This was my second Color Run and it was just as much fun as the first. Last year, my cousin and her daughter did the run with me and we actually walked. My cousin is not a runner. She was in the Army and had to run and now simply refuses. I was just happy to have someone to accompany me - and it was a fun time! This year was a bit different. I went solo. I knew some people who'd be there but that race is HUGE. It's far too difficult to meet up with people if you didn't arrive with them. I thought for sure that downtown Grand Rapids would be crazy busy because of so many participants but it wasn't bad at all. I had no problems getting there - no issues with traffic or anything. I left a little later tahn last year so I thought for sure I'd run into some traffic or have trouble finding parking. I'm glad I had no reason to worry!
The race was on the same course that it was last year, through part of the downtown area. There were some hills to navigate (which I haven't ran in ages). I kept my pace to what I thought was fairly slow and just held steady throughout the race. There were a couple points when I had to walk because there were so many people. Those were going into the color zones and througout the color zones. Naturally, because it was the Color Run, everyone wanted to be colored! It got a little backed up but they worked hard to keep us moving through. There were various color zones, and I'd say it took a couple minutes to get through each. I checked my HRM at the end of the race and my time was about 40 minutes. I figure that with time taken off that it took to get through the zones, my time was in the low 30s (I'd say between 32 and 34 minutes) right around where it was for the last 5K I did. I guess my running (outside anyway) is about where it should be! That? Definitely made me feel better! I feel like it's taken me a while to get back into the swing of things after surgery and completing a 5K around my last time definitely made me feel better!!
When I finished, I hung around for a few minutes for the post-race "party." They have a stage with a DJ and every so often people throw their packets of color (given to us with registration) into the air. Basically? You're hit with more of the color used in the race as well as some colors that weren't.
After I was colored a little more, I headed back to the parking garage to make the drive home. I was definitely A LOT more covered in color this year than last year. I look like I'd been admist a color war zone! I had color all over me. I think that because we had my cousin's little one with us last year, they went easier on us. There was no mercy this year. Which is good... I mean, I registered for a Color Run! I expected to be colorful! I didn't have time to get gas before I left so I had to make a stop on the way home. Luckily it was still pretty early in the morning and the gas station I chose wasn't too busy. I'm sure enough passersby wondered why on earth I was wearing a tutu and covered in what appeared to be paint. FYI, color packets plus sweat can make you look super gross (and sweat makes the color clump and look like caked-on eyeshadow!). I also went through Starbucks and I'm certain that the kid had to have known about the run.... He seemed young and hip. I'd hope he's up on his current events. And if not? He didn't give me a "wtf" look so that was cool. I can only imagine what other motorists may have thought as I drove past them. Or the neighbors who were outside (the ones I don't know!) when I got home. Honestly, I don't care. I had fun and I certainly felt that I looked super cool. Or at least super colorful! I ran a fun race and wore that color with pride!
Unfortunately I was sweaty (read: stinky) and had to babysit that afternoon (oh and I didn't want to get color everywhere) so I showered fairly soon after getting home.
Overall? The Color Run was super fun, as expected! I was nervous (not sure why) to be going solo, but everything turned out fine and I had no reason to be! I had a great time and it was nice to get out and run. Although I was surrounded by thousands of other runners and walkers, I still felt solitutde when running. I got into my zone and it felt awesome!! If you haven't done the Color Run, or something similar, you should definitely check it out! It's an event for people of all ages, runners and walkers alike. You don't have to be fast (and aren't officially timed).
It's a fun way to just get out and get some exercise!!