Disclaimer: I am a Color Run ambassador and therefore received a free entry to the race. All opinions and thoughts are my own. This recap is of my own personal experience at the race. If you’re looking for just the nitty gritty details, check out my BibRave review here. Don’t forget to help your fellow runners by reviewing all your races on BibRave.com!
What: The Color Run 5k Burlington, VT
When/Where: Saturday September 26, 10 am, Champlain Valley Exposition, Essex Jct, VT
Weather: Sunny and cool with a light breeze
Pre-registration was available online with incremental price increases, and open until the day before the race. I received a free entry through my ambassadorship, but in the past I have registered for early bird pricing as low as $35. You can register as an individual or team, and team registrations are $5 cheaper.
Packet pickup was available the day before the race at a Kohl’s store in South Burlington. While this was sort of random, it was very quick and streamlined. I waited in line only about 5 minutes, then had my stuff and I was ready to roll. Race morning, my friends and I decided to park at one person’s house about a mile away from the Expo Center and walk up. I’m glad we did, because traffic sucked. Traffic on Rte. 15 in Essex is usually crappy, and it was more so because of the event.
We arrived at about 9:15 and I hit the porta-potties right away. There were plenty, and while the one I went into was relatively clean, there was no hand sanitizer (yuck!), and from what I gathered overhearing other conversations, most of them didn’t have sanitizer (double yuck!). There was a Jazzercise warm up happening on the stage, and just before 10 am, people started lining up in the Start chute. Like last year, we had to wait through a few starting waves, but the DJ was entertaining, and threw a lot of freebies into the waiting crowd.
During the Race:
Once again, this race was run through the empty fair grounds, which is just sort of strange, and not very scenic. There was some music on the course, which was really nice, and the color throwers did an awesome job of getting some color on everyone without getting it into peoples’ faces. The colors this year were slightly different than last year–yellow, pink, blue, orange, and silver with glitter, because it was the “Shine” tour this year. While I liked the idea a lot and it looked super cool, I have to wonder about the health effects of inhaling a bunch of glitter…
My main goal going into this race was to help my friend, Emily, finish her first-ever 5k. You may remember her name popping up from time-to-time in my Manic Monday posts–I’ve been “training” her once a week for months, and she did some running on her own too, in preparation for this race. She was super nervous because she hadn’t run anywhere near 5k in any of her training, but I’d promised her that we’d reach her goal. We kept it slow and easy, and I used every motivational tip and trick in my arsenal.
Long story short, she did AMAZING. She ran the whole race without stopping and didn’t complain once. Just before the finish line, I sprinted ahead so that I could take pictures of her crossing the finish line. She crossed with a HUGE smile on her face, and collected her first piece of “bling.”
We grabbed some water and Kind bars, and headed over to the Color Party by the stage. The DJ was ridiculous–funny, loud, and energetic. He played great music and kept people really pumped up. The color throws were tons of fun–we were covered head to toe in color and glitter, and when I blew my nose later, it was rainbow colored (TMI I know, but it was too funny!).
There were lots of great backdrops for photos, and you could get a finisher photo taken, but the line was super long. There was also a place to get the excess color blown off you with leaf blowers, but the line for that was super long as well, so I just rolled the windows down on my drive home and created a little color and glitter tornado in my car :)
My only beef with this race is that I actually used my Garmin this year, and the course was about half a mile short. I get that it’s not a competitive or timed race, but if you advertise a 5k race, it really should be at least 3 miles. Otherwise, this race is a really good time. While it can be somewhat expensive, if you sign up early, you get a decent price, and especially this year with the addition of the finisher’s medal, the swag is pretty good–a nice cotton/poly blend t-shirt, sweat band, and temporary tattoos. This is a great event to attend with a bunch of friends, and is a perfect first race for anyone who wants to try it out.
And I just have to say again, I am SO proud of Emily. She set a goal, stuck to her guns, and DID IT. She told me that a lot of people in her life were really skeptical about her ability to finish, and I’m so glad she proved them wrong. As we were walking back to our cars after the race, she asked me to find her another 5k to run before winter. Looks like I’ve created a runner :-D
Have you ever helped a friend finish their first race?
What was YOUR first race?