I was pretty nervous about this race. For one, they had the race scheduled to start at 10am, and around here lately, it’s either 85 degrees (full-on humidity) or 40 degrees (Brr..). I haven’t had much luck with warmer weather running so far this year, and it makes me wonder how in the heck did I run in 90+ degrees 3 afternoons/week.
We got downtown around 8am, because I was just nervous about the parking situation. I met up with my friends, and we took up a table at the Main Street Market near the farmer’s market to just pass the time. I ordered a peanut butter/banana crepe, because while the smell of bacon permeated around the building, I just wanted to stick to my pre-race tried and true (well, not the crepe part..the pb/b part). Around 9:30, we decided to walk towards the starting line, and we saw this.
The starting line was WAYYY up there (beyond the inflatable arch you see in the picture). Goodness…
…and 20 minutes later, this was behind us…
My friend and I realized based on the number of runners, there was no way we’d get a run in today. Just SO many people…it was ridiculous. We were standing around for a while, and realized the race was running pretty late. It was 10:20am, and we were still stuck. My sister heard that they were releasing people in small groups, which makes sense, but had I known, we would have edged towards the front more. Since we were waiting for a while, we decided to take a few random pictures. Here’s us & the shirts that we made with our team name.
I totally googled “color run teams” to find our team name, by the way. It’s not original at all. 😛
Before we knew it, we were in the front section by the starting line. The Color Run folks threw a few promo items, and after that, they mentioned that while this race is about having a good time, we shouldn’t forget about what happened in Boston earlier in the week. They said that a few teams even changed their name to give tribute to the marathoners, which I thought was a great gesture. After pumping up the crowd, they started a countdown, and we started (finally) running at 10:47am.
When we started, we all semi-agreed to stay together. However, I’m a slow poke. I tried to catch up to my friends/sister, but before I knew it, I was battling a nasty side cramp, and decided to slow it down. I didn’t turn on my RunKeeper for this race, because I just didn’t want to obsess over my pace. I wanted to enjoy the Color Run experience, and just have a good, solid run. It was hard to keep running through a side cramp, but I remembered reading somewhere to inhale/exhale hard and that would rid of it. It definitely helped.
After what seemed to be FOREVER, I approached color station #1. Holy cow…major blue cloud!
I wanted to get some color on my race shirt, so I ran along the side and got blasted. LOL! Those volunteers were having the time of their lives, it seemed. After the blue station, my leg cramp started to go away (I usually have leg cramps like crazy the first mile or so…), so I told myself just run to one more color station. I can do this. At this part of the race, I started to get annoyed. I stayed on the left/middle part of the street, because while I’m not the fastest, I certainly was passing a few people up. My annoyance was from the fact that despite the great amount of signs that said “Runners Left/Walkers Right”, no one seemed to give a flip about it. It was hard to go around these groups of friends/families, who were really just strolling along. I didn’t want to stop running, though, so I did yell “Excuse me!” quite a few times to people who just wouldn’t move to the right.
It seemed like it took quite a while to get to the yellow station. I was happy to get there though, because at that point, the streets were a lot wider and I took it as an opportunity to up the pace and pass some groups. And yes, I did get a good bit of yellow color, too. At that point, my legs were feeling fine (surprisingly), and I told myself…one more station.
The pink station came a lot quicker than the yellow one, in my opinion. I was in the zone, running wise, and was so thrilled about it. I wasn’t paying too much attention to the pink station, but I stayed towards the middle since I had a good gap there. Before I knew it, my mouth was FULL of pink cornstarch. Blech…a volunteer got me right in the face. I ended up coughing quite a bit, slowed my pace down to feel back to normal and saw the water station. It was like a God send. Sadly though, the line for the water station was ridiculous. I realized that I was probably a mile from the finish line, so if I could just push through this last mile, I’ll get a bottle of water soon enough.
It was then that my friend called me to tell me she crossed the finish line (and yes, I was jogging while talking on the phone…crazy!). Holy cow…she usually finishes in 30 minutes, so that means I was on track to finish in 45 minutes if I was (what I thought was) a mile away! So, I upped the pace a little bit, and before I knew it, there was the purple station. The last color station. WHEE!
After the purple station, I made the last turn in the street. There it was…the finish line was there. I looked at my clock and realized if I pushed it and made it to the finish line in 3 minutes, I would finish in 42 minutes. OMG. So, I went for it! My legs were a little bit tired, but I was thinking “OMG…I just ran the WHOLE FREAKING 5K. No walk breaks!”
Y’all…I can’t tell you how happy I was. Last summer, I was straining through 1 minute jogs, and less than a year later, I ran 3.1 miles like it was no big deal. WHAT? I got to the finish area just in time to watch the crowd throw their color packets. So pretty.
I would have ran towards the crowd, but since I was meeting my husband for lunch right after, I didn’t want to get too colorful. Watching from a safe distance was just as fun, though. After the race, I finally met up with my sister and we got an after pic together. I wanted to also get one with my friend, but she had plans that afternoon, and since the race ran a bit over, she had to leave fairly quickly.
All in all, I had a good time at this race. Will I do it again? Probably not. I think it’s a wonderful event for families and friends to get together, but it was just SO crowded. I also think it’s a bit on the spendy side for a race that isn’t timed, so I have a feeling this is my first/last Color Run. I think everyone should give this type of race a try at least once in their lifetime…it’s definitely a different race experience!