Races

The Happiest 5K on the Planet!

Good Evening!!

This morning I did something kind of crazy… I ran/walked my second Color Run.  Let’s start with the back story.  I did the Color Run with my friend back in 2012 in Indianapolis.  We took a leisurely walk as I was not in the shape to run, but it was so much fun!!  Since then they have come out with the Kaleidoscope Tour, and I have wanted to do it again ever since.  For those who have never experienced The Color Run before, it is a 5K with a “color station” at each kilometer.  You start the race in all white and end up all colored.  Don’t worry, all of the color is all natural and is not going to hurt you, AND the volunteers are really good about not pelting you in the face with it.

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Fast forward two years, and my wish came true!  I was walking around the mall with my better half and saw that The Color Run was coming to Champaign, IL, which is significantly closer to me.  The upside was the race was the weekend of my birthday, and it would be really fun to do for my birthday; the downside was my better half was going to be out of town and no one else could do it with me.  So, I did it by myself.

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I was able to go pickup my race packet the day before the race, which I was excited about because in Indianapolis I had to wait in a horrendously long line the day of the race.  Packet pickup was so smooth, and the staff members were very warm and friendly.  Not to mention, the race packet is awesome.  I got the “extra” packet, so I paid to get some extra things, but all of the things were awesome.  Also, they had the store set up at packet pickup, so I did not have to worry about what to do with the things I wanted to purchase the day of the race.

IMG_1087The original race packet includes the T-shirt, tattoos, headband, race bib, wrist band, and a sling bag (not pictured).  The extras came with the hat, socks, sunglasses, and magnet.  This made my wardrobe choices on race day really simple!  All of the “white” things were already covered.  I also purchased a tank top, a shirt that reads “worry less, run more,” and a stuff cuff (which is the blue thing on my arm in the above picture).  It is amazing and held my car key, license, and debit card while I ran.

What I like best about The Color Run is that it is an experience.  It is not timed or “official” or anything like that.  It starts and ends with a party.  It was a bummer that I didn’t have anyone with me, because I wanted to take pictures and stuff, but it was hard because everything was a selfie.  There is a stage with a DJ, lots of picture opportunities, and everything is all in white.  I was greeted with lots of music and “the wobble” to get us started.  We also played a game of “Simon Says” that gave a decent warm up and stretch.

IMG_1092 IMG_1093 IMG_1094 One of the most fun things about The Color Run (in general) are the signs around.  They have great signs that make you smile.  It attributes to the fun atmosphere The Color Run tries to create.  You see a lot of people taking pictures around the signs, and everyone is having a good time.  It’s hard to be a sour pus at this race.

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Once the pre-party was over, it was time for the race to begin.  The question is, how to do you move 1,800 people over to the start chute?  A CONGA LINE of course.  We all conga-ed and cha-cha-ed our way to the start chute, which, of course, is all white.  The DJ even moved with us to continue the music and the fun in the chute.  We did the wave and jumped, danced, and smiled for prizes.  I was a little too far away to get anything, but it was fun none-the-less.

IMG_1099 IMG_1100 Then the race began.  I started off at a decent jog, lasted about a song, and then I walked.  I would alternate running and walking.  However, I became frustrated because I did not have the stamina I wanted to have.  I know I have not trained in almost a year, and have not been working out like I need to be.  My “shooting for the stars” goal was to complete the race in under the time of my last 5K the previous November; however, my realistic goal was to complete it in under an hour.  Another thing I liked about this race was the color choice!  The first color station was PINK!!  I LOVE  pink, and pink was not available in 2012.  I wish I had taken pictures at every color station, but I didn’t.  Mainly because I was trying to focus on completion and I didn’t want to get color all over my phone.  The second color station was yellow.  This was my least favorite as the volunteers weren’t AS enthusiastic (usually you are greeted with people who are super excited to throw color all over you).   The halfway point was marked with a bubble machine!

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This would have been a better picture had the cord for my headphones not been in the way.  I guess that’s what I get for multitasking.  During the last half, I started to get a cramp in my side.  Luckily there were two hydration stations along the way, and I took advantage of them.  The last two color stations were blue and purple.  Again, I wish I had taken picture as they had hilarious signs along the way.  For example, “woohoo for blue” and “purple people eater ahead”. Finally, I found the finish line!!

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According to my Couch to 5K app, I finished 3.38 miles in 56:38. Not bad considering I haven’t trained in almost a year, and I completed my goal. All in all, I am pretty pleased with my performance today, and I look forward to getting better in the future. The best part about the end of The Color Run is the after party and color throw. When you’re done, you get a color packet full of your own color to throw up in the air. There’s music, more photo opportunities to take your “color” or “after” pictures, Kind bars were there to fuel post race, and more opportunities to win prizes.
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After the race, I left, ate Einstein Brother’s Bagels, went home, mowed the lawn, and took a nap.  All in all, it was a good day.  I’m really glad I did it, and I’m proud of myself for doing it alone (because that’s not something I would normally do).  For those considering doing a Color Run DO IT!!!  They attract people of all shapes, sizes, and athletic ability.  I’m not a super runner and self-conscious about my appearance.  However, I do not feel judged, and I had a ton of fun.  It truly is the happiest 5K on the planet!!  I can’t wait to do another one!!

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