“Please no color, please,” a little boy said as he slowly jogged by Jordan Stauffer, Demi Peterson and Reagan Coughlin, members of the Williston High School girls swimming and diving team, Saturday morning.
His hands covered his face as he inched by but Stauffer, Peterson and Coughlin, holding water bottles and packets of color dust, assured him that he had nothing to worry about.
Not everyone who ran by wanted to be dusted with a plethora of pink, red, green and blue powders or showered with water, but that didn’t stop them from participating in the WHS Boys and Girls Swimming and Diving teams’ 5K Color Run/Walk fundraiser.
The third annual event brought members of the entire swim community to Spring Lake Park where they started their trek at 10 a.m. and finished just in time for barbecue and Hawaiian shaved ice.
The annual 5K is a way to help raise funds for the swimming and diving program to cover equipment costs, travel and other season expenses.
Stauffer said it is nice to have the event, and fundraising efforts aside, Peterson said the event is also a great team bonding experience and helps bring attention to her team.
“It’s good team bonding for us,” Peterson said. “We all get to work together to bring the community together and it just shows how much support we have from everyone in town. They all come out here to support us.”
The trio took turns splashing some participants with water and sprinkling them with the color dust.
As participants ran, jogged or walked by they said things like “oh, nice,” not the face,” or “wooh, that felt good.”
They laughed or smiled every time.
Peterson and Coughlin said they have attended the event for all three years; Stauffer for two.
But they have been a part of the swim community, which starts with the Sea Lions club team, for years.
And when asked if swimming and diving was a life for them, they looked at each other and laughed, “yeah.”
“With swimming you spend a lot of time together because we do morning practices and night practices and we’re gone most weekends so our team is just really connected during the season,” Peterson said. “It really helps too because we have a good group of parents.”
The parents, they said, help support the team by providing food and snacks for them and showing up for events such as the 5K.
“The community we have supporting the swim team is really strong,” Peterson said. “All the parents on the team do everything for us, and we have a good supporting community obviously everybody that you see here so our supporters are really strong but people who don’t support us don’t know us at all.”
As for being able to have the event at all, Stauffer said the feeling is great.
“It’s just good to have everybody together and be able to have this instead of staying home and not having it all,” Stauffer said.
And Peterson said moving forward and heading into the fall season, everything is almost normal.
“Obviously we don’t know what will happen but I’m feeling pretty good right now,” she said.