Wednesday, November 21, 2012

My Happiest 5K - Charlotte Color Run!

I found out about the The Color Run last year when someone in our running club put a link on Facebook. It looked like so much fun - an un-timed 5K with lots of powdered color. It is touted as being the Happiest 5K on the Planet. And now that I've experienced one, I can honestly agree. It was 100% happiness.

My sisters and I decided to do it together, in Charlotte, NC. And in the end, two of my nephews also joined us. Along with 12,000 other Color Runners. Yes, Twelve Thousand!

The event was held at the Charlotte Motor Speedway:

Originally, the advertised date was set for October 2012. When registration opened, the date had been changed to Nov. 17, 2012.  Ah, the same date as my Tryon Running Club's first 1/2 Marathon. Bummer.

Well, next year will be my year for the 1/2. I'll be 45 next year, and will celebrate with 13.1 miles of movement.

Most of the Color Run was delightfully flat. There were two hills, the last one on the long side just before the finish. One of my nephews (he is 11) was a little upset at the fact that no one would actually win this race. He wanted to run the whole thing, so I told him I would run with him. Thank God we reached the first Kilometer and first Color Station. My nephew was a little bullet. Weaving in and out of the crowd, sprinting and glancing back to make sure I was still there. I ended up getting much more of a workout than I expected, but was running much faster than I really can while still being able to breathe.

At the first color stop I told him we had to wait for the others since this was supposed to be a family event, much to his utter dismay. "You mean we have to stop and WAIT? We just wasted all that time running??" He was none too pleased. But honestly, I needed to catch my breath!
We all went through the Blue together. The volunteers had buckets and bottles full of the blue powder (cornstarch) and threw it at us as we jogged on. There were clouds of blue everywhere, the path was covered in blue. Some of the volunteers wore masks and hats, but they were also completely covered. Some got in my mouth and it was chalky and dry. With no water to rinse out, we just spit it out the best we could. Then my nephew was back at it, wanting to run. So he and I took off again. I slowed to a walk on the first hill, and he jogged back to me. I told him to go ahead and wait for me at the bottom of the hill. After I met him there he said "Aunt Caroline, since you've had time to walk, do you think you can keep up with me now?"

"No, baby. I can't keep up with you, you've already worn me out!" I replied. So on we went - he sprinting off, then jogging back to where I was, then running at a nice, even pace. We went through the next 3 color stations together - leaving the others to come on along.

At the finish line my sister Mary, of Forty By Forty, and I were greeted by our blogger friend Aubrey, of High Heeled Love. What fun to finally meet in person!

At the finish line - before Color Bombs

They threw out color packets to the crowd

In everyone's swag bag was a packet of color to throw at the finish line. Every 10 or 15 minutes there would be a color explosion and everyone would throw their packets up in the air. 

I was completely bombed with a green one. It landed on my head and then exploded. I slightly resembled a happy looking Grinch ..and I had to wash my hair 4 times. I gave my packet to one of my nephews so I could take pictures of the sight:

Going up in colored smoke!

After Color Bombs - a green packet exploded on my head.

There was loud, fast music everywhere - at the start, at the color stations, and at the end. The kind of music that has you swaying, then dancing and loving life. You know - the kind of music you run with!

It was a super fun day. The Color Run was great, and benefited Habitat for Humanity. The exercise was wonderful but doing it with my family was priceless.

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  1. I'm so glad we got to meet, though I'm sorry that I had to take off so quickly. My husband said he had a good time at the race, but I think by that time, he was just over standing outside in the cold. We'll have to get together to actually hangout sometime soon.

    1. I'm glad we met too. Thanks for waiting for us! I'm sorry we were so loud and crazy! Those boys had been wanting to throw their color in the air since we arrived! Hope you had a wonderful Thanksgiving.

  2. Awesome race report! I'm so glad there are more "happy" races around. Sometimes we just need to run for fun :-)


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