This Saturday, my niece and I did the Color Run in Oklahoma City. It was a lot of fun – definitely a new experience. It was my first 5K and the first time I’ve ever paid to have something thrown on me. The announcer at the starting line said that there were 4,000 runners. It didn’t seem like there were that many people. I wonder how many opted not to show up when they discovered how cold and blustery it was Saturday morning.
We were pretty traditional in our attire – white t-shirts and black tights. There were lots of colored wigs, tutus, and funky tube socks.
I studied up on the run before going so I knew that most of the participants would be walking it. This makes it pretty difficult to run the entire thing. We ran sections of it. There were four color stations along the route and one bubble station. Two of the color stations were powdered color and two were liquid color. It was so cold that morning that we tried to get through the liquid color stations as fast as we possibly could. Unfortunately, one of the sprayers had good aim and I got pretty wet in one of those.
When we were finished with the run, we weren’t too colorful, not so after the color toss. After runners reach the finish line, there is an organized color toss where participants toss the color from packets given to them at registration. I captured the above picture during that toss.
As I said, I did a bit of research prior to the run so we were pretty prepared. If you are going to do a color run, here’s some advice I read prior to the race as well as some of my own.
- Put anything that you carry with you in a plastic bag. I kept my phone in one, I wished I had a smaller bag, it was hard to take pictures through the big bag I was using. I think if I’d put my phone in a pint sized bag it might have worked better.
- Bring towels for your car seats. We still managed to get some color on my seats, fortunately it wiped off easily. I imagine it would have been a much bigger mess had we not covered the seats with towels.
- Bring some kleenex for after the race. It’s impossible not to breathe in some of the color. It’s not pretty, but you’re going to want to get that out of your nose/sinuses.
- If you pick up your packets the day before there’s no need to get there very early. At least this was true for us. We didn’t know what to expect so we got there way earlier than we needed to be. We ended up standing around in the cold wind for 45 minutes. While there were some good people-watching opportunities, it was really cold and miserable.
- If you don’t want to be in the last group to start, make your way to the starting line pretty early. We were cold and I was anxious to get started so we made our way to the starting line a bit early. Fortunately, we got in the 2nd group of runners. We would have spent a lot of time waiting at the starting line had we not done that.
- Don’t wear anything that can’t be ruined. Wash what you do wear immediately. Because it was so cold, I wore a pair of my nice running tights. I had originally planned to wear a cheap pair of shorts. I washed them right after I got home and all the color came out. I also washed my running shoes and had the same results. I wasn’t sure if I wanted to wash out the color of the white shirt I wore so I ended up waiting a day before I washed it. I’ve washed it twice, once with bleach and there is still some pink in it. I’m not sure if the results would have been different if I had washed it sooner.
- Be prepared to have stained skin and hair for a few days. This is not the kind of thing you want to do right before an important event. It’s taken a few washings to get all the color off my scalp. I still have a blue spot on my face that hasn’t completely vanished.
I wish that there had been more color stations. It somehow seems more rewarding to me to be colored while running than just standing around in a group. But overall, the Color Run was a great experience. After reading about the different color runs, I think it would be fun to try one of the others. Have you done a color run? What did you think about it?