Are you a 5K newbie? Or have you seen those amazing pictures your friends post after The Color Run, and thought to yourself “that looks like a blast”? Have you ever wondered what you’d look like in blue skin like a Smurf, or orange skin like an oompaloompa? Have you ever wondered what a Runicorn is? Or have you ever had the hankering to wear a glittery sparkly tutu, and be surrounded by like minded kid-at-heart people? Then, you’ve come to the right place! I think The Color Run should be on everybody’s Bucket List.
The Color Run was right at the top of mine, and now I’ve completed it four years in a row. I’ve got Tips & Tricks to share with you, and info about training and what to expect the day of the run/walk. Yes, you can walk it! I’m telling you…it’s a great beginner 5K, especially since this girl don’t run! So, lace up your tenny’s, and get ready for an awesome beyond colorful experience!
What is the Color Run?
The Color Run is a 5K experience where you are sprayed with colorful powder to celebrate every kilometer you are able to walk/run. It was developed to promote a healthy lifestyle. Where’d the inspiration for The Color Run come from? In their own words,
“The Color Run is the first paint race of its kind and was inspired by several awesome events, including Disney’s World of Color, Paint Parties, Mud Runs, and festivals throughout the world such as Holi. We wanted to create a less stressful and untimed running environment that is more about health and happiness! We hope that The Color Run can act as a catalyst to inspire continual healthy living.”
Anyone can participate in The Color Run, which is what makes it a great 1st 5K!
“There are plenty of other great 5ks out there to test speed and performance. The Color Run event is all about a color crazy day with friends and family. You can run, walk, crawl, or cartwheel if you wish!”
Training for The Color Run
A 5K is technically 3.1 miles…so pretty doable right? There are plenty of cool “Couch to 5K” apps and plans on Pinterest. Training for a 5K is a great stepping stone to a healthier lifestyle, and they can be really fun too. About every kilometer you run/walk in The Color Run, you are sprayed with a colored powder. The volunteers and staff cheer you on, there’s music, and palpable happiness. It’s what keeps you going. We always try guessing which color is next, and look forward to making it to the next color station. And, of course, we stop to take pictures along the way.
What To Expect On Race Day
- First of all, expect to be surrounded by a sea of people all ages, all shapes and sizes, and all different abilities decked out in white ready for a big energetic party! You can expect music, freebies, and the Runicorn (a running unicorn) to cheer you on at the starting line!
- The Color Run staff will instruct the participants at the starting line… runners stay on the left, and walkers stay on the right. That way everybody can have a great time and maintain a pace that’s comfortable for them.
- When you approach your first color station remember to keep your mouth closed…which is hard cause you’ll probably be laughing and smiling. I’ve had the color all in my mouth before, and it doesn’t taste that great. Also try not to take a deep breath. You don’t want to get aspiration pneumonia. If you think you might be sensitive to the powder, wear a handkerchief around your neck to cover your mouth and nose. The Color Run Store sells beautiful hankies too, if you’re interested!
- Wearing sunglasses will also help prevent you from getting the colored powder in your eyes… which can hurt. Been there done that! But still worth it!
- If you do happen to ingest or inhale the colored powder, no worries. “The colored powder is non-toxic” and “consists of baking soda, cornstarch, and dyes”…per their website.
- And on that note…bring KLEENEX!! Don’t be surprised if you have multicolored boogies for a couple days. No matter how careful I am, I always seem to inhale some powder. And, it always feels so amazing to finally blow my nose after we finish! Gross, I know! But Bri, my little niece, sure does get a kick out of seeing what color boogers she has! Ha!
- Expect to see water stations and porta-potties along the race route! Hey, you never know when you may need to go, am I right? These come in handy especially if your walking/running the race with kiddos.
- Take the opportunity to stop and take photos along the route. There are photo ops at every color station. And, don’t forget to smile, because Color Run photographers are waiting to take your photo! After the race check out their website, look up your bib number, and enjoy your very own professional photos from this special day. They are available for purchase. Or you can take your own photos along the way. I had good results this year using my iPhone 6S. I got some pretty amazing shots and videos. I just tucked my phone in my armpit (ewwww!) when I went through the color stations. You can bring your nice camera, which I’ve also done in the past. It might be a good idea to cover it with a bag though. They can get pretty messy!
- When you cross the finish line, expect a party and prizes! This year at the Tropicolor run, we got a medal, a color packet, & a KIND bar since they’re a sponser this year! Then we were off to enjoy the after party!
- For the ultimate Color Run experience, get right up by the stage, dance to the music, meet some new friends, and get your packet ready to throw in the air. They do a big color throw about every 15 minutes at the stage. It’s a blast! The staff throw color packets into the crowd to be used, so everyone can participate and have fun! It’s also your opportunity to get sprayed with other colors that weren’t at the stations! It’s an amazing celebration!
- Check out the community where your Color Run is being held. Some restaurants open early and offer breakfast and coffee to the participants, while others serve lunch right after the race and aren’t dismayed that you’re walking into their establishment looking like a rainbow just threw up on you. In Ypsilanti, Michigan where we do our run, it’s become a tradition to eat at Sidetrack after the race. They offer a delicious Color Run Burger special the day of the race. They also have delicious salads, appetizers, sandwiches, and more! Check them out if you’re in our area!
- I can’t stand for my hands to feel dirty, and no matter how hard I try to cover them, my palms are always caked with color after the run. So, another good thing to pack would be WET WIPES to clean your hands. Especially if you’re going to eat right away like we do.
- We bring BEACH TOWELS to cover the car seats so we don’t completely trash the car on the drive home. I recommend visiting the folks with leaf blowers at the after party. They’ll help blow any excess powder off of your clothes and hair so your not leaving a cloud of colorful dust everywhere you go.
- If you’re really particular about your house, laying towels on your flooring to the bathroom you plan to shower in is another great idea. Or, if you’re like me, you just strip in the laundry room and make a run for it! I used to do the towel on the floor thing, but not anymore! Ain’t nobody got time for that!
- And, finally…the aftermath! Usually the colors will wash off your skin during the first shower. Some of the darker colors may take a bit more scrubbing or a second shower later on. Your shower will be quite colorful, but the colors won’t stain your bathroom. All of the tile in my bathroom is white, and I’ve never had an issue. Same with washing my clothes afterward. The colors come out and don’t stain. Some people have shared recipes on Pinterest of ways to preserve the color on your Color Run T-shirt by spraying it with vinegar. Tried it, and it didn’t work. Oh, well.
Color Run Packing List
These are the essentials you’ll need to bring with you to make the most of race day…
- Color Run Tshirt
- Bib Number
- Color Run Tattoos
- Beach Towels for Car Seats
- Wet Wipes
*Quote photos shared from @thecolorrun Instagram