Race Preview: 2014 Color Vibe 5k in Salem on October 12

My 3 year old daughter and I experienced our first colored run earlier last summer at the Get Your Color On event in Salem. We both had a blast at this small event at Bush Park. Following the event, she immediately asked if we could do it again and took on the Color Vibe 5k last October.

The Color Vibe 5k is once gain coming to Salem on Sunday, October 12. There is also Portland and Central Oregon event dates as well. The Salem event will take place at the Oregon State Fair and Expo Center. Like other runs in the same style, the 5k walk/run will feature getting “drenched” in bright colored cornstarch powder. Each participant will receive a white event t-shirt and will become their own colorful masterpiece during the race. The finish line will feature large color blasted dance party. I am apologizing in advance for my dancing…

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Matt and his daughter after the 2013 Color Vibe 5k

The Color Vibe caters to a family friendly environment. Strollers are actually welcome and every kid under 12 is able to race for free. Yes, Free! The majority of the race will be on pavement and will incorporate short portions of grass and gravel.

The Color Vibe race benefits the local community by partnering with Inspire, whose mission is to develop the leadership potential of Salem area students and residents through business focused educational programs and events.

Here are some highlights from my 2013 recap:

“Daddy. If there is another one, with more color, and more dancing, can we go please?”

How am I supposed to say no to that?!

We bundled up and headed to the Fairgrounds and joined up with a raucous crowd revving up to the music and beats from an out-of-state DJ. We found a covered area near the amphitheater to stay out of the rain, though had I not been with a little kiddo in tow I probably would have meandered a little more than I ended up doing. To the right of the music stage a narrow chute had runners lined up and being sent off in waves. While we were waiting, volunteers were tossing out additional color packets. My daughter and I loved having a whole bag of color to playfully toss at each other and color each others faces.

After a few waves being sent off, it was our turn to head out of the fairgrounds lot and onto the closed off 17th Street. After a countdown we were bombarded with color passing the start line from a motorized color shooter. I’m not sure that is the technical term for the contraption, but regardless it was powerful.

I brought our stroller (just in case), but my daughter and I took off on foot together, her running and me pushing an empty stroller. We were slow, but managed to stay out of the way of people passing us. That was one of the great things about this event. Typically I don’t enjoy running races without timing and competition- even though my competition is mostly just my own PR’s. However, seeing so many happy people enjoying the event at the own point really put a smile on my face.

There were two separate turnarounds on 17th Street, one at the south end and the other at the north end. Once we completed those, the rain dissipated and we re-entered the fairgrounds area. It was about this time that my little munchkin decided that a dad push sounded better than running anymore and we made the switch. At the next color spray station, which were manned by volunteers, she got out and color was thrown at us. I was happy that the volunteers were gentle with her and didn’t just douse her.

Halfway through the course, there was a small water station and a couple porta-potties. Probably not enough for as many runners as there were, but it was a 5k so it probably didn’t really matter. There were two more color stations, but my daughter decided that the stroller was the way to go. More work for dad, but I wasn’t complaining. After some final snaking through the fairgrounds, we hit the finish line to a dance party already in progress.

Overall, we had a really good time at the event and would return if it comes back to Salem. There was a solid crowd, but it wasn’t too big and out of control. Everyone was having a good time and there was some really great energy by volunteers, DJ, and runners alike. And the final say came from my little tyke, who when I asked how she liked it, she replied with, “can we do that again next week?”

Color Vibe 5k (Salem)
When: 9a
Where: Oregon State Fair and Expo Center
Register: Online here; $40 (includes an official white Color Vibe t-shirt, racing bib, sunglasses, and “a Color Vibe surprise”

Use coupon code RUNOREGON5 for a $5 discount

About Author

Matt Rasmussen lives in Keizer, Ore. with his wife and three daughters. He enjoys watching hockey, going to as many breweries (618) and wineries (152) as he can, and all things Canada (he was born there). Matt was raised as a baseball player and officially transitioned over to running in 2010.

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