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C’mon get happy

The Color Movement is being held on the Sunshine Coast

My Time

C’mon get happy

The team that brought colour to Australia is launching a new concept, and the Sunshine Coast is to host the inaugural event.

Tim Wiche admits that at the age of 32, he’s still a big kid.

He gets a kick out of seeing thousands of people covered head to toe in psychedelic colours, having the time of their lives.

And while people tell him he should be settling down, he’s more than happy being in the business of being silly and having lots of fun doing it.

As a director of Aratis Events, he’s one of a team of 12 behind the The Color Run and its new spin-off, The Color Movement, which has its global debut on the Sunshine Coast on Saturday.

“People call me a Peter Pan who doesn’t really want to grow up,” he says.

“For five years I’ve been on stage interacting with everyone, engaging the crowd, doing giveaways, taking photos, crowd surfing.

“I look like a big dork up there on stage but it’s amazing to see the joy coming out of these kids’ faces.”

Wiche is a high-energy, fast-talking marketing executive who started out in advertising, working for big companies like M&C Saatchi and Saatchi & Saatchi, but he never felt like it was a good fit.

“I felt I was always a number and I was destined to do bigger things,” he says.

“As much as I really understood what we were doing, I never really understood why we were doing it.

“Understanding why people need to have certain experiences in their lives is really important to me.

“With The Color Run, seeing people walk off that event site and say ‘that was the best day of my life’ is such a big reward to me.

“I have friendly relationships with people all over the country I’ve helped inspire to do bigger and better things.

“We leave there with a sense that we’ve helped people.

“I had a rare opportunity that’s separate from the corporate world, to follow something I was passionate about.”

Six years ago, Wiche was sitting on the couch with his best mate, Luke Hannan, who is The Color Run’s general manager.

Hannan had just returned from the United States and had seen a video for The Color Run.

“He showed it to me and said ‘how amazing is this?’ I said ‘mate, you have to bring this to Australia’.

“Within three months we had signed the first deal. We’re both creative people, Luke had been in events and we saw an opportunity to build a brand in Australia.

“It went crazy as soon as tickets went on sale,” he says.

“In 2012 the first event was launched at Flemington Racecourse in Melbourne and it was the first event ever to be allowed to run on the track.

“It was a huge success and we now run 13 events nationally.”

The Color Run is now the single largest event series in the world, with 40 countries around the world taking part in what’s been dubbed the ‘happiest 5K on the planet’ – a five-kilometre run where participants run at their own pace and are splattered with colourful cornflour and foam.

Wiche realised there was the potential for a spin-off event that incorporated the same madcap fun and social interaction without the requirement to complete a five-kilometre course and developed a new concept, The Color Movement, which will make its global debut on the Sunshine Coast.

While The Color Run and The Color Movement are not charity events, plenty of people take part and donate to charities of their choice after completing the day.

“The Color Movement is the happiest dance floor on the planet,” he says.

“Through dance and movement you can still get off the couch and be healthy.

“Now we’re saying you don’t have to do the five kilometres, you can still come to our event and dance like you’ve never danced before for four hours.

“You’ll be dancing in colour clouds and jumping through confetti tornadoes, sliming your mates and blasting your loved ones with water balloons.

“There are 40 countries around the world that do The Color Run and all eyes are on us to see how we go,” Wiche says.

“We have a database of 450,000 and 510,000 social media followers and when we asked them which city we should launch The Color Movement in, the overwhelming response was South-East Queensland and the Sunshine Coast.”

Wiche says 70 per cent of participants are female and that teens and young adults, followed by families, are the target market of the event.

“Females are the experience chasers.

“They are always out there to be fit, healthy. They’re the social media engagers and influencers, they’re early adopters and will always be the ones to share and vocalise what’s good and bad about the event.”

While kids find this kind of event irresistible, Wiche says parents are sometimes a little reserved, but it doesn’t last long.

“A lot of mums and dads will come in and stand at the back but by the end they’re at the front with the kids on their shoulders with tutus on, and once you see the colour and fun, the vibe is just absolutely amazing.

“It’s taking people out of their daily routine. We create these beautiful, active worlds and they realise there’s lots of fun to be had outside of going to work every day and sitting in traffic.”

The Color Movement is on Saturday, October 21 at Sunshine Coast Stadium. Visit thecolorrun.com.au/event/sunshine-coast/

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Leigh Robshaw is a journalist who has worked in the media industry for more than 20 years. Originally from Sydney, she has lived and worked in London, Tokyo and Latin America. She joined the team in 2012 and is MWP's deputy editor. Writing, reading and travel are her greatest passions.

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