Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Race recap: The Color Run (and how it compared to my "Color Me Rad" race last summer)

Do one color race, and you've done them all.... right?  It might seem that way, but some of the bells and whistles one race venue offers might not match up to what they can deliver and one race company certainly may do things differently than another.

Back in June 2013, I ran Color Me Rad.  It was my first gimmick race with a fun theme and untimed.  It was also the first time I convinced my husband to run a race with me (or run at all) and we took the kids with us through the fun.  My kids have been hooked on running events, training runs and races ever since.... just as long as i push them in the stroller.  

Anyway, I couldn't help but think of that first experience when I ran The Color Run on Sept. 6th.  I thought both events were fun, but there are definitely some differences worth noting, depending on what you have in mind.

Color Me Rad Cons:
  • Located in Vancouver, Wa. with congested traffic into event venue. 
  • The waves through the start were pushy and hard to get into the start.
  • There were so many bandits, it really frustrated me that I paid over $50 per bib and people walking down the street (smoking cigarettes) were jumping into our race and joining for free.

Lots of color!
Color Me Rad Pros:
  • The after party was a LOT of fun!  The DJ was good at making it a party atmosphere.
  • There were costume contests with swag for prizes.
  • Lots and lots of swag being thrown at the crowds.
  • Everywhere you went, there were free packets of color for the finish party to throw in the air.
  • The lines for the photo booths were small.  There were several booths the opportunity to have your photos taken.
  • There were at least 5 color stations within the race and color was generously applied to participants.
  • Color stations were more than dry corn starch.  Some color was applied by green bubbles through a large bubble machine and color cornstarch water from large spray bottles.  

Believe it or not, these people have gone through 4 color stations...
The Color Run Cons:
  • There were only 4 color stations and all were cornstarch in dry form being squirted through a pull top water bottle.
  • Volunteers were very stingy with color.  I got completely through the first color station when I asked "Do I get color too?" when someone sprinkled a little on me.  Blue did not stay with me until the finish line.
  • Most of the race is on gravel.
  • The race only hands out one or two color packets and most participants threw that at each other shortly after leaving the finish chute.
  • The after party at the stage was small.  The DJ tried to encourage people to throw powder in the air but not many had any packets remaining.  They need to give more out.
  • The lines for the two photo booths were too long to deal with.  More photo booths needed.
  • If you were going to get any free swag thrown at you at the start line, you had to be right below the DJ.  If you caught it, you had to carry it through the race.  Save the swag for the after party/stage and throw more color packets at the beginning of the race.

The Color Run Pros:
  • Traffic seemed well negotiated and parking plentiful.... however we took public transit.
  • Crowds were a lot larger, but waves were very well organized.
  • Someone was in a unicorn costume!  Awesome dude!
  • There was some pre race zumba to dance to
  • Post race you could stand in line to have someone blast you with a leaf blower to get color off.
  • A sponsor brought a 360 degree camera booth.  That was super cool (but the line too long for this mama with young kids).

You can see how much color I had on when I left Color Me Rad vs. how much color was on me at The Color Run.  I think it's fair to see which race venue I would choose if I do another one of these... 

Have you done a color themed run?  Were you disappointed or did you enjoy it?  


  1. I did the Color Me Rad last year with my kids. It was way overpriced, but I thought that it was a great thing to do with kids.

    1. I agree, these events are a bit too pricey for what they offer. Once my kiddos are old enough that they are no longer free in the event, we'll stay with local race venues. Sometimes these larger events will let you help at packet pickup or before or after the race for a free bib.


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