Race Report: The Color Run

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.

Pre-Run Photos
The Color Run
The Color Run

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.)
The Color Run

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:

The Color Run
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:
The Color Run

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.
The Color Run
The Color Run
The Color Run

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 Color Run

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:
The Color Run

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:
The Color Run
The Color Run
The Color Run

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 Run

The color powder really permeates. It went through my shoes to my socks:
The Color Run
And through my socks to my feet:
The Color Run

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:
The Color Run

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!


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  1. This looks like so much fun! As for the comment on the strollers – just hose them off in the yard – good as new! ;o) Same goes for the kids! lol!
    I loved seeing all these photos! I’m gonna start looking for one to do on the East Coast! Looks like there are a few right around our area. DC and Richmond areas! Ya!

      • Of course! Especially the jogging strollers – most are made from a heavy duty canvas material. Hose it off and let it dry in the sun. If you pack them up and store them while they are damp or wet then they will get moldy. ;o)

        • I guess that makes sense… most heavy-duty jogging strollers are made to go off-road too, so it would be practical if you could clean them off! I just didn’t even think of that! LOL!

  2. So glad you had a great time, you certainly needed & deserved it!

    This type of race certainly caters to a specific demographic (for the most part), and I am sure they will bring it back. 6K is a huge number for a race.

    Thanks for sharing!

    • I really needed the fun and relaxed atmosphere of this race. I don’t need a lot of highly stressed people freaking out about times right now, just a fun and playful environment! This was a huge surge in my energy levels!

  3. I love the contrast of the clean white before everyone started and the mix of colors afterward. I’m also glad you had a good time!

    Once the race is over, do they hose the course down or do the streets and everything just stay covered in powder?

  4. Thanks for the race report and photos. It looks like a lot of fun, but I still don’t think this is an event I’d do. I don’t like to get dirty, although it’s not so much about being dirty myself as that I don’t want to make a mess of my car on the drive home. Yeah, I’m weird.

    • Lisa… I totally get your “weird” on that, because I’m the same way! I was pleasantly surprised at how well the blowers worked at the end of the race to get excess color powder off (and I was stunned that people chose not to use them!) But I still took a pair of flip-flops with me, so I wouldn’t track my shoes into my car… I had garbage bags, I had wipes to clean off if needed, I had towels to cover seats… I was uber-prepared.

      We saw some people out to lunch after the race who were still covered in their Color Run remnants. My mom and I had showered, changed and even thrown away our shoes (we both wore old pairs that we didn’t need anymore) so seeing a group of people sitting in a public place, potentially getting their color powder all over the restaurant and maybe even their food skeeved me out! 🙂

      • When I went to get gas for my trip home, the girl filling up at the next pump was still covered in “color” from the race. I can’t even imagine waiting that long to clean up!! (Okay, I might be a bit of a clean freak, too. Maybe you got a little of that from me!)

  5. i saw this the other day via fb. it looks like so much fun!! too bad for all the people who are allergic to corn though. and i’d be leary of that warning too! maybe the mormons are just over protective 😉

    • I hadn’t even thought of the corn-allergy potential! Yowza! There were a few people wearing surgical masks in the race.

  6. My seven year old daughter and I are signed up to do the one coming to Tulsa in June. I was curious about the powder that they throw. Do you suggest a bandana or anything over the mouth and nose? I didn’t want her to get all choked up on the course with 4k left to go

    • Yeah, a bandana would probably be good. I tried to hold my breath as I went through the stations, but that rarely happened for the whole stretch! Plus blowing my nose was very colorful after that… so a bandana across the nose and mouth would probably help prevent that!

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