The idea of dragging myself out of bed at 8 in the morning really didn’t appeal to me Saturday, but I did it anyway. The Color Run was calling. For those of you who have never heard of this, The Color Run is a 5K race where runners get color packets thrown at them.
Sound fun? It was!
I ran this 5K with my cousin and her sister-in-law. It was my responsibility to pick up our race packets a few days before the run, so I went over to a hotel near my apartment to do so. They gave me some swag bags and they didn’t disappoint! Cool shirts, temporary tattoos, sweatbands, bracelets and a Shout Color Catcher were all included in the race registration price.
The day of the race was chilly, for sure. We ran this in Pittsburgh and the course was right along the water – so it made things a little more freezing, of course. I’ve never seen so many people packed downtown for a race before. There were people EVERYWHERE. And everyone was wearing the same shirts, so that made it hard to keep track of your group.
They had an announcer guy up on a podium before the race began, blasting techno music and dancing around in a Ninja Turtle costume. The Color Run has been dubbed “the happiest 5K on the planet” and they might be onto something. I would’ve enjoyed it a bit more had it not been so cold or crowded, but that’s all part of races. You don’t really know what to anticipate with weather and crowds.
This 5K wasn’t timed, so I wasn’t super worried about staying on pace. It’s a good thing I didn’t care, because it was pretty hard to keep any kind of consistent pace once we all got going. Groups of people walking made it tough to run around them. I’m also a bit out of practice, running-wise, so I lost my cousin and her sis-in-law not too far after the first color station.
Have I mentioned the color stations yet? These things were pretty cool. Every so often throughout the course, they’d have these big areas where volunteers would pelt you with colored packets. Some purple, some yellow, some orange, etc. It was fun getting to run through those but you had to watch you didn’t get it in your eyes too much, or down your throat. I also passed a drumline along my route, so that was pretty cool too.
By the end of the race, there’s confetti – and who doesn’t love that kind of finish line. I have to be honest, by the time I finished the race I wasn’t nearly as colorful as I’d hoped. It was a bit hit or miss when you were running through the color stations. But The Color Run did make up for that, eventually.
After we were done, my cousin and I stuck around a bit longer for the after party. It felt like a rave to me. Imagine a huge crowd, all amped up after completing the 5K. Music is blasting, prizes are getting thrown out into the sea of people, and then the color starts. Big cannons of color and it’s just everywhere. All over you. And you can’t hide from it, it just happens.
We danced and enjoyed hanging out at the party as long as we could. In that big mess of people, it wasn’t so cold. Every so often, we’d catch some color packets ourselves. Then the DJ up on stage would instruct us on when to unleash them. It was absolutely crazy watching everyone wildly flailing their packets in the air. By the end of the party, I was covered head to toe.
All in all, I think the Color Run was totally worth doing. I didn’t run the whole time myself, but didn’t beat myself up over it. It was cold, it was crowded and I’m off my game. I need to join a gym soon so I can get running through the winter and keep up my stamina. Taking just a few weeks off really messes with you. I thought I’d be able to handle the distance easily but it just wasn’t happening.
As my cousin and I left the race site, we stopped to play in the confetti one last time. I’m glad I got to experience the happiest 5K and hopefully I’ll be able to do it next year!