This weekend I ran The Color Run in Baltimore, MD. The Color Run’s purpose is to promote a healthy lifestyle for its participants while having a great time!
Here’s the main idea: Color Runners begin the race in all white and run through multiple color zones to get covered in yellow, orange, green, blue, and purple paint. This event isn’t about your mile time, your athletic ability, or “winners.” It’s meant to be attract anyyone who’s ever been interested in trying out a 5K and who is looking to go about it in an exciting way.
As explained on The Color Run website, thecolorrun.com, more than half of the events’ participants are running their first 5K.
Overall, I’d say that The Color Run was a happy, enthusiastic, and energetic event. Everyone was dressed up in tutus, fanny packs, and silly costume items in preparation to be covered in paint. The music was loud, a bubble machine was on full blast, and the announcer was throwing out freebies at the start line.
I loved the idea of getting covered in paint and running a laid back 5K before my half marathon that is quickly approaching… GAH SO NERVOUS AND EXCITED…
As much as I was looking forward to the run and the paint, I was a little disappointed with my Color Run experience. The start line was forever long. I was scheduled to run the 10 AM wave, but waited in line for over half an hour before I got to begin.
Once I finally began the event, I quickly learned running the 5K almost impossible. There was a mob of walkers made up of children, parents, the young, and the old. Although participants were asked to walk on the left and run on the right the path wasn’t large enough for that to work. My “running” was more of an agility work out as I weaved through the crowd.
In addition, the color was thrown from the outer edges of the race, so anyone interested in getting covered had to be on the edges. This encouraged walkers to spread out across the path and not stick to one side.
And because I was running, I didn’t really get covered in paint. I finished the race with a lot more white showing than color.
I’d argue that The Color Run is a great 5K if it’s your first run or if you are participating with children, but it’s not a course meant for running at all. The Color Run was definitely a social event and not a “run.”
I still think the energy was fantastic and the event was unique. And if you are walking you can easily get covered in paint! But I’m not sure I’d sign up again with the mindset that I was running a 5K. I’d sign up just to relax, walk through paint, and have a reason to wear a tutu…