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Color me (and my Kids) Rad – A Run Oregon replay of the 2015 Color Me Rad

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Not all our runs have to be competitive. With my wife out of town for the weekend, and a 20-miler at Peterson Ridge the following day, I made the decision a few weeks back to kick back and hit up the 2015 Color Me Rad 5k in Eugene with my two kiddos on April 11.

My oldest daughter, now 5, and I had done a small color-themed run last year, but she ended up being pretty sick and never really enjoyed the full experience. My 3 year old is very hit or miss when it comes to getting dirty – one day she will jump in mud puddles, but the next she can scream when a speck of dust touches her hand. You just never know. Still, I decided to brave the uncertainties and trek down south.

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Starting line

The weather managed to hold off, with cool temperatures and no rain during the event. In fact, there were even some welcome breaks of sunshine directly following the race. We arrived to the Valley River Center just after 9am for our 940am wave. However, having three waves (9am, 920am, and 940am) was sort of a misnomer as it appeared that they were (smartly) holding people up every 5 minutes or so to space things out.

The registration area, even at 915am or so was a little disjointed. There were flags to get people in the general area, but it was still a little confusing. Our entries included white shirts and sunglasses for the kids, and a heather grey shirt, knee socks, and a “RAD” tattoo for me. Surprisingly, I really enjoyed the shirt (60% cotton and 40% polyester), as it is something I would actually casually wear around.  Entries were supposed to include a color pack as well, though I never really figured out where to get them from. However, It didn’t really matter, as I ended up catching one when I was in line – and to be honest, we got dirty enough. As it turns out, little kiddos having fun tend to garner a lot of attention – and a lot of color

I am really going to just cool my jets on analyzing the “course”. To me, color-themed runs have minimal expectations aside from just having a good time. The paths along the river were slammed full from side to side, and our 5k was more of a mix of slow jogging and walking. The kids, seated in their double stroller, didn’t mind the pace, as it allowed them more time to laugh about how dirty they were and guessing what colors were coming up next.

There were 4 different colored zones (pink, yellow, purple, and orange), and a few other areas with colored liquid gels that were being shot out of water squirters. The colors were not skimped on, and there was even enough littering the ground on most of them to pick up and have a color fight if you wanted. The kids definitely got their fair share of dousing.

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Following the race, there were a variety of giveaways, dancing, color packets, gel drops, and music. The kids scored some granola bars and chowed down as we looked on from the distance. My initial concern was gone and my kids now didn’t want to leave. That’s the sign of a great event in my books. Sure, it may not have had much to do in ways of a workout, but it was an amazing bonding experience with my kiddos – something that is even more important.

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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