Anne Curtis and Unicef brings The Happiest 5K on the Planet for the benefit of children with disabilities

I barely had any sleep when we arrived at the SM Mall of Asia Running Grounds. It was a quarter before 4 am, a good hour before assembly time. It was a good thing we arrived early as there was still a lot of parking space near the event venue. The 24 hour fastfood restos were starting to fill up with runners who just like us were fueling up for the upcoming 5K  Run. It was 30 minutes before assembly time yet the venue was still quite empty, I told my partner Lou that maybe they were expecting just a few thousand runners. But just as soon as the  sun started to peek, there was a sudden mass of people who quickly  began to fill up the place in time for gun start.

We were part of Wave 7, one of the last  wave of runners,  as we decided to wait for our blogger friend Rochelle who couldn’t find nearby parking and had to walk quite a distance.

I was already feeling sleepy from all the waiting, but as soon as our wave started the race, I  got swept with all the adrenaline and the excitement and before I knew it I was jogging and smiling, forgetting that I had been awake for almost 24 hours already.

It was wet, dusty, messy, and for every kilometer or so, people would start throwing a different colored paint powder on you–and true to its tagline, The Color Run Ph was indeed the “Happiest 5K” I’ve ran in my life.

And for almost an hour, I felt like a kid again, unmindful of the colorful sweaty mess that I’ve become–in fact I WANTED to  be covered with all those colors!

A feeling, I guess, I shared with more than 10,000 runners who joined  The Color Run Dream for the benefit of UNICEF.

The Color Run is a project of UNICEF Celebrity Advocate for Children Anne Curtis and is also part of her newest endeavor called #DreamMachinePh.

”Last year, we saw 7,000 runners making a difference for children’s health and nutrition. This year, we are so happy to gather 10,000 runners in this colorful run to help children with disabilities achieve their dreams,” says Curtis.

The Color Run, the largest fun run series in the world that has brought joy to over 6 million runners worldwide in 35+ countries, finally lands in the Philippines through Anne Curtis’ foundation, Dream Machine.

“The Color Run is among the first major projects of the Dream Machine, which is a platform to help dreamers achieve their dreams,” Anne adds.

”Anne is untiring and unwavering in her support for children. Her generosity to sponsor and organize this fundraising activity inspires us to keep innovating in our work for children, ” says UNICEF Country Representative Lotta Sylwander.

Sylwander adds, ”Children with disabilities are just like any other children. They want to be seen and heard, to be loved, to go to school and be useful members of society. UNICEF is working to give them access to health services that will enable them to have a fair chance in life. All the funds raised in the run will help us bring these services to all children with disabilities in the country.”

According to UNlCEF Philippines, an estimated one out of seven children or around five million are living with disabilities that range from hearing, visual, and mobility impairment including those who have development or learning disabilities. To address the situation, UNICEF aims to build four one-stop shops throughout the Philippines to provide comprehensive services such as diagnosis, provision ofassistive devices, counselling, referral, and therapy.

The Color Run  is a five kilometer, un-timed event in which thousands of participants or Color Runners are doused from head to toe in different colors at each kilometer. Along the 5K color and music filled course, participants can also run through frothy foam and bubble zones, snap photos with unicorns and get the ultimate color inspiration as they party with family and friends at the Finish Festival where, you guessed it– are again doused in a colorful mess!

Presented by Dream Machine and organized by RunRio, the Color Run Dream for the benefit of Unicef is made possible through the support of SM Mall of Asia, Cherry Mobile, Enervon, Jollibee, PMX, Swatch, Viva Artists Agency, Audi, B’Lue, Salonpas, Toy Kingdom, Viva LIve and Maynilad.

(All photos taken using the Huawei P10Plus without edit)