright,” Becky Nevergold, executive director of Communities in Schools of Ottawa, said.  

The Color Craze run/walk is scheduled to coincide with Ottawa Play Day from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. in Forest Park. Ottawa Main Street Association also is encouraging participants in the run and play day to explore the shops, restaurants and businesses in downtown Ottawa, the release said.

Communities in Schools, the largest dropout prevention organization in the country, hopes to raise funds that will provide Ottawa students with support through the hiring of site coordinators who will work with students in a variety of capacities, Nevergold said.

During the 2011-12 school year, more than 1,800 students’ lives were touched by Communities in Schools of Ottawa programming, she said. The organization has aided Ottawa schools for the past five years, the news release said.

Communities in Schools is partnering with the City of Ottawa Play Day Committee, the Ottawa Main Street Association and the Ottawa school district’s Wellness Committee for the day’s activities, organizers said.