Thousands of people participated in the 2014 Color Run on Saturday morning in downtown Medford. The 5K run began and ended in Hawthorne Park after a loop to Alba Park and a spur down North Central Avenue.

Thousands of people participated in the 2014 Color Run on Saturday morning in downtown Medford. The 5K run began and ended in Hawthorne Park after a loop to Alba Park and a spur down North Central Avenue.

At various spots along the way, participants got blasted with colored powder — made of dyed, food-grade cornstarch.

Color Run is a for-profit event company launched in January 2012 that has grown from 50 events and 600,000 participants to 170 events and more than a million participants, according to its website, thecolorrun.com.

A portion of proceeds from today's run will be donated to Hearts with a Mission, a shelter for homeless teens.