Race Recap: The Color Run 9/6/2014

I love to run with my family when I can talk them into it… and what better event to get the kids excited than The Color Run, “The Happiest 5k on the Planet”.  We had done a similar event last summer (Color Me Rad), so they were pretty excited for this event.

I can’t say for sure how many participants were at this event, but it is fair to say that it was well over a thousand. The beneficiary was The Dream Factory of Oregon who provided most of the volunteers on the course.

The event took place at the Portland International Raceway, so we decided to take the MAX in and avoid traffic congestion and parking… it was a lot of fun to ride the MAX to and from the event seeing all the clean, white shirts on their way to PIR and all the dust and color on the MAX after…

We arrived at 8am and the kids played in the bubble machine, got their pictures taken with someone in a unicorn costume, watched the runners “warm up” with some Zumba type dance moves and soaked in the fun and festive environment before joining the masses for the fun run.

Each wave was every few minutes starting at 9am and ending at 9:45 am.  We queued up and joined the third or fourth wave of runners.  While waiting for your chance to start the course, a DJ tosses socks, shirts, hats and other swag at participants.  Once we were released into the event it took us a little bit to wander through the walkers and run through the heat of the sun beating on the asphalt track.  Before long, we turned onto gravel and we stayed on gravel until the last 1/4 mile (or so).

That was the first time I have dealt with gravel for more than a few yards while pushing “The Behemoth” (my double stroller).  It was a miserable experience that felt like I was dragging it instead of pushing it forward.  I knew the tires were lower than ideal air pressure…. but that was ridiculous!

While I drug the kids in the stroller, I was still happier than trying to herd them through a fun run without the stroller.  We passed through four color stations of dry, colorful cornstarch squirted at us from squirt-top water bottles.  We passed through blue, pink, yellow and then orange just before the finish.  As I passed through blue, the volunteers just smiled and waved until I asked “Do I get to have blue?” and then they squirted me.  I wonder if i was supposed to run on the right and the left side was instructed not to throw/squirt color until the later waves of runners came through?  At any rate, I left the event with very little color on me or the kids.  No matter, i suppose…. they had a blast!!  But for the price of these events and the purpose being to get “plastered in color”, this event was a little lacking in that department.

When you cross the finish line, each participant was given one small bag of colorful cornstarch to douse yourself, friends or to throw in the air at the stage where music was playing.  (We saved ours to add water to it for a colorful non-newtonian fluid project.)  The kids had a lot of fun, but I think if we do any more color themed runs we’ll go back to “Color Me Rad”.  (This event was plenty fun, but the other has more color stations, more color applied to the participants, more color packets given to the participants for the after party event and a few other perks that made the other a little more exciting.)

This was a first race and first time running for many participants and I really enjoyed seeing that.  I hope that everyone had fun during this race and others like it and if they are new to races and to running that they will continue with the activity and if they were ‘seasoned” athletes that they had fun cutting loose on a fun run and dancing through the color stations.

After crossing the finish, saying goodbye to some new running friends made that day, I realized why I felt like I was dragging my behemoth running stroller… because I was.  I had a completely flat tire and was pushing on the rim.  I’m feeling like I had a good cross training run and feeling pretty awesome for crossing the finish line.

Have you done any color themed runs?  Do you have a favorite race?