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A gnarly event, dude





Colorful chaos is returning to Hays with the second annual Gnarly Neon 5K Run.

Originally started on the West Coast as a way to benefit local charities, Gnarly Neon expanded to the Wichita market a few years ago.

Jason Brines moved to Wichita while in active duty in the Air Force. He founded Mobile GameDen in 2011 as a mobile video-game arcade. The company has evolved to include Human Hamster Balls, laser tag, archery tag and the Gnarly Neon 5K.

After spreading to Wichita, Brines decided to move the event to Hays because his wife is a graduate of Fort Hays State University.

"We're expanding all over the U.S.," Brines said. "So I wanted to have one that would benefit Hays and northwest Kansas."

The Gnarly Neon is a color run where participants run to a live DJ. Runners will sport sunglasses, temporary tattoos and bandanas.

Washable paint will be shot at participants as they complete the course. Each participant will be colored five times.

"Color runs are something a lot of people get to experience in the bigger markets," Brines said. "We wanted to give people in Hays a way to get out and celebrate. It's less about athleticism and more about getting out and having fun."

Following the course, a colorful after party will take place. The after party will include Human Hamster Balls, where participants roll around in 10-foot hamster balls.

"It's fun to watch the colorful chaos erupt at the end," Brines said.

A portion of the ticket registration fees and all of the concessions proceeds will benefit Hays Recreation Commission and Developmental Services of Northwest Kansas.

Approximately 300 people attended last year. Brines anticipates an increase this year.

"It's a community event brought out here for the surrounding communities to have an opportunity to do something different," said David Quilin, wellness director at the HRC fitness center and organizer of the local event. "5Ks are really popular, so this is something that is different. It's gnarly. It's colorful. It's fun."

The event will take place at 9 a.m. Aug. 30 at Bickle-Schmidt Sports Complex. For more information or to register, visit gnarlyneon5k.com.