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Color Dash runners usually start out dressed in all white and finish their run wearing a rainbow of colors.

The Color Dash 5K comes to Farmington

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On August 25, members of the Farmington community and surrounding areas will have a chance to run for a cause in the Color Dash 5K at the Dakota County fairgrounds. The race benefits Odaio, an organization supported by Farmington-based Mission River in an effort to build an orphanage in India.

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The organizers of the Color Dash have done races in Iowa, Wyoming, Michigan, Minnesota, California and more. The race, which is known as a smaller version of the large-scale Color Run, has a smaller focus.

"We go to smaller cities, to raise money locally for local people," said Color Dash executive Hamid Torapour.

Torapour said the concept is similar to that of the Color Run, with color stations set up at every kilometer that cover runners with clouds of colored powders. Each Color Dash throughout the country is held in conjunction with a charity in that area.

Charles Fredlund got the idea that turned into Odaio when he did some research into an interest in projects that help children. He stumbled onto some statistics about orphanages and started talking to people about building an orphanage in India, a country with one of the world's largest orphan populations and a problem with human trafficking. He has identified land in India and is currently trying to raise at least $20,000 to buy the property and start buying construction materials.

There is no clear timetable for the project.

"It will happen as it happens," Fredlund said. "The goal is, I leave this fall. I will be meeting up with a social worker that I've been working with in India and start planning this out.

The organization currently has two children that they support in India and a social worker that checks on their care and education.

The funds raised at the Farmington Color Dash will help support their efforts.

"(It's a) nice way to raise awareness for what his cause is." Torapour said of the Farmington race for Odaio.

Torapour said since they go to smaller towns, they expect 400 to 500 people, on average, to participate in each race. He expects similar numbers for Farmington, especially since it is close to larger areas like Lakeville and Apple Valley.

The Color Dash has raised $160,000 for charities since the start of their year in September of 2012. Besides the entry fee participants pay, anyone can donate to the Color Dash on their website. Registration is now open online at www.thecolordash5k.com/farmington-minnesota.html. The cost is $40 for an individual and $80 for families of 2-6.

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