So, I ran my first color run last weekend!
Completing a color run has been something on my Fitness Bucket List for years, and I’m so glad I finally got the chance to get painted and run through the streets of Detroit like a colorful madwoman with my friend Nichole.
I owe a big thank you to Color Me Rad for inviting and comping me and a guest to participate in the race! The minute I saw the invite for the 5K, I took FitFluential up on the opportunity to represent my city and run the color run. It was such a blast!
I had run several races before, and even so, I wasn’t quite sure what to expect when we showed up about forty minutes before our wave time. I pre-registered online, but I wasn’t able to drive across town and pick up our race packets ahead of time. Our first mission once we arrived Saturday morning was to walk over to the packet pick-up tent and claim our numbers.
If you aren’t able to get your packet before race day, don’t stress. On these types of fun runs, you can usually grab it the morning of the event and sometimes even register right there! Every race and event is different though, so I wouldn’t recommend counting on that.
The only drawback I’ve experienced with waiting until the race day to pick up my packet is having to carry the bag around. This race didn’t have lockers or a bag check, so it was up to us to figure out a place to stash them!
Our bags came with a complimentary race shirt, our numbers, safety pins, temporary tattoos (we didn’t have time to apply) and high socks. We came dressed in white so that we could absorb all the colors we were about to get into and set out with a goal to get colored!
We didn’t waste any time putting on our numbers. We both wore the socks and were determined to find somewhere else to stash our t-shirts while we raced. I brought two plastic zip bags for each of us to carry, so we could carry our phones and car keys with us.
The one thing neither of us remembered to bring with us was cash. There were tons of things to do leading up to the start of the race, and the biggest activity included purchasing color bombs to play and attack your friends with.
(Love the action shot in the background. Get ’em!)
There was a retail tent set-up to purchase accessories, too.
As we walked around to check everything out, we found a couple of girls who were nice enough to bomb us. They had plenty leftover from their purchase and took it upon themselves to make sure we started with a fair amount of color. I love them for that!
Before the race, Nichole and I walked over to a booth and kindly asked them if they would mind keeping our t-shirts under their table. If not, we were just going to risk placing them in a bush somewhere, but they were really nice about it. (Thanks a bunch, State Farm!)
We also meant to bring sunglasses. It wasn’t super sunny out, but we wanted to wear them to help block some of the color from getting into our eyes as we ran through the color stations. Lucky for us, State Farm was handing them out to anyone who wanted to enter a raffle to win $500. Um, sure!
By the time we registered for the race, the only wave time left was a 9:40 a.m. start. By 9:35, we got into our spots and tried our best to catch the color bombs that were being thrown into the crowd. This is when I realized I needed to put my phone away until my hands were clean again.
We started running, but quickly fell into a group of walkers. Color runs are great for all types of walkers and runners, no matter what your experience or level is. Pretty much anyone can run, walk, and even roll through it!
Since this race was a 5K, we had a distance of 3.1 miles to cover. We kept a consistent jog up throughout the majority of the race, and only walked when the path got congested. We also made sure to slow down and really take advantage of our time passing through the color bomb stations. Those were so much fun!
I couldn’t really get a photo of a station, so here’s a tiny one I caught at the finish line instead.
We took our time running the course and even stopped into the bathroom when we passed one on our way to the finish line. If we didn’t stop there, we would have had to wait in a long line at the porta potties. I’m not too cool for those, but why voluntarily use them if there is another option, right?
Like I said, we truly took our time running this one. We stopped along the riverfront to enjoy the scenery and took a few photos. We even found a pretty overlook with a lighthouse!
The entire race took us about forty minutes to complete, and that included stopping for photos and a quick run into the bathroom. Not too shabby!
As soon as we crossed the finish line, we were handed a bottle of water, a granola bar, and entered the party area. Here, more colors were being thrown around and there was a dance and color party led by a DJ.
We didn’t spend too much time hanging around, since we needed to get back to the Rochester area, but there was definitely plenty to do. From more color stations to treats from food trucks, we could have easily stuck around for another hour.
As we walked back to the car, we just kept saying how much FUN it was! If you ever get the chance to do a color run, I highly recommend it at least once. The Color Me Rad Bigger Badder Radder Tour is still going on, and you can find a location near you here. Go on and live a little!
What I Learned Running a Color Run
There were a handful of things I picked up on as soon as I arrived, so I wouldn’t feel right ending this post without them. Here are my personal tips on how to prepare for your own color or fun run!
• Wear white or light colors you don’t care about getting ruined.
This may seem like an obvious point, but I wanted to share that after a full wash in the washing machine, the color paints held to the fabrics of everything I wore. I sprayed stain remover and then washed my running shoes a couple of hours after the race, and there are still some remnants of rainbow paints holding on. A lot of races claim the paint materials will wash out of your clothes, so just go in expecting everything to come out looking like cotton candy. If it does end up coming out, that’s a bonus!
• Don’t worry about your time.
Nobody is timing you!
Even if your goal is to be the fastest, most colorfully decorated 5K runner out there, the tone of the race is not to cross the finish line first. It’s safest to walk through the color stations, and most event locations are pretty crowded. There are walkers, children, and even strollers. Take your time and enjoy the experience!
• If you plan to bring your phone…
Place it in a plastic bag. You can carry it on you, but at least there will be a protective layer to place it in and out of! You could also purchase a cell phone protective case on a lanyard many events sell a version of on site.
You could easily wear this under your shirt and have your phone accessible and safe for fun photo opportunities!
• You might also want to bring…
» a drawstring backpack
There were a couple of times I wish I brought something to carry my phone, a small towel, car keys, and water.
Sunglasses are great for blocking out bright rays, but they’re also fantastic at blocking color from getting in your eyes! There was definitely a time or two where I got bombed right in the face, and I was very thankful for that protection.
» extra cash
There were plenty of things I wish I had cash for besides retail.
Many events have food trucks, ice cream carts, and extra color bomb packets you can purchase before the race!
• You might want to pack (and leave in your car)…
So you ran, you got a mess, and now it’s time to go back to your car. Now what?
It would be a great idea to have:
» a plastic grocery bag or small trash bag to place all of your dirty clothes (and shoes) in.
» a change of clothes to get into after you remove the dirty clothes (don’t forget extra shoes or sandals!).
» towels: one to wipe off with and another to line your seat with.
• You know that number you wore?
That gives you access to the professional photos taken during the race. Each event is different in whether they include the photos with entry or require an additional purchase to pictures you want to save. You’ll probably get a link sent to your email, and check back into the website and see what’s up there!
Disclaimer: This is not a sponsored post. I was, however, gifted two race entries from FitFluential on behalf of Color Me Rad. Some affiliate links are included. As always, all thoughts and opinions of this experience are my own!
Questions of the Afternoon
• Have you ever participated in a color run?
• Do you have any more tips I didn’t cover?