DASH Colour Run is one of the most popular fun runs in Saint Lucia. It takes place in February and is done in celebration of Saint Lucia’s independence.
We met with co-founders, Dione Benn and Robberta ‘Rob’ Rose and they spoke in vivid detail about their brand and what we should expect from DASH Colour Run 2018.
Dazzle: What is DASH Colour Run all about?
Dione: DASH Colour Run is the happiest 5k walk, run or chip to ever hit Saint Lucia. It is different from all the other walks and runs that happen here because we cater to every age demographic. We infused our West Indian party vibe on the route, which starts from Massy Mega (Choc) to Rodney Bay. We have a music truck on the road and we have one of the best party DJs – Hollywood HP. Its good, clean fun for 5k.
Dazzle: How did it start?
Dione: We saw colour runs happening all over the world and we decided, why not adapt it to Saint Lucia; and what better way to incorporate it than it being an independence run involving everyone from the kids, to the older generation.
Dazzle: When is the next edition?
Rob: The run usually takes place on the last Sunday in February, in celebration of Saint Lucia’s independence anniversary. For 2018, it will be held on February 25th. Gathering starts at 5:30 a.m. and there’s a prompt 7:00 a.m. take off.
Dazzle: How did you make the last one bigger than the one before?
Dione: DASH Colour Run is a party run/ walk; you really don’t feel the distance. It’s like a mini-carnival parade tailored to everyone. We focus on youth primarily though, and have secured the trust of parents who are more and more allowing their tweens and teens to participate in what is fairly considered their ‘mas’. Our focus is so invested in youth, their experience and safety, that proceeds in part support a notable local charity.
While we do find parents and the older generation coming out, the majority of the colour runners are in that tween and teen group; between 9 and 18.
There is so much more planned for 2018, and while we won’t let all our tricks out of the bag, we can assure that new elements will certainly be noticed in the DASH 2018 edition.
Rob: Returning to the point of why we do this and who we support, I believe it paramount to underline our long standing partnership with the Child Development and Guidance Center (CDGC) based in La Clery. They assist children with all kinds of disabilities. While this institution is government-funded, they are also financially aided by donations from the likes of us, parents and other corporate citizens, in cash and other forms.
The cash contribution from DASH has been used to transport the children from their homes or schools to the center for therapy and other treatments. And of course, it is utilized to meet other needs as well. We are committed to maintaining that support and to, as much as possible, continue to increase our levels of support to best meet the growing needs of CDGC.
Furthermore, we have taken steps to broaden our support to youth and development in the island and employed a three-year plan that will look to support some of the Saint Lucia’s best athletes – particularly those being groomed to represent the island at the 2020 Summer Olympics. To this end, we are looking to assist with funding in the areas of training and development and possibly even airfare to upcoming events leading up to the anticipated 2020 games.
Dazzle: Why can we not afford to miss DASH 2018 and what experience should we expect?
Dione: 2018 is essentially going to be the launch of DASH – Journey to the Olympics 2020 and we believe it is an excellent platform to mark our fourth anniversary. Again, there are elements that are going to be added that will be different to previous years. I can reveal that we are indeed going to have a DASH Zone for the younger kids. We are going to be splitting the crowd in order to more effectively engage the younger children while the party aspect of the event is taking place.
DASH Colour Run culminates with a major colour party right in front of Baywalk Mall, one of our main sponsors from the inaugural year in 2015, which is why we decided to end there. In that colour party, we have colour throws and it is literally a party with some of Saint Lucia’s best DJs & artistes like Arthur, Ezra and Michael Robinson.
Rob: DASHers (DASH colour runner) will get to participate in sample products from our sponsors, which are included in their registration package price. There will also be breakfast on sale and the regular restaurants will be open, specifically for DASH.