Monday, July 15, 2013

Race Recap: The Color Run

This weekend was a 2 race weekend for me! And although they were both only 5ks, the whole experience left me feeling pretty badass! :)

On Saturday, I ran the Go Commando Adventure Run. You can check out the race recap here.  On Sunday I ran the Color Run at the Minnesota State Fair grounds in Minneapolis.
My before Picture

It seems like just about everyone is familiar with the different versions of the Color Run. It is essentially a 5k that has 4-5 different areas where volunteers throw a colored powder on you. Runners are encouraged to wear white clothing for a maximum effect!

When I signed up for this run, I was pretty excited. I had heard about many others who have had a blast at this type of run. I signed up right away when registration opened, but could not convince any of my running buddies to join me. No one else really thought having stuff thrown on you while you run sounded fun!

Starting Corral! Packed!
As "race" day approached, I also started feeling like this may not be as fun as I thought. I tried to keep a positive attitude, but just wasn't feeling it. I mean, I had a really cute outfit picked out, and everything, but I just couldn't get into the mood!

The morning of the run came, again my sister and boyfriend came along for support. My wave time was supposed to be 9:15am, but we got there early, and there were thousands of people!! The starting line was over 2 blocks long!! I just jumped in where I could and got started. I don't know what time I actually started running, but it was before 9:15.

In the starting corral, it first became apparent to me that this was not going to be so much of a run, but more of dodging walkers and strollers type of run. Most of the people I talked to in the corral, had never run a 5k before, or had actually never even run before and were just there to walk.

After quite a wait, we were let through the starting line, and to my surprise, we were actually moving at a pretty good pace! I think it was when I caught up with the wave that went before us that the traffic jam began! It was packed!! White shirts as far as the eye could see! It was a pretty cool sight!

Lots of people carried
their children & ran!!
I tried to keep a good pace, while dodging little kids, strollers and walkers. It was rough. At one point I even looked around to see that I was the only one of about 200 people who was actually running! People were actually looking at me like "what are you running for?"

It was a weird vibe.

About a 1/2 a mile in we hit the first color, blue! I ran through while the volunteers (who were covered head to toe in blue!) sprayed  me with the colored powder. I was disappointed that not much of it actually stuck to me! It wasn't really sticking to my clothes, but more to my arms and face and teeth
(I was smiling!)

Just about every 1/2 a mile there was another color. People were so excited to get this powder thrown on them. It was actually pretty funny! As much as I tried to get a lot of powder sprayed on me, it just wasn't sticking!

By mile 3, I was sick of dodging people, and really happy to see the finish line. I just wanted to be clean again!

My "after" picture! Not a ton of color...
According to my "fans" I finished in just under 38 minutes. Not a PR by any means, but pretty good considering the amount of people and the back and forth path I had to run!

The finish line was a huge back up that lead into the post party. This part was pretty cool, as they have color explosions every 10 minutes. But it was so crowded! They said there were more than 20, 000 people in the post party when I crossed the finish line, and more were coming in!! CRAZY!!
My sister took these pictures, I am in there somewhere!
We didn't stay very long at the party, just long enough for me to get in on one of the color explosions. I was tired of the crowd. The clean up of this type of race wasn't so bad. There is no clean up at the race its self, so I just stripped down to my compression shorts and sports bra, wrapped a beach towel around myself and got in the car. At home it was much harder than I thought to scrub the color off of my skin, it took forever! And even though I bleached my clothes, the color did not come out. :(

While this is not a  race  run I will probably do in the future, I am glad I experienced it once. I always think it is amazing to see so many people getting excited about exercise! Even if they were not running, they were out there! I can see that this type of run is a springboard for some to try other 5ks and get into running.
Color Explosion!

I also think it is cool to see so many people having a great time together. There were no issues, everyone was happy! That is such a great thing to witness!

Here are some tips if you are planning on doing this type of run:

1. Wear a cotton shirt. While is it not comfortable to sweat in, I think it holds more color. I wore a tech top and it did not catch much color.

2. Wear old shoes! I wore some shoes I really didn't care too much about, but at times I was plodding through ankle-high colored powder! So, your shoes really take a beating!

3. Run with a group! I think this race would have been a lot more fun with a group of people, running alone was pretty boring.

4. Don't expect to PR or even run the whole way! These runs are money makers and they are crowded! Do not expect people to respect or even know about race etiquette!! Walkers are everywhere!

5. Make sure anyone coming to watch is wearing clothing that can get dirty! My sister never dresses down and was not happy when she got some color on her "good" shirt!!

Have you ever done a Color Run? What did you think?


Lauren said...

I'm doing one in just about a month, with my boyfriend, roomate, friend, and hopefully a couple more friends. I'm excited, and it'll be my first "race" in a few months.

Anonymous said...

I haven't done the color run yet, but I've heard very similar reports. I think it should only be done by those who really want to have fun, or are thinking about maybe racing a 5k, this is a great way to try it out but much lower pressure!