Today was my first ever “fun” race. Don’t get me wrong, every race is fun to me, I love running… but this was the first one that wasn’t racing or just a regular road course. I didn’t really have any expectations I set for the race other than enjoying the run, finishing pain free, and getting a little messy. I think I completed most of that successfully.
We parked at our work, which seemed like a great idea at the time. We convinced the police officer to let us in since we had a parking pass, but it ultimately ended up being a poor choice when we wanted to leave. I was a little mad at myself because I left my wristband at home, but hoped I’d still get into the post race party (ha — this isn’t a typical road race, there were no issues and there was absolutely no point in the wrist band or race bib).
So after getting situated, we headed to the starting area and sandwiched in once the metal gates disappeared. We thought some people might get mad at us for jumping in, but nobody cared. Then again, this is an untimed, fun race and most of the people didn’t seem to be the type to attend timed road races… so people don’t care which wave they are in.
We ended up being the third wave and starting sometime around 9:10, I believe. I brought my Garmin because I wanted to know what I was at during the race, even though I was pacing myself based off of the friends I was with. People were already opening their color packets we were given for the end of the race in line. There was a lot of music, a lot of dancing, and a lot of people having a lot of fun. For me, I just wanted to go. I suppose I just wasn’t ready for the atmosphere of a run like this. My typical run thought process is warm up, get to the starting line, position myself accordingly, stay loose, and get in the zone. I don’t dance, I don’t clap, I don’t high-five, I don’t sing. But ultimately, it was still fun once I got myself in the mood. It also couldn’t hurt that the song they started when it was our turn to move up to the line was “Can’t Hold Us” by Macklemore. And if you read my Buffalo Half Marathon post and playlist, you know I love that song. Yes, still.
When we finally started, the wave was pretty small (much smaller than what we saw when we finished and people were still going out). We averaged 12:00 minutes throughout and it felt pretty good for me. The first two sections of color I went through I was unintentionally in the middle so I didn’t get caked with the powder. I occasionally thought about my foot striking and cadence, but each time it felt like I was doing it correctly. My right foot makes it seem so easy, then my left is like “wonk, wonk, wonky wonk” (if it made a noise). I wish I had somebody to just watch my stride and form and correct it on the spot.
The last color sections, I made sure I went to the outside because I was far too white. I certainly got what I asked for — orange dye right in my ear. My ear is still orange for the record. When we finally reached the finish, people were still starting the race and the waves were even bigger. They must have realized in order to get the waves through, they needed to push through bigger groups. We somewhat sprinted towards the finish; at least compared to what I’ve done over the past two months it was definitely a sprint. I felt good. I grabbed water at the finish, avoided the Kind Bars (just not a fan) and we walked to get picked up since we couldn’t leave.
Overall, the race was an experience I’m glad I did but I will not do it again. I signed up at the earliest time and it was still $40. I don’t mind paying $40 (I was going to drop over $100 for the Tough Mudder) but if it’s going to be just a 5k, I’d be happy to know they were not for profit or for a charity, which The Color Run is not. Not to mention, at the finish we were offered water (in really fancy water cups that I did take with me — that’s how nice they are!) and Kind Bars (who were sponsoring). If I’m paying $40 and none of it is for charity, it kind of sucks, but all for the experience, right?
So now I’m still tinted, despite 15 minutes of scrubbing. Somehow my feet were entirely blue, but my sneakers are actually clean. I guess that’s what happens when you wear Newtons. My left ear is bright orange and I don’t think there’s anything I can do about it. My groin is a little sore, but I don’t think it’s anything serious…. we’ll see what happens next Saturday.