Wednesday, August 8, 2012

The Color Run - Race Recap

A few months ago a very good friend of mine (who I stole basically ALL the pics in this post from... thanks, L!!) sent an email asking a group of friends if we all wanted to run the Grand Rapids Color Run 5K together. Never one to turn down a race, I was all in. Since it was a big group of friends running it, the Hubs said he was in too.

Several months later, and the race was here!

The Hubs almoooost bailed, due to the EARLY 5am Sunday wake up call (Grand Rapids is 2 hours away and we had to drive in that morning). But, I agreed to drive so he just slept the whole way there.

2 hours later, and we were there! Parking was pretty easy, despite lots of road closures. We got to downtown GR at about 7:25am and the race started at 8. We had to pay to park, but had no problem finding a spot about 1/2 mile from the start line. A quick change into our official race apparel at the car and we were off to the sea of white start line.

We got to the start line right at 8am when the first heat was leaving. The race officially started at 8am, but started the massive crowd in heats to ensure everyone could get properly color-ized. It worked out for us because we didn't have to rush and could leisurely get to the start. So, while we did get there right at 8, we probably crossed the start line around 8:15-8:20.

Me and the girls, pre-race

We didn't mind waiting... they had a DJ blaring music and we had time for pre-color pics! (That's me on the right w/ the SUPER COOL head sweat band. SUPER COOL.)

So, after waiting around a bit, we were off and ready to be covered in color!
The purple color station! PURPLE EVERY WHERE!!!

And covered in color we were! We "ran" through several (maybe 5 or 6?) of color stations along the route and through each volunteers threw color all over us!

L and I mid run, clearly after the orange color station!

The color was a power. It didn't taste great and got in my eyes, but didn't hurt. And, you were in and out of the "color zone" before you knew it. We definitely ran as close to the volunteers as we could get, so we could get as color-filled as possible.

We ran/walked the course (which was fine w/ me as my legs were TRASHED after the 21-miler the day before) and were done in about 45 minutes, I'd say... it was un-timed, as it was meant to be a FUN experience, rather than a RACE. We did run part of it, but I think it would have been physically impossible to run this whole race with there being SO MANY PEOPLE and the amount of just crazy fun nonsense that was going on. According to their website:

"The Color Run is a one of a kind experience that is less about speed and more about enjoying a color crazy day with your friends and family."

I've never seen so many people SMILING, LAUGHING, and JOKING AROUND during a race before. And ya know what... it was freaking awesome. It reminded me that-- HELLO!-- running is FUN! Sure, it can be hard, but sometimes it really should just be about having fun. And, for me-- with this race, it was. Pure and utter (colorful) fun.

Our whole running group, post-race

The Hubs and I, post-race, in matching sweat bands. BE JEALOUS.

After the race, we enjoyed the crazy color-throwing after party for a few minutes before literally being leaf-blowed by volunteers to get some of the excess/loose color off. We then met up with another friend (the wife of one of the guys who ran with us and their brand new baby girl!) for a delicious friend-filled breakfast before trekking back home. Oh yeah... and remember when the Hubs slept the whole way there at 5am? He definitely paid me back by letting me sleep the whole way home! Perfect mid-day nap!

Other thoughts? The race was a little pricey for a 5K, but it was beyond worth it. Maybe that's just because my friends are JUST THAT AWESOME... but, I think it's at least a little to do with the great race atmosphere and the color-craziness. I'd definitely suggest doing it. If you do it, remember to bring a towel to sit on in the car, a water-proof camera (thanks again, L!!), and safety pins (they gave us bibs, but no safety pins! Wtf?!?!). Oh, and don't worry-- the color washes off your skin in 1 shower. It even MOSTLY came out of the shirts!

So, if the Color Run ever comes to a city near yours, I'd go for it. Go with a group of friends. Get crazy. Enjoy the colorful memories.

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