Where can you find over 10,000 men and women of all ages dressed in all white on a Saturday morning in June? Three words: The Color Run. That’s exactly where I was this morning at 8:00 a.m. ready to have the time of my life.
The Color Run is a 5k (the happiest 5k on the planet to be exact!) where race volunteers blast colored cornstarch at participants as they run through color stations set up at every kilometer. I should mention that this powder is 100% natural and safe. At the end of the race, there is a Color Extravaganza finish festival where everyone takes the color packet provided in their race bag and explodes it into the air (all the while dancing to music blasting from the stage).
I absolutely LOVED it! I’ve been on such a happy, life-loving high! I totally recommend everyone do it at least once. It’s definitely something that I am going to do yearly! The mascot is a unicorn for pete’s sake! This race is overflowing in happiness!
I signed up for the VIP list on The Color Run website which notifies me when the registration opens in my city of preference. Signing up as early as possible is a must because it fills up pretty quickly. If you don’t make it in time, there are many color runs throughout the year.
The cost is $35 per person for a team and $40 per person if you’re going solo. Money from the race goes to St. Paschal’s feed the homeless program and to the Color Run workers.
Race Start Time
Waking up at 5:40 am wasn’t too exciting, but the early start was much appreciated because it gave me the rest of the day ahead to do as I please. I do suggest leaving early because the traffic on the highway was insane. We were worried about being late because the race was set to start at 8 a.m. and we didn’t arrive till around 8:15, but thankfully, everyone was still at the starting line while the DJ kept the crowd entertained. Also, parking was super easy to find! Eventually, the run started in waves, which was a great way to relieve any stress about being late. There were waves of about 2,000 runners every five to ten minutes.
Time is not the purpose of The Color Run. Looking like a rainbow is the purpose of The Color Run. If you’re aiming for a personal record, this is not the run for you, especially because actually running the course is nearly impossible with the crowd; however, I saw some smiling faces of runners at the finish line who looking like they truly had a blast. The Color Run website clearly states that walkers, joggers, and runners are welcome on the course. My friend and alternated jogging and walking, mainly due to the fact that she has bronchitis and had trouble breathing from her cough.
There were four color stations along the course, going from pink to yellow to orange to blue. When going through the color zones, volunteers shoot cornstarch out of ketchup bottles, toss it out of buckets, or even throw it out of shovels. You can adjust how much color you want on you by walking directly next to the sprayers or by avoiding them. If you walk through the color zones, you’ll get more color on you, as opposed to just running straight through them. My friend and I wanted to get as caked as possible so we took our sweet time, twirling and even rolling around on the color coated concrete to complete cover ourselves in cornstarch.
The finish line festival was a mix between a high school dance and a rave. There was lots of music, tons of dancing, and loads of color. This part of the run is where you are bound to get the most color. There are segments called “the color toss” in which thousands of people all throw up their color packets at the same exact time. While extremely fun, it’s impossible to see in front of you and if you breathe, you’re bound to start a coughing fit. (I had no trouble breathing during the color stations, but at the finish party, I covered my mouth and nose with my shirt).
There is also snacks, drinks, and an area to get your photograph taken. All photos of the race are posted online and tagged with your race number so you can easily find yourself.
1. Wear sunglasses! You’ll want to be able to open your eyes and not be squinting the entire time.
2. If you think you’re going to have trouble breathing, buy a cheap, disposable dust mask at a drug store or bring a bandana to cover your mouth. I actually suggest doing this if you are going to participate in the finish festival because during the car ride home, my nose and throat were burning from inhaling the cornstarch. It’s completely safe, but it will burn for a few minutes post-race (mainly because I was shot directly in the mouth).
3. Bring beach towels to sit on for the drive home. The color will leave marks in your car. It’s not permanent, but it saves you from extra clean up.
There are “color dusting” stations where volunteers use blowers to wipe off as many loose particles on you to help with the car ride home.
It took some serious scrubbing with hot water and lots of soap, but I got all the color off of me in the shower. My white clothes all came clean after one go through the laundry. If you want to save the color on your clothes, spray them with vinegar and iron them before you wash them. If you have blonde hair, you might have a few blue highlights until you have a few washes, but it’s nothing too noticeable. Like I said, the color is completely safe and not permanent. If your bathtub is blue, it will all wash away after a few rinses.
I will most definitely be doing many other 5k’s and highly suggest you do some too!
Here are some photographs of my experience: