Running is a better spectator sport than participation sport at least when you're watching your daughter having fun.

Recently my wife and I watched our daughter and her friends participate in The Color Run in Omaha.

The Color Run is this: While running the course, race officials spray the runners with colored corn starch.

You also are given a packet of colored corn starch to throw up into the air during the festival that's held after the race.

At the end of the race my daughter, Claire, and her friends were head to toe in powdered color.

Claire's boyfriend's legs were so covered with a mixture of powder it looked like he was wearing pants.

Most of all, they were all smiles when it was done.

They joined hundreds in the 5K run/walk that helped Habitat for Humanity.

That led Claire to ask me if I was going to run next year.

I was noncommittal, but I was thinking that it looked like fun, and by next year maybe I could handle running a 5K.

Then reality hit.

Claire and I went for a run the next day around town.

I learned that running on a treadmill is a lot easier than running outside on concrete and that I have a long ways to go before I am ready for a 5K or a 3K or around the block.

Just when I was feeling pretty good about my 2-mile treadmill jaunts, I got put in my place.

It is no wonder that the track athletes in this area are so good. With no track to train on, by the time they get to meets, it must be like running on pillows.

The next day my shins hurt, and my ego hurt worse.

Claire has turned into a real runner. The girl who didn't care for high school track now can't run enough.

The most recent Sports Illustrated includes an article stating the popularity of running is on the rise again.

Events such as color runs and mud runs have more people getting off the couch and on to running courses.

Running is not just for competitive athletes.

The run/walks have weekend warriors and people with no warrior in them at all participating.

They do it for a reason I never associated with running. It's fun.

People of all ages, shapes and sizes were running and walking, covered in the colors of the rainbow.

The only thing they had in common is that they were all smiling during and after the race.

Claire and her friends were grinning from ear to ear. I could tell by their colored teeth.

If you can enjoy exercising, that's half the battle. It's tough to get motivated for something you don't enjoy.

I enjoy the treadmill. I'll have to learn to enjoy pounding the pavement.

Claire told me running doesn't get easier, you just get better at it. I guess I'll test that theory.

Who knows how I'll feel a year from now when The Color Run comes around again. Maybe it'll be me brushing colors out of my teeth.

Patrick Murphy, of Humphrey, Neb., is a former assistant managing editor of The Telegram.