The 28-person team of 6 to 84-year-olds from the Newport News Riverside Retirement Community showcased what it means to "live life actively and have a great time doing it" during the April 26 Color Me Rad 5k.

Newport News, VA – As retired Army Col. Roy Rogers crossed the finish line of the Color Me Rad 5K in Newport News, Va. Saturday morning, he smiled broadly through the red, green, pink, and blue lines streaking his face.

Not only did he finish the 5K course through Newport News' City Center in under an hour; but he was also the first person on his team to complete the race.

"And I'm the oldest on the team," said the 85-year-old Rogers.

Rogers was among 28 residents, neighbors, family members and staff from Warwick Forest, a Riverside Health System retirement community in Newport News on the Yorktown border, to participate in the Color me Rad 5K on April 26.  Color Me Rad road races are known for the "color bombs" of dyed cornstarch that race organizers blast at participants as they make their way through the course. 

"They wanted to do this to break down barriers about what it means to live in a retirement community," said Ginger Knight, Executive Director of Warwick Forest. 

One of the Warwick Forest neighbors and residents, Betty Bailey, busily captured all the action on her smartphone for use on the neighborhood Facebook page.

"They wanted to show people they are still as vigorous, lively, and determined as they have always been. They are doing the things they enjoy most, living life, and having a great time doing it."

A great time, indeed. At the finish line of the race, just as a Warwick Forest staff member told one of the children on the team, "don't throw color bombs directly at people," Warwick Forest resident and neighbor, Gerald Gregory, pitched a color bomb at the child, smiling. 

"Okay, never mind," the Warwick Forest staff member said laughing.

Color Me Rad may have been the most colorful event the residents have participated in thus far, but it's far from the most active, Rogers said.

"We had a lot of participation in this event because we already do a lot of things together," Rogers said.

Some, like Rogers, had run road races before.

"I have run a lot in my life," said Rogers, who moved to Warwick Forest seven years ago.  His wife, who suffers with Alzheimer's Disease, also lives at Warwick Forest in the memory support area of the neighborhood.  "I still like to do these events, like Relay for Life, the Coast Guard 10K, Arthritis Walk, Alzheimer's Walk."

Excluding children, Warwick Forest neighbors and staff members, the Warwick Forest team ranged in age from 62 to 85.

All of the neighbors stood at the finish line in their team "Warwick Forest Warriors" t-shirts, which were tie-dyed from all the action. 

"I would do that again," Rogers said.  "It was a lot of fun."


Published: May 2, 2014