A few months ago, my cousin mentioned to me that she was thinking about running in a 5K and it was this fun race called Color Me Rad. I had never heard of it so we looked it and saw that everyone started wearing all white, and ended looking like a tie dyed mess. I decided I wanted to run too, so we started training.
The last time I ran a 5K was in 2004, when I was in cross country. I tried to run a few times between then and now, but was too nervous after my knee surgery in 2004 that I couldn’t make it very far without quitting. But this time, my knee wasn’t going to hinder me. I downloaded the Couch to 5K app on my iPhone and it was a great tool to getting back into it. I stayed with it for the first few weeks, then abandoned it and went on my own. I felt like I was ready to do more than it was having me do.
Lisa named us the Book Worms and we made tshirts, and got knee socks and found white shirts so we were ready to get colorized.
We made an entire weekend out of it. We spent Saturday in Columbus, picking up our race gear and shopping and carbing up for Sunday.
We stayed only a couple of blocks away from the race, so we got up bright and early, got ready and walked over to the race area. It was actually still a little dark when we got there, and a little chilly I may add.
The people started rolling in and I was very surprised. There were “all kinds of kinds”, as Miranda Lambert says in one of the songs on her new album. There were kids, teens, adults, and wearing everything from white workout gear to wedding dresses. I think the best part was people watching.
They had a guy with a mic and music blaring. They were throwing around color packets, to save for the end of the race, but many of them were ripped open before we even got started.
We were in the second wave of runners and were more than ready to get going. We wove in and out, up and down the parking lot and didn’t even get a mile before we started getting colorized. There were several stations throughout the course to get colorful. A few where they threw chalk on you and a couple where they sprayed you with dyed something or other. And then after the race, there’s a final color throw where everyone in your wave has a packet and on the count of 3, rips it open and throws it around.
Wow! What a rush and what a mess. There were 4000 people who took part in the race. That’s a lot of flying chalk. We had so much fun and will definitely do it again.
The cleanup wasn’t as bad as we thought it would be. It did take a while in the shower, scrubbing and letting the water get the color off of you. And we did find some missed spots later in the day.
The first color spot
During the final color throw
We did it!!
Of course I have to do a thumbs up pose
And last but not least, my favorite shot from after the race and after I had taken my glasses off twice.. but the color stayed on
Now if you are interested in doing this race, let me give you some tips:
1. Get there early so you can people watch.
2. The race is not timed, so if you want to time yourself, make sure you have a watch or app to do so.
3. Do not wear good or new clothes – there were several people in what looked like brand new shoes – I guarantee they were ruined.
4. If you are serious runners, make sure you get to the front of your wave and get in front of others who may walk or be slower than you. It’ll take a few minutes before you have room to really break free.
5. You will most likely have to walk in places, depending on how your course is set up. There were zig zags all through ours and there were so many people you had to slow down just to get around people.
6. If you want to be really colorful, stay along the edges of the color stations. The color folks are standing along the edges waiting to pummel you with color – Again, you may have to walk here because people slow down to get colorful.
7. They give you sunglasses, wear them. When you are in the color stations, there is so much chalk flying around, you cannot see and it will get in your eyes if they are not covered.
8. If you want to take your phone to take pictures (which we did), just put them in a plastic baggie and do not take it out until you can wash your hands. The baggie protected it perfectly.
9. Regular soap and water will get off the colored dust, but you may have to scrub and have someone help you with your back and hard to reach places (get your mind out of the gutter). And you will most likely miss a few spots and have to get them later, but for us, we cleaned up easily.
10. If you love how your colored clothes look after the race, you can trap the color to keep forever. Use a spray bottle and spray your gear with vinegar and let it dry. When the items are dry, run an iron over them. And there you go, a tie-dyed’ish shirt or shorts or whatever you ran in.
11. Your race may not be exactly 5K. Ours was actually only 2.25 miles, but still fun nonetheless.
12. They also give you tattoos. We learned a trick with these. Instead of scrubbing and scrubbing with alcohol, just use clear tape. You can put a piece of tape over the tattoo and it will come off. May take a couple of pieces, but it works very well.
13.We planned well and stayed very close and walked so we wouldn’t have to get the car dirty, but if you have to drive away from the race, take plenty of beach towels to put in your car.
14. If you want to get professional “before and after” photos, make sure you put your bib with your number on it on the front of your shirt. That way you can find yourself and your pictures when they are uploaded.
I think that is all for now. If I think of any other tid bits, I will definitely add them. If you have done a race like this and have any tips to add, please leave them in a comment below!