Sunday, June 2, 2013

Race Review (or "Coated In Corn Starch For The Fun Of It")

Let me just start off by saying I'm sorry I haven't kept you up with all my running challenges and victories the last couple of weeks...  trail running for the first time, hip injuries, and a family 5k with my husband, daughters and niece.  Me and my 7 year old niece were the only 5k veterans, and neither of us were prepared for this...

Shortly after our start....  BUBBLES!  Green ones...

Photo by Laetitia Beraud, Oregon NewsLab
We, as always, were running a bit late and I was nervous to miss my "wave" time.  We were to start running at the 10am wave of runners and had just parked at 9:45am.  ...And about a mile from the start line.  Not understanding how laid back the event was after reading and laughing at the humor in Color Me Rad's website, I hauled it and my family as fast as I could to the start.

It's a fairly new event, with some glitches or bumps still being ironed out...  With that said, there is absolutely no organization at the actual event.  There are tables set up for race-day packet pickup, but if you've gone before hand, you need not deal with an official of any type.  I don't think it would be hard for someone to dress in white and just show up without paying.  (I offered liability forms for all the kids running with me and the volunteer actually didn't want them, stating "We don't actually need these... Oh.  That's okay.  I'll take them anyway."  I think she threw them away.)

Just show up and queue up.

And be prepared for a long line...  After all, it's a popular event!  Our location had around 6,000 people on race day.  We got into line and waited as small waves of people ran to meet their fate with green bubbles, colored cornstarch and colorful (cold) water in sprayers.

Joining the race (and relaxing that I wasn't going to be barred from it for missing the "last wave at 10am")  I found my waiting friends in the crowd.  And then someone had to pee and someone else was getting tired and needed to be reassured...  racers marched forward around us and before I knew it, we were the very last to cross the start line.

The very very last ones.  That's never happened to me before!   Okay, don't let the panic in.  Just go out there and soak up the color!

Photo by Alan Sylvestre
We rounded the corner of a flat course and caught sight of our first hill.  A very tall, steep hill.  I wish I got a photo of it, but my husband didn't want to risk removing the camera from it's sandwich bag.  There were a couple rolling hills, but the first uphill was the steepest.

I have to say, it wasn't a killer.  I didn't start this race with the usual excitement and adrenaline of racing... (besides my panic of being late and starting last.)  But I also didn't have to battle myself internally.  "You can't do this!"  "God, it's HOT!  Let's turn around now."  "My knees hurt.  This is crazy."

About halfway up the hill I thought "Huh.  This is a challenge."  And I immediately told myself to think of it as training for "The Toughest Race in the Northwest".  Someday I'll conquer that and write a review of it on this blog.  Someday.

For having started out as the very last to cross the start line, we did pretty good.  How good?  Well, for having three kids under 7 years of age and no watch on, I'll say we didn't come in last.  We had a ton of fun and I heard one svelte runner encourage her friend, "Come on, you can beat the guy caring the baby!"  This unencouraged runner told me "Way to go!"  As I passed with my two kids and my husband darted up the hill with the baby, leaving everyone behind! (With his crazy-fast speed walking!)

Photo by Laetitia Beraud, Oregon NewsLab
Once you get to the finish line, there is a big party waiting for you.  It was a ton of fun, and Bug-a-boo is already asking when we can go again.  I am no longer sneezing orange, so I'm game.

Do you do "fun runs" or is race day about serious, timed events?  There is some thought that these runs aren't really racing.  The emcee at our location called this event the "gateway drug to racing".  Once you try this run, you'll be hooked on races.  A lot of people choose Color Me Rad as their first 5k, but I've heard they have a reputation of not actually being a full 5k, but rather short.

Tell me what you think of it.


  1. i need to do more fun races like that- all mine are serious! looks like a blast!
    emma @

  2. I did my first mud run this past weekend, it was fun! Not sure how many more I'll do but I liked it!

  3. I did the Color Run last summer, it was a blast! I didn't wear my garmin, or even try to time it, I just did it for fun. I did have color coming out of my nose and ears for days! Looks like you all had fun too!