color run splash

Participants fling powdered paint to celebrate completion of the Color Splash 5K

Photo courtesy of: Southern Campus

Color run

(from left to right) Teresa McKenzie, Viviane Khounlavong-Vallance, Traci Tillis, Corbin Purdum, Ashlie Bailey, Lora Hastings and Marley Gilmore

Photo courtesy of: Southern Campus

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Colorful Southern Campus team completes 5K to benefit ImPACT testing for high school athletes


For the nine members of the Ohio University Southern (OUS) Color Splash 2016 team, Saturday, June 11 started with a bang and burst of rainbow. Runners and walkers wound through Ashland’s Central Park and downtown while volunteers throw powdered paint on them – all for fun and a good cause. Proceeds from the event help fund crucial screenings for high school athletes.

According to Jennifer Fields, marketing coordinator at Kings Daughter Medical Center, concussion is one of the most serious and prevalent medical problems facing high school athletes. “As part of its ImPACT Program, King’s Daughters offers free baseline testing to high school and college athletes, funded in part by the annual Color Splash 5K,” Fields said. “The event has drawn more than 1,000 runners, walkers and families each year since it began four years ago.”

“Management and diagnosis have changed significantly in the past 10 years,” said sports medicine physician Andy Gilliland, M.D. And so have attitudes. By starting a dialogue about the dangers of concussion, young athletes have become more aware of the risks and more willing to speak up when they experience symptoms of a concussion.

ImPACT testing can help take the guesswork out of concussion management and promote safe return-to-play decisions. Testing is offered for high-impact athletes at universities and high schools including Paul G. Blazer, Russell, Boyd County, Fairview, Elliott County, East Carter, West Carter, Ironton, South Point, Rock Hill, Dawson Bryant and Kentucky Christian University. During football season, King’s Daughters Sports Medicine offers Saturday morning sports injury clinics, which includes diagnostic imaging.

For Ashlie Bailey, an administrative services associate for the Student Success Center at OUS, this was the first time she participated in the event. Despite being covered from head to toe in rainbow colors by the end, Bailey was thrilled to be a part of the OUS team.

“I heard someone say that doing the Color Splash Run was the happiest 5k. I really got that feeling when I was there,” Bailey said. “I loved getting splattered with color and looking like a rainbow at the end of the race.”

Bailey also said that she did the 5k to challenge herself. “I keep finding myself stuck in the same routine every day, especially since I have had a baby. Doing the 5k was an opportunity for me to get out of that routine and have fun challenging myself. I can’t wait to do another one!” Bailey said.