Instead of just wearing a plain white T-shirt, Janelle Thoms decided to dust off and don her wedding dress, hoping to give the 15-year-old keepsake a colorful update.

“I didn’t think she was actually going to go through with it,” said her husband, Brett Thoms. “I have to give her credit for actually following through with it.”

The Thoms family joined more than 2,300 runners for the Color Up 5k at the Killeen Civic Center on Saturday morning for the biggest color party in the state and the first of its kind in the area.

“I cut the train off my dress so my daughter can incorporate a piece of it into her wedding dress one day,” Janelle Thoms said before the race. “I wanted to see if it still fit after all these years and it actually has some room in it.”

Runners started their colorful adventure dressed in pristine white, but as they made their way through the 3.5-mile course, five “color zones,” complete with “color bombs,” “painters” and “magical pixie dust” transformed them into abstract art as they crossed the finish line,

“It looks so much better now,” Janelle Thoms said after crossing the finish line with her family. “The race was awesome and it was a great family activity.”

The untimed race allowed participants to “Color up for a Cause,” with $5 from each race fee going to benefit the Fort Hood Memorial Fund.

“We already have this fundraiser on the books for next year,” said former Killeen Mayor Timothy Hancock, chairman of the Fort Hood Memorial Fund, about the tentative Nov. 8, 2014, date. “We won’t break ground on this memorial until we know we can complete the project, so events like this are a big help to get this project funded and completed.”

The memorial will honor the 13 victims who were killed in the Nov. 5, 2009, Fort Hood shooting.

“Our race is popular because for a lot of our participants this is their first 5k and they can participate in an un-timed, no-pressure environment,” said Jeremiah Wilkerson, race director. “Our event also gives people an opportunity to give back to their community because we partner with local charities.”

After all four waves completed the course, participants converged in front of the stage for a color party, complete with more color bombs, music and dancing.

“Most 5ks are boring, so this is great way to jazz it up,” said Brandi Stokes, who drove from San Antonio to participate with her team, “Taste Our Rainbow.” “This is a great way for the community to get together in a fun and healthy way and for a great cause.”

Contact Vanessa Lynch at or 254-501-7567.

(1) comment


It's Holi time.

Welcome to the discussion.

Keep it Clean. Please avoid obscene, vulgar, lewd, racist or sexually-oriented language.
Don't Threaten. Threats of harming another person will not be tolerated.
Be Truthful. Don't knowingly lie about anyone or anything.
Be Nice. No racism, sexism or any sort of -ism that is degrading to another person.
Be Proactive. Use the 'Report' link on each comment to let us know of abusive posts.
Share with Us. We'd love to hear eyewitness accounts, the history behind an article.