Mom and I have done a few 5k races together in the past. so when she told me that she was planning to do The Color Run with some of her Virginia work friends, I knew I wanted in! The race was last weekend in Roanoke, VA – and here’s how it went for us:
Originally, the plan was to have Josh, Dad, and Henry make the trip to Roanoke with us and wait for us at the finish line. But the drive from my parents’ house to Roanoke is about an hour, and it didn’t seem fair to ask them to do all that riding just to wait around for us to finish and then turn around and ride back home. I wanted Henry to come with us, though, since I’m still breastfeeding – and surprisingly, I didn’t respond positively to the idea of pumping in the car. So on the Friday before the race, I did some googling for a plan that would allow me to bring Henry to the race without subjecting him and his baby lungs to the clouds of colored cornstarch that billow up all over the race.
I finally found this blog post from a mom who used a stroller with a rain cover to keep her little one happy and safe during the run. We stopped on the way out of town and picked up a cover similar to this one* - and it worked perfectly. I don’t think you can possibly expect to escape the Color Run without getting at least a little messy, but the cover kept Henry from the brunt of the powder and shielded him from the clouds of color, which were really my main concern.
Here we are before the start: see how handy that cover is?
And here we are after: Henry has a rockin’ blue goatee, but other than that, he was pretty much unscathed.
As for the run itself: I had a blast and will probably do it again next year! But if you’re considering doing the run for the first time, there are some things you should probably know:
1. It’s crowded. I’m not sure how many waves they offered – I know we saw at least three groups start the race while we were standing in the registration line. I’m terrible when it comes to estimating the number of people in a crowd – but I want to say there were at least a gazillion color runners in attendance on Saturday. There was a steady crush of people in sight ahead of us and behind us at all points in the race – I could never see the end or the beginning of the crowd.
2. It’s slow. You’re not going to beat your personal best time at The Color Run. Honestly, you probably won’t even be able to run at The Color Run, unless you’re one of the very first people in the very first wave. Aside from the occasional jog to pass by a group of slower walkers in front of us, we didn’t run at all. We were able to keep a pretty good pace while walking, and it didn’t bother us in the slightest – but if you’re going to get frustrated by the tight quarters and inhibited pace, this probably isn’t the race for you.
3. If you want to get really messy, you should try and be up front. By the time our wave was passing the color stations, they were running out of powder. We still got colored, but we didn’t look nearly as cool as the racers from the earlier groups. Some of the people in our wave resorted to rolling around on the ground to try and soak up as much colored powder as the could. As you can tell by our tutus and knee socks, we are way too dignified for that kind of tomfoolery.
4. The color lingers. My palms were bright blue for the rest of the day. My armpits are still slightly cerulean-tinged. And the rumored “Unicorn Boogers” you might have heard about from other Color Runners? Totally a thing.
Overall, we really enjoyed our Color Run experience. I can see it becoming a really fun family tradition.