Color Run has neighbors seeing red

BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – “Nobody asked. This is just shoved on people.”

That’s what Marine Drive apartment resident Lynn Licata says about the Color Run coming through her neighborhood Saturday.

The 5K race celebrates healthiness and happiness by spraying a powdery paint on the runners in different locations as they run the course. Last year a few cars around Marine Drive ended up slightly colored but it washed right off.

This year, neighbors are reading signs that they can’t leave complex for two and half hours during the run Saturday morning.

“There’s a couple thousand people that live here. We have to put up with the roads being blocked, entrances that you can’t get in if somebody has a visitor,” said Marine Drive resident Joe Mascia.

Some residents were mailed a pamphlet directly from Color Run organizers which reads, “We recommend keeping doors and windows closed” for the three three hours on Saturday morning.

“If that’s not a red flag, then what is?” said Licata. “I don’t want to breathe those things in. What toxins if there are any in there.”

A Color Run spokesperson tells News 4 the powder is harmless. It’s 100 percent food-grade corn starch.

Last year, Color Run came right up Marine Drive, but on Monday organizers made a last minute switch in the route to accommodate the city. This time, the runners will go up Erie Street, and this year, they won’t spray any of the powder until they get away from the apartments.

Alex Watson works at Canalside and is more welcoming of the race than the Marine Drive residents.

“I understand where they’re coming from, but then again, they got to realize it’s supporting the city,” said Watson.

Mascia wants to make it clear he’s not trying to stop the progress of what happens at Canalside.

“What we’re here to do is be good neighbors and we expect everybody else to be good neighbors.”

The race begins at 8 a.m. at the corner of Marine Drive and Erie Street on Buffalo’s waterfront. provides commenting to allow for constructive discussion on the stories we cover. In order to comment here, you acknowledge you have read and agreed to our Terms of Service. Commenters who violate these terms, including use of vulgar language or racial slurs, will be banned. Please be respectful of the opinions of others. If you see an inappropriate comment, please flag it for our moderators to review. Note: Comments containing links are not allowed.

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