Race Recap: Color Run 5k

What:  Color Run 5k

Where/When:  Champlain Valley Expo in Essex, VT on Saturday, September 13.

Packet pickup was held at the Expo center from 12-7 pm the day before the race.  There was plenty of parking and it was very well-organized;  I was in and out in 10 minutes.  The swag bag was pretty nice–a vinyl sling bag, a cotton/polyester blend t-shirt (a step up from the cotton T I got at my first Color Run), two temporary tattoos, a bracelet, and a sweat band.  They also included Shout Color catchers to use in your laundry after the race–very clever sponsorship, right there!

Photo Sep 12, 7 57 31 PM

Since I knew the Color Run isn’t timed, and I would be sticking with my friend Stef regardless of how slow or fast she wanted to go, I really didn’t take “race prep” too seriously.  I had two beers on Friday night, but got plenty of sleep.  I was up and at ’em at 7, had a bowl of multi-grain Cheerios with milk for breakfast, and headed out.  The weather was quite chilly, which, to me, is optimal running weather 🙂

Traffic in Essex was pretty bad, but that’s Rte. 15 at the best of times.  I had Ben drop me off outside the Expo so he could run some errands, and so he didn’t have to deal with the parking craziness.  People were parking at lots of area businesses in order to avoid parking in the Expo center lot, which actually ended up making things worse.  The expo had more than enough parking.

When I arrived, they were in the middle of a Jazzercise warm-up, which was really fun.

Photo Sep 13, 8 45 20 AM

The mythical Runicorn

The mythical Runicorn

I had no trouble finding Stef, her hubby Scott, and their two adorable girls, who had come to cheer on their mommy at her first 5k.  We got into the starting chute and danced and talked our way through 4 starting waves–we ended up being in wave 5.

We also took lots of silly pictures

We also took lots of silly pictures

The Race:
It was kind of weird running through the fair grounds.  It was also kind of a tease–seeing all the food stands made me really want nachos and pretzels!  First color was yellow, and the folks applying the color were pretty sedate–I only got a small puff.  Next up was pink.  I thought I had made it through with only a dusting, and turned around to look for Stef.  When I turned back, one of the color people was right in front of me.  She looked at me, screamed “NO PINK?!?” and proceeded to cover me from head to toe in pink corn starch.  It.Was.Amazing!  Stef and I laughed about it non-stop for the next 10 minutes.

There was one water stop at a little less than the halfway point, which was also a turnaround to head back into the fairgrounds after winding out one of the access roads.  We took plenty of walk breaks because Stefanie had a strained muscle in her ankle and wasn’t actually supposed to be running at all!  Third color station was purple, and they did a great job of getting everyone.  The final color station was blue, and I have to say, these guys were definitely the most enthusiastic and energetic of color appliers–they were all smurf blue from head to toe, and there was a massive cloud of blue dust that was visible from half a mile away!  After we got through blue, I turned to Stef and said, “Hey, those guys back there BLUE me.  Hehehehe.”  High fives ensued.

The cloud of blue promised more fun yet to come

The cloud of blue promised more fun yet to come

After another few minutes, and Stef and I managed to run across the finish line, where we were promptly handed packets of color.

About to finish

About to finish-photo courtesy of Scott 🙂

Post Race:
I have no idea what our final time was–I didn’t even bother to start my Nike+ app because I wanted to be able to take pictures, and my phone battery doesn’t do well in cooler temps.

Every Color Run has a post-race party with lots of music, dancing, games, and periodic “color throws,” where everyone throws packets of color all at the same time, and you get even more covered in color than you already were.  The party here was very cool–much more fun than the last Color Run I went to.  I have to say though, I was somewhat disappointed that I wasn’t handed water upon finishing.  I’m sure there were water and snacks available somewhere, but I never saw them.  It would have been nice if they were right outside the finisher’s chute.

Flo Photo was there, taking pictures for people.  The lines were long, so we didn’t bother.  Also, I wasn’t clear on whether or not you had to pay for the pictures.  But there were lots of other cool props scattered all over the field so you could take your own pictures.  And of course, the color throws made for some pretty awesome pictures too.


By this point, most of my pink had dusted off

Photo Sep 13, 10 17 44 AM

Thankfully, Ben brought me a giant sandwich, so the lack of snacks wasn’t an issue, and I had brought my handheld bottle, so I had a drink (although bringing it ended up being a poor choice, as my bottle and holster are now covered in colored corn starch).

On the whole, I recommend doing a Color Run.  While the price is somewhat steep at $45, it’s an amazing environment, especially for a first race, or if you’re looking to get a group of friends together to do something fun and active.  And the upgrade in t-shirt quality definitely made me a happy camper.  My only complaints were the lack of water/snacks, and the fact that we only ran through 4 color stations, when I always thought there are supposed to be 5–one for each km.

16 thoughts on “Race Recap: Color Run 5k

  1. prettylittlerunner says:

    I’m SOOOOO jealous! I wanted to do the color run SOOOO bad!!!! My friend and I were going to run it with her niece but it’s the week before my marathon and while I’d love to do it, It’s just not a good idea:( I’d be the person that falls and gets hurt the week I’m suppose to do my marathon!

  2. kebe51 says:

    I’ve ALWAYS wanted to do a color run but the timing and/or location never seems to work out 😦 I’m so jealous, it looks like you had tons of fun! And 2 glasses of wine should be pre-race prep ALL THE TIME! …as long as it’s the bottled stuff 😉

  3. greenmountainlife says:

    I had a big inappropriate chuckle when I read the “blue me” part haha so awesome. My entire social media was blown up by this particular color run so I’m even more jealous now than I was before! Sounds like it was a really fun time 🙂

  4. dgobs says:

    Sounds like a fun run, and a great first run for your friend! I think I’d want to be one of the people working a color station… that sounds like a blast! I do wish that more races had water available at the finish, it’s really surprising that so many don’t.

  5. piratebobcat says:

    Glad you had fun! I agree that those would probably be good for newbies. I personally don’t have much interest – when I race I want to go for a PR. Also, I’m a wimp and afraid to inhale that colored powder.

  6. Falyn @ Slacker Runner says:

    I did a Run or Dye this year. It was interesting, I never saw any water or snacks anywhere. the course wound through a golf course and the blue station was very aggressive. 🙂 It was fun to do it with a group of friends though. Sounds like you had a great time!

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