Sunderland is one of only six cities in the UK to hold the 5k fun Color Run.
The registration for the ‘the happiest 5k on the planet’, run by Dulux, opened at 9am on Friday in the city.
Forty per cent of the tickets were sold out within just three hours.
To mark the launch, Capital FM presenters Rob Howard and Jojo met shoppers in The Bridges on the day, covered in coloured powder.
People were also able to get coloured in the powder that will be used on the city’s Color Run day.
The event, which will take place on July 20 at 11am, has been brought to the city by Sunderland Live.
Chief operating officer of Sunderland Live Chris Alexander said: “We’re delighted to be involved in bringing such a brilliant event to the region for the first time.
“With the amount of fantastic publicity already, we’re really looking forward to what promises to be an amazing day for the city.”
The colour used at the events is made from food grade cornstarch, it is natural and causes no harm to the skin or the environment.
Other cities in the UK to host the Color Run are London, Manchester, Birmingham, Brighton and Belfast.
Event organiser Joe Rafferty said: “We hosted four UK events last year and the feedback was incredible, so it was an easy decision to increase The Color Run programme for 2014.
“Our main aim is to help people have fun whilst they exercise. It’s a great event for people who’ve not taken part in organised runs before, as you can go at any pace with a big group of friends.
“As well as the run, the Color Festival Area at the finish line is an amazing place to hang out, listen to music and get colourful.”
All runners of all shapes, sizes, ages and speeds are invited to take part with one only rule: to get as much colour as possible on themselves.
They begin the run wearing The Color Run white t-shirt, which forms the canvas for various colour stations located throughout the course.
The Color Run has its origins in the ancient Hindu Holi Festival – often known as both the festival of love and the festival of colour.
The exact route will be announced in the coming weeks.
Applications cost £25 for individuals and £23 per person for group bookings. There is a £4.99 cost for postage and packaging of entry pack.
To find out more, go to www.TheColorRun.co.uk or here.
Or join live chats on Twitter by following @TheColorRunUK or using #ColourMeHappy and #Happiest5k.