I do believe that doing a color-based 5k might be the most amount of fun that anyone can possibly have. Last year, I did my first Color Run, and did it with a group of girlfriends.
Aside from the snail’s pace trek through Chinatown on the way home, it was a blast and a half.
Since I didn’t have the kids that weekend, they weren’t able to do it with me, but I promised them we would find another one and do it together.
And we did.
This weekend’s 5K was the Color Me Rad, which is pretty similar to the Color Run. A portion of the proceeds from this particular 5K are donated to the Ronald McDonald House, which, of course, is awesome.
A few days before the race, we headed down to the appointed check-in spot to pick up our registration packages and swag.
Because when there is color and neon involved, how could you miss the fun swag? Our registration came with a pair of sunglasses, a tattoo, and a blue t-shirt (not meant for the actual day of the event, since you’re supposed to wear a white t). As soon as the kids saw the fun swag tent and the volunteers in their neon and tutu and anything goes attitude, they got a serious peek at the fun that was in store.
I was dreading the early morning wake up call on Sunday, and managed to only eek out 4 hours of sleep the night before. I quickly got ready, woke up the kids, and we started applying tattoos.
This event was located at the MetLife Stadium, so it made for a simple drive and very easy parking ($10 at the attendants’ station). There was a small number of registrations made available through a LivingSocial deal, so I was able to save almost half off the (inexpensive) registration fee. Kids under 7 are free (no need to register them, they just won’t receive a race bib).
I haven’t done a ton of research, but I think the Color Run that we did last year is a bit more established, and the crowd a bit more outlandish. So we didn’t see quite the level of craziness that we did last August, but that didn’t detract from the fun at all.
At the Color Me Rad, you can sign up for different waves. I picked the first one because I figured the parking situation would be way easier the earlier we got there. (The Color Run has just one start time, and then they let people go in waves, kind of the same thing, but slightly different)
Thankfully the weather had started to break just a bit from our treacherous heat wave, and we didn’t need to run in 100 degree weather. Mother Nature, we owe you.
We made our way to the starting area, and the kids were getting pumped up just listening to the DJ do his thing. Which was about the time that Madeline started dancing to Gangnam Style, which is her favorite thing ever. Busting a move. Which I kind of love.
And then we were off. Winding our way through the marked course in the parking lot, following the pace car. There was one water station along the way (they should have had more) and two music areas to pump us up as we slogged our way through (they should have been spaced out a bit better).
Now the color stations. I lost track, but I think there were six different colors. The colored powder that the volunteers toss at you is cornstarch. No worries there. The key is to keep your mouth closed and all is well. Two of the stations were manned with volunteers that sprayed the color out of some sort of hose. Which was wet and cool and completely unexpected. In the most fun way, of course. (The Color Run is strictly all powder)
At the end of the race, you can pick up a color packet in case you and your tribe don’t think you got quite enough color (The Color Run gives you the packet with your registration), and every fifteen minutes or so, the organizers do a big color blast, letting loose even more color, and welcoming new finishers to the end.
We did the 3.2 miles in under 45 minutes. Which I consider a big victory for a five-year-old’s little legs. She was quite the trooper (and this is her second 5k this year, one more to go!).
After we were done, we grabbed some Lara Bar samples, more color packets, and fun tube socks from the swag tent.
On the way home, the kids told me how much fun they had, and that they can’t wait for the next one. Labor Day weekend, we’ll be doing the New Jersey Color Run, and the countdown is on.
If you have an opportunity to do either the Color Me Rad or the Color Run, do it, do it, do it. You won’t regret it. And for first timers, there are some good tips in last years’ post.