5k Review: The Color Run

The last weekend in May, I crossed off a race on my Bucket List of Races: the Color Run!

First, I must talk about the SWAG.

photo 1

I have never participated in a race with this level of swag. Included with the race price, you get a t-shirt and a sweatband, but when you pick up your race packet, there are TONS of additional items to purchase. There are tons of different shirts (which are super cute, by the way), and socks, sunglasses, shorts, sweatshirts, tutus, etc! It’s all rather reasonably priced, too. I purchased a pair of sunglasses (I chose PINK because I’m a Sweat Pink Ambassador) and I also purchased a pair of plain white knee-high socks. They had two other pairs to choose from– a cute striped pattern and polka-dots, but I thought I’d stick with the plain white canvas. {I snuck in some #sweatpink with my sunglasses and shoelaces, though.}

photo 2

Thankfully, this race was held right in the town that I live in (well, technically, adjacent-to) so even though it was a morning race, which I hate, I didn’t have to drive far or get up way too early.

I always have anxiety the night before a race. The anxiety isn’t about anything other than the fact that I have to wake up early the next morning. I’m not nervous about the race, I’m not nervous about pace, I’m simply dreading the early wake up call. This is why I prefer to run in the afternoon/evenings.

This wasn’t too bad, though. My body woke me up at about 6am, and I decided that I could allow myself a small cup of coffee. I wasn’t racing for over two hours, so as long as I drank a bunch of water as well, I figured I was alright. I also drank one of my Bolthouse breakfast smoothies.

{Quick side note: I should probably buy stock in Bolthouse. I tend to clean out the grocery store’s supply of Chocolate and Breakfast Smoothie every few weeks.}

It was really nice to not wake up to an alarm that morning, and to have some time to myself to relax. I left about 40 minutes before it was line-up time. My friends live about two blocks away from the race start, but I didn’t show up early enough to park in front of their house, apparently. I ended up parking about six blocks away from the race start.

I realized I had to use the bathroom the minute I got out of my car. That’s another thing about racing in the mornings– I have to pee like ten times. Especially before a race. I have a nervous bladder, I guess. So I stopped at my friends’ house anyway to use their bathroom, then I headed off to meet my bff Katie. I knew quite a few other people running the race, but I didn’t think we’d be able to locate any of them. There were a LOT of people there! I was used to races with lots of people, but this was in my small town in Wisconsin! Plus, the fact that everyone was wearing crisp white clothing from head to toes made the mass of people look even bigger.

Surprisingly, I was able to locate two friends almost immediately! We jumped in line with Kelly & Ryne and waited. The race was released in a series of waves, and even though we were in the middle, but towards the front of the pack, we were in wave eight or nine! The event officially started at 8, but we didn’t start until closer to 8:40!

photo 4photo 3

Once we started, I understood why they only allowed so few people through at a time. The race took us through downtown Racine, and portions of the track were pretty narrow. It was an all-ages run, so there were tons of kids and lots of different people running who had either never run a race before or just didn’t care very much about protocols or anything. I say that because even though it had been said multiple times across multiple mediums, people just stopped in the middle of the street to walk. The majority of people in this race were walking– which is fine, of course– but the runners had to bob and weave through the masses of people walking because the walkers didn’t move to the sides of the street like you’re supposed to.

Given my bladder, I had to pee not even ½ a mile into the race. So that first mile or so was pretty painful. Katie was running the race drugged– she was on antibiotics for a sinus infection– so whenever she wanted to walk, we walked. We got through two color zones before we saw port-a-potties at the halfway point. I had to stop! There was a line. In a normal race, this would’ve been ridiculous, but given the nature of this race- it wasn’t a big deal.

Which brings me to this point: this isn’t a race. It’s just a fun way to travel 5 kilometers. You could walk the whole thing and still have a stellar time. It’s not timed, so you don’t feel pressured to finish within a certain time frame. You travel between color zones and get colored chalk powder thrown at you along the way. It’s a lot of fun!

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{I must’ve been having a great time, because my smile is obnoxiously cheesy in every picture we took.}

You don’t get very colorful during the race part itself. The real colorful part comes at the end. After you cross the finish line you head over to where they have a stage set up, where they’re playing music, people are dancing, they throw out a bunch more color packets, and periodically, they have one big moment where everyone throws color packets in the air. THIS is where you get drenched in color.

Pre-Harlem Shake

Pre-Harlem Shake

Post-Harlem Shake

Post-Harlem Shake

For our “big moment” we released our color packets during the Harlem Shake. It was pretty silly, but lots of fun. In that moment, you can’t see anything as you’re engulfed in the rainbow fog.

The only real negative was the temperature that day. It has been in the high 70’s for most of the week leading up to the race, but of course, race morning it was much chillier and cloudy. The wind coming off the lake was brutal, too. I definitely would’ve preferred a warmer race day! That’s really my only complaint, though. Even the walkers didn’t bother me THAT much. We walked quite a bit, too, so they didn’t really slow me down. It’s just the impoliteness of it that bothered me. Midwesterners should know better.

Customary Shaka Photo

Customary Shaka Photo

So is it the happiest 5k on the planet? I haven’t run all of the races on the planet, but I’d guess that the answer is probably yes! I’ll definitely do it again next year.

Up Next: Dirty Girl Mud Run on June 29th!


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3 thoughts on “5k Review: The Color Run

  1. Gina says:

    I am doing the Color Run in a little less than the month, and this SO helped me to get (even more) excited. It’s my first 5K, so I’m nervous but looking forward to it. I’ve only been running since January. Yikes! Thanks for a great post!!

  2. Gina says:

    *less than a month

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