I was blinded; blinded by the iridescent sun peeking over the art museum, blinded by the bright, shining faces of the participants at the start, and blinded by the sea of white t-shirts that were donned by the twenty-three thousand people that surrounded me. But that was all about to change. Approximately one kilometer from the start of each wave, these participants, who I later danced, jumped, and frolicked with, would be bombarded with pink cornstarch, followed by blue, and yellow and purple. Call it the day glow of running events, or the best 5K of your life, but stamped on every participants sweat bands called it the Color Run.The Color Run is a 5K in which participants are encouraged to walk, run, and do whatever they’d like as long as they’re having fun. Every ‘K’ of this 5K, volunteers douse the participants with color in the designated color zone. Then at the end, there is a DJ that calls off the time for everyone to let their color packets and their self-control loose as they play Tinkerbelle and blast the crowd with their own packet of fairy dust. This is not the ideal race for someone who is intensely training, and wants to train for time. This is for someone who wants to have a great time with friends, while getting some exercise as a fringe benefit.

I have run a couple 5K’s, but nothing compared to this. Even as I was running off of-get it, running? (Ignore my attempt at a pun)- 4 hours of sleep, I felt so invigorated by the energy that surrounded me as I jogged through the streets of Philadelphia. Passing by the art museum, running aside boathouse row-it was truly an unforgettable experience to be traveling through the city on foot as I was being bombarded by clouds of color. I saw people of all different shapes, sizes, ages, fitness levels, costumes and colors jumping through the “color zones” that would give them their badges of honor as they passed through every station. As I approached the finish line, I turned to my friend and said, “I kinda want to run it again!” That usually doesn’t happen for me, but it was such an energy rush I didn’t even realize how quickly I finished it and I didn’t want the experience to end.

Truth be told, I was a little disappointed to finish the color run with large portions of my shirt and body still untouched by the kaleidoscopic effect of the day. I wanted some more evidence to take home of the amazing day that I just experienced. My disappointment quickly dissipated however, as I made my way around the corner of the art museum and saw the rave in the streets of downtown Philadelphia as the clouds of rainbow fairy dust danced above the heads of the entire massive crowd that was drenched in a variety vibrant hues. The packet that the color run team gave upon registration was quickly unfurled on friends and strangers alike as the little bits of white left on my shirt were quickly a mere thought in my mind. From there, the whole rest of the morning was spent dancing and enjoying the day.

One thing I would have done differently would be to bring my rose-colored, or any color sunglasses so I didn’t get rose-colored eyeballs. I would also suggest that you don’t wear anything that you don’t want to be forever tinted with the official insignia of the day-loads of color. Other than that, the minute I left for my car with my prized uniform, I was thinking about nothing other than what I would wear to my next Color Run. I’ve heard people say that once you start doing running events, you become somewhat addicted, but I think it’s a whole new ball game when you do the color run. It’s something indescribable; the electric feel that buzzes all around you as you walk through the throngs of colors that look like they belong in Wonka’s factory is addictive. I can’t wait to be surrounded by it again.

I’ll leave you with these words of advice: Enjoy at your own risk-you may become a color run junkie, or possibly get questionable looks if you go to work 5 hours later, with one less layer of skin from scrubbing, and the psychedelic tint to your hair.

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One Comment on “GFGL RACE REVIEWS: The Color Run”

  1. May 3, 2013 at 4:47 am #

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