Let’s just preface this by saying: I don’t like being dirty. Yard work sucks because you have to dig in the dirt. Getting sweaty and smelly is probably my least favorite part of running. The idea of doing a mud run kind of freaks me out because I’d be so filthy. So the mere fact that when I heard about The Color Run and asked my mom if she wanted to do it is kind of weird. But for some reason, I was intrigued and wanted to do it.
At first I thought they actually flung paint on participants, wet paint. And I was okay with that idea. But then I learned that it’s a colored powder made out of some kind of corn derivative and was okay with that too. Even if it meant I would potentially track it home with me. I just wanted to do something fun.
So my mom and I made our way to the Fremont Street Experience, where the race was starting/finishing. We had made plans to meet a bunch of my Team Challenge members there as well, since all of us were signed up.
Ironically enough, we ended up settling on a meeting place that was right at the corner of the Heart Attack Grill, a place where recently some guy actually did end up having a heart attack. (I posted a link to an article about that incident on my Facebook page… honestly, the whole concept of that restaurant grosses me out.)
All participants were given a packet of color powder to use at the finish line party. I pinned my packet to me so I wouldn’t have to carry it… which didn’t work so well because it fell off at some point early on. But I thought it had a strange warning on the package:
For Sale or Use outside the State of Utah only.
I’m pretty sure The Color Run management is based out of Utah. And yet, they don’t have a color run in Utah schedule and the powder is for use outside of Utah only? What do they know that we don’t? Maybe they’re poisoning the rest of the country? 😉 [Edit: They’ve started a Color Run event in Utah since this post went up originally.]
For some bizarre reason they let the participants go in a wave start. I understand the theory and concept of wave starts… but in this race, it’s not timed and I seriously doubt anyone was trying to do it for a time goal. If they were, they were in the wrong event. This is the kind of thing where you go out and play, just have fun. And the wave start didn’t seem to have any organization or rhyme or reason. The race technically started at 9:00 AM, but I’m willing to bet it was at least 45 minutes or longer than that before we got to actually start. I was starting to get dizzy while standing there waiting, wishing that I’d brought some water with me. Plus I had to go to the bathroom by this point too and there were NO PORTA POTTIES anywhere! Seriously? How can you plan a race without any toilets, especially one with about 6000 people or so? That just seems dumb.
Standing around waiting to start, people were getting antsy and silly. A woman near us tore open her finish line color packet and started pouring it into her hands before grabbing her friends’ breasts and butts to leave handprints:
But we finally got to get started after what felt like FOREVER standing there with the sun baking on my face. They had a color station at each kilometer of the race. Each one was a specific color with flags corresponding to that color leading up to, so you knew that you were approaching yellow, or green, or purple, or pink.
I kept my camera in a plastic bag inside a Spi-Belt throughout the race. I didn’t want to get color powder all over the outside or inside of it, so no photos during the race.
Upon crossing the finish line, we asked some little kids that were playing with open color packets to add some color to us, so we got some orange and red and blue added to the mix.
They had water, granola bars and fruit for post-race refreshment. I took an orange and as tasty as it sounded to me, there was no way I was going to eat it there. And I saw a couple people trying to eat oranges and oranges on the ground that perfectly illustrate why I didn’t want to eat it in my current color-y, powder-y, state:
The finish-line festival had periodic countdowns where people were supposed to all open and throw their color packets into the air at the same time:
It was pretty cool looking, but most people weren’t waiting for the official countdowns to open their packets. Thus there were a lot of scenes like these around:
I wore some old white arm sleeves for the race, since it was 50 degrees at the start, I’m a desert-dweller and that’s cold to me. They ended up looking really cool!
The color powder really permeates. It went through my shoes to my socks:
And through my socks to my feet:
And anywhere that we sweat, the color is kind of staining. So my feet still have a purple tint to them. And my mom’s underarms and bra-line do too:
I am sooooo glad I did this race. There were a lot of people with kids on the course. I’m a little too uptight about mess to want to push a toddler in a stroller through this, since then you’d have yourself, a kid AND a stroller to clean up. But when kids are mobile enough to do a 5K on their own, it would be fun. There were several 5 or 6-year-old kids that were squealing in delight about each color station. This was a fun race and if there is one near you… DO IT!