About a week and a half ago I got to participate in a Color Run when it came to a nearby town. I had a great time, and I thought I would share a few Color Run tips to have the best experiment possible.
1. Register with a group. We had 12 ladies sign up as part of our team. Not only was the team option $5 cheaper than registering as a solo runner, it was much more fun! We had quite a few groups (running only, running with some walking, run/walk intervals, all walking) out of our group, and everyone who wanted one had a race buddy. One group member picked up bandanas and ironed on a patch with our team name, and another girl made tutus for those who wanted one (we paid her for materials).
2. Bandanas and sunglasses are your friends. The Color Run uses food safe corn starch for their color, which means it is safe if inhaled. However, they do suggest that pregnant women (I was 12 weeks pregnant during this race) wear bandanas when they pass through color stations. I was really, really glad I had a bandana as the color makes a huge cloud, and is almost impossible to not inhale. Sunglasses were also great eye protection (and wiped clean easily with a baby wipe). Even with a bandana, I found putting my head down when the color-cloud got really think was helpful. I’m sure that would be a help if you don’t have a bandana.
3. You may have to walk. I did some walking (probably a 7 min run, 1 min walk, on average), but we found we always had to walk through the color stations. The color is thrown or squirted on you by volunteers, and people will stop to get extra color on them or to take pictures, so these areas get pretty crowded.
4. This is not the race for a PR. The great thing about the Color Run is that it really encourages first time 5K-ers, walkers, children, and strollers. They are all about getting out, being active, and having a great time! There is no time clock, and no chip timer. That’s not to say you can’t run the entire way, but because it is a popular race, and because it encourages walkers, it is a crowded course, and you won’t have an “official” time.
5. Get to the start chute early. I thought we were there a little early, but we were in the 5th start wave. I have no idea how many waves there actually were, but I saw via Facebook afterwards, that some of the stations ran out of color at some point during the race. Being at the start chute so you can start early guarantees the color stations are well stocked, and could also mean a less-crowded course.
6. Bring baby wipes. They don’t get all your color off, but they helped clean me up a good bit before I got in the car. Regular soap and scrubbing with a washcloth got everything off in the shower (a team member said she found conditioner worked best for her). Be sure to check the inside of your ears!
If I had the opportunity, I would do the Color Run again! It really was a great experience, and a lot of fun to do with a group of friends who had never done a 5k before. I’d love to take my kids some time; because the color is thrown by volunteers, it wouldn’t be too hard to keep the color-free if that bothers them. I highly recommend you go, should Color Run come near you!