Race Recap: The Color Run Burlington 2015

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.

Color Run Start

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.”

Color Run Finish


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!).

Color Run After

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 😀

Have you ever helped a friend finish their first race?

What was YOUR first race?

Friday Free-For-All – 09/25/15

FFFA (1)

I got a chair massage at work on Wednesday and it was magical. We have someone come in to do 30 minute chair massages once a month, and up until now I’ve always been sort of, “Meh, whatever,” about it. But I was still so sore after the Spartan race that I decided to suck it up and pay the $15. BEST.DECISION.EVER. The lady was really nice and paid special attention to all my sore spots. It was a delightful little oasis in the drudgery of my Wednesday and I think I might have to do one every month now.

I know you’re all waiting for the Spartan recap… I know, and I promise, it’s already written, I’m just waiting for the photos to be posted. Spartan offers free (!!!) downloads of all race photos, so I want to get them and put them in the recap. It’ll be up as soon as possible, I promise!

Color Run tomorrow! I didn’t write a “goals” post, because honestly, the goal is just to have fun and get my friend Emily through her first 5k. Unfortunately due to her crazy schedule and mine, we didn’t get to do as much training as I would have liked, and she’s understandably very nervous about her first race. I promised that I’d get her to the finish line no matter what, and that’s what I plan to do!

Fall has officially arrived here in VT. The leaves are beginning to change, the weather is cool and crisp, and it’s getting darker earlier. While fall is my favorite season, I can’t help but feel sad because I missed out on so much of this summer being in rehearsals all the time. I’m sure once I bust out my basic white girl attire of leggings and boots and sip my first PSL I’ll feel better, but right now the change of seasons is very bittersweet. At least it’s good running weather! I have a 9 miler scheduled for Sunday and the weather looks perfect–sunny and low 70’s!

Are you racing this weekend?

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.

Manic Monday – 09/15/14

Welcome to another edition of Manic Monday, where I recap the previous week, and lay out a plan for the upcoming week.

This was an excellent week.  I completed all of my scheduled runs, and managed a bit of cross-training.  I still haven’t made it to Body Pump, but I’m not going to beat myself up over it.

Monday (Scheduled Cross-Training Day)
I hit up the gym and did 25 minutes on the elliptical and 20 minutes on the recumbent bike.  After stretching a bit, I did a few plank variations and some crunches, and my abs were definitely feeling it the next day.

Photo Sep 08, 5 53 16 PM

Tuesday (Scheduled Speed Work)
Hills were on the menu, but I didn’t feel like doing them.  I hopped on the treadmill and did a 3.5 mile progression run.  I started at a slow jog, and worked my way up to an 8:49 pace for the last half mile.  I felt miraculously good the whole time (probably because I didn’t have any elevation), and was inspired to try and run a whole mile at 8:49 for my next run.

Photo Sep 09, 6 52 09 PM

Wednesday (Scheduled Body Pump)
I didn’t go to Body Pump.  I went home, did laundry, watched House on Netflix, and went to bed.  Thrilling, huh?

Thursday (Scheduled 4 mile run)
After my success on Tuesday, I decided to do another progression run, and try to run the last full mile at an 8:49 pace.  SUCCESS!  This is my fastest mile in a VERY long time, and I felt really, really good the whole run.  Again, this is most likely because I had zero elevation, but I’ll take what I can get.  Now that I know speed is coming along, I need to add in the hills so that I can handle outdoor running when the time comes.

Photo Sep 11, 6 44 36 PM

Friday (Scheduled Rest Day)
We were house-sitting this weekend, so I didn’t do much of anything.  I had an early dinner, a couple of beers, lots of water, and I was in bed at a reasonable hour, which is exactly what I needed after a long week.

Saturday (Color Run 5k)
This was great.  I’ll have a full recap later this week, but this Color Run was much better than the last one I did, and it was awesome to see my friend.

Photo Sep 13, 10 07 01 AM

Stef’s husband is a champion photobomber

Sunday (Scheduled Rest Day)
After we got back from house-sitting, I helped Ben’s parents do some cleaning projects around the house-they’re doing some renovations in the basement (which is where our room happens to be), so I wanted to pitch in.  I spent a few hours vacuuming up cobwebs and wiping down dusty pipes, and the basement is now much cleaner, fresher, and less dusty.  I’m hoping this will mean less respiratory issues this winter.  And then I spent the rest of the day lounging in sweatpants and playing video games.

Schedule for this week:

  • Monday:  Bike, arc trainer, and light weight training (legs?)
  • Tuesday:  35 minute tempo run
  • Wednesday:  Body Pump (for real this time)
  • Thursday:  4 easy miles
  • Friday:  Rest
  • Saturday:  8 miles LSD
  • Sunday:  Rest/yoga?

I really want to get a good yoga stretch in after the long run on Saturday, and I WILL go to Body Pump on Wednesday if it kills me!  I have a Frozen and ice cream date with my friend Emily after, and I’ll feel a lot better about eating an entire pint of ice cream if I go to Body Pump first.

Did anybody else race this weekend? (Congrats to Kim for kicking butt in spite of not feeling well, and to Kellie on her new half marathon PR!)


Friday Free-For-All (Fourteen)

Welcome to Friday Free-For-All, where I talk about anything and everything on my mind.  This is usually just a great big brain dump, so brace yourselves!

I ran a super fast (for me) mile yesterday!  I ran mile 4 of my 4 mile progression run at an 8:49 pace.  This is HUGE for me.  In high school, I barely made a 10-minute mile, and that was only running a single mile.  To be able to pull out that pace at the end of a run is kind of amazing.  I hope I never stop feeling excited about how far I’ve come with my running–I was walking on sunshine (woah, oh!) all night last night.

I’ve got some tough family stuff going on right now.  I can’t go into any details, but suffice to say, it’s very yucky and stressful.  Thank the universe that I’ve got running endorphins, otherwise I would be a very unhappy girl right now.

I’m doing the Color Run tomorrow.  I started a team called Back to the Fuchsia, and originally I had a group of friends who were going to join me.  Two of them bailed, so now it will just be me and my friend Stef.  She’s just getting into running, so it will be a leisurely 5k for me.  It’s not timed anyway, so I don’t have any goals other than to stick with my friend the whole time, take lots of pictures, and have fun 🙂


We’re house-sitting again this weekend.  Same place as usual, only this time we get an extra doggy–a lab named Tessie.  We’ve met her before, but never watched her.   It’s all different branches of the same family, which means that Annie and Tessie know each other, so we don’t have to worry about doggy fights or anything.  And as far as I’m concerned, the more dogs, the merrier!

Have you ever done a Color Run?

Anybody else racing this weekend?

Back to the Fucshia!

I’m officially registered for the Burlington, VT Color Run on September 13!  I signed up for their VIP mailing list, and as a result, I got early an registration perk, and a registration discount ($25 instead of $35 for a team registration).  I am captain of team “Back to the Fucshia.”  Unfortunately, I can’t take credit for the fabulous name.  My buddy Paula came up with it when we ran the Boston Color Run 2 years ago.

Post Color Run

Post Color Run Boston 2012

If you live in Vermont and are interested in joining my team, you can email me at darlinrae[at]gmail[dot]com.

Have you ever done the Color Run before?  Did you have fun?