I am not an athletic person. And while I like to think that somewhere deep within my bones is a hidden vein of natural athletic talent, the fact that I’ve spent the majority of my time in organized sports as a “benchwarmer” states otherwise.
So when some friends invited us to join them in a Color Run™, I was initially hesitant about paying money to have my slow-moving body trampled by a mass of super-fit, sprinting, racers. To my delight, I discovered that this race was focused on fun, rather than competition. Boasting in the fact that you can “run, walk, crawl, or cartwheel” yourself across the finish line, I hoped this event would be an easy introduction to 5k runs. And of course, outweighing the dread of having to do actual exercise was the prospect of being doused in a kaleidoscope of colored dust.
With a 9am start time, we made our way down to the PNE grounds and met up with our super awesome friends who were brave enough to be running with one ecstatic six year old and a toddler in a stroller. (We left our little guy with the grandparents.)
Decked out in our white shirts, it was an easy
jog walk along the course. Every kilometer we’d dash through a different “color station” and be splashed with brightly colored cornstarch. Making our way through clouds of colorful dust, we emerged from the 5K run in true rainbow fashion and proceeded to celebrate our finish by dousing each other in – you guessed it – more color dust!This year, the Color Run™ took the race to the next level by introducing the “Shine Tour.” Not only were we immersed in orange, yellow, pink and blue dust, we were also coated in pounds of gold and silver GLITTER. As we neared the end of the run, we noticed millions of sparkles floating through the air like pixie dust – to which our little, running buddy excitedly proclaimed, “Guys! Tinkerbell is alive!”
While I was initially concerned about having “paint” thrown at me, the consistency was vastly different from what I had imagined – more powder, less liquid. The paint is a colored cornstarch mixture that is either tossed by hand or squirted out of bottles. Unless you were hit by the cornstarch at close range, the dust tended to disintegrate into a cloud rather than sticking to a runner. This made it easy to get as much, or as little, color* as individual runners preferred. The dust is relatively easy to shake or wash off at the end of the event but it does leave a slight stain on light colored clothes and may take a bit of extra scrubbing in the shower.
The start and end of the race was pretty much one big party with music, dancing, freebies, pre-run workouts and color fights to keep the mood upbeat and runners entertained. I also appreciated the fact that included in your registration was a free packet of color and a free packet of glitter as well as a t-shirt, sweatband and temporary tattoos.
While the Color Run™ does say that they give back to charity, this portion of your participation wasn’t advertised during the race, and I have no idea which charities they actually support. I think most people (us included) signed up solely for the fun of a unique experience.
I do enjoy a good competition every now and then, however, I was thankful that this run was relaxed, easy for us “beginner runners” and very family friendly. For those looking to set a new 5k running record, I’d say that this race probably isn’t for you (unless you’re skilled at dodging through crowds). Most of the “bunching up” occurred around the color stations, and if you wanted to get extra doused, you did have to slow down rather than just barreling through.
My husband and I definitely had a great time and were really glad that we’d decided to take advantage of this unique event. It’s advertised as the “Happiest 5k on the Planet,” and after completing my first Color Run™, I have to say that I believe them!
*Every fiber of my Canadian being is aching to add a “u” into the word “color.” However, to maintain consistency with the name of this event “Color Run™” I have tried to curb my “u” enthusiasm.