I love running with friends, and I have missed racing with Andi and Mindy since I left Michigan. So I was delighted to run the Color Run 5K with Jamie in Racine this past weekend. (Full disclosure: I won a free entry via a giveaway on her blog.)
The Color Run bills itself as “a one-of-a-kind experience,” “3.1 miles of color madness” and “the happiest 5K on the planet.” The
race event is all about fun: Runners of all shapes, sizes and speeds toe the starting line in white garb and cross the finish line plastered in color, acquiring a new layer of color with each kilometer and basking in their color in a post-race celebration.
I drove the almost three hours to Racine, picked up my packet and met up with Jamie and her boyfriend for the 5 p.m. race start. I was so delighted to meet Jamie after almost two years of “knowing” each other via our blogs and Facebook. We took the obligatory pre-race pictures and made our way to the starting corral.
We were completely surrounded by people. We marveled at the clever outfits (lots of tutus, sunglasses and homemade T-shirts) and the wide variety of runners—experienced racers, newbies, families, girlfriends, guy friends, couples, heavy-set people, skinny people, athletic people; you name a kind of person, they were out there. We loved that the promise of an untimed, fun, colorful event got people outside and active.
The course wound around the downtown area and through the surrounding residential neighborhoods and included about a mile along beautiful Lake Michigan.
Jamie, her boyfriend and I stuck together the whole time, weaving around those who walked the route or those who ran-walked the race. We left our watches and iPods at home and just enjoyed being out in the sun and getting plastered in colored powder. The
miles kilometers flew by because we stopped to get colorized at each one. We didn’t intend to race, but we tried to run as much as possible.
We approached the first color zone—yellow! We stuck to the outside lanes to get the most color and quickly learned that we would have to come to a complete stop to allow the event volunteers to put color (dyed cornstarch-like powder) on us. I sort of did a slow run-dance through the zone, while Jamie stopped, got color and then smeared it all over herself.
We hit the next color zone—green—and made sure to get some silly action shots before we were completely unable to handle our electronics without ruining them.
(Photo courtesy of Jamie.)
We stopped for water (It was still pretty warm outside, and we were thirsty, especially after breathing in the powder.) and then for a couple pictures along the lake.
We hit the next color zone—pink—and picked up a lot of color (Our favorite!).
We approached the last color zone—purple—and picked up a bunch more color. We made our way to the finish and into the backed-up crowd of people. We found water and guzzled down a couple cups and then took the necessary post-race, post-color pictures.
(Photo courtesy of Jamie.)
I had such a ball during this race. I struggled with the whole running thing—I found myself huffing and puffing and sore—but I’m still just two weeks removed from the marathon and still in recovery mode. We maintained a good clip, when we were actually running, and worked up a decent sweat that helped the color seep into our skin. We smiled (carefully, so as not to inhale the colored powder) through all 5 kilometers.
The Color Run really isn’t a race, but an experience. It sounds silly—running three miles and stopping every so often to get covered in colored powder—but it truly was a lot of fun. No one worried about pace or finish time. No one worried about gear. No one worried about training or racing. We all just went out there and had fun—and got in a workout!
Thanks again to the Color Run and to Jamie for the race entry; I definitely would not have made the trip or run the race otherwise. And thanks again to Jamie for a wonderful evening; I hope we can run a real race together soon!