We Did It: The Color Run
Photo: Jordan Shakeshaft
The Color Run, a 5K that’s closing out its 50 city U.S. tour in December, is less about speed and way more about turning multihued while having a blast. The promise: three miles of “the most enjoyable real estate you’ve traveled in a very long time.”
The first order of business: finding each other among the 4,000 people dressed head-to-toe in white, some sporting tutus, capes, and other unconventional race attire. Next, we moved onto pre-race prep like greasing up our hair so the color wouldn’t stick, taking scissors to our shirts for some last-minute flair, and putting our phones in plastic baggies to Instagram on-the-go. You know, the really important stuff you do before every race.
We headed toward the start, in one big, bad group of Greatists, and sized up our running mates (including kids in strollers, Grams and Gramps, and every age in between). At the starting line, an emcee bumped some beats and sent runners off in waves of hundreds, resembling a slightly sportier version of Diddy’s annual white party. Just a kilometer later, we had our first taste of color. (For some of us, this is literal. It tasted like chalk.) Biodegradable, colored cornstarch to be exact. Each kilometer of the event has its own color zone: yellow, pink, red, or blue. And as we, the human canvases, ran, skipped, or race-walked through each zone, volunteers doused us with color (using highly effective squeegee bottles). The result: Jackson Pollock-esque works of art on the move.
A deejay stationed halfway along the course amped up an already energetic group. Some runners opted to roll in the color, make color angels on the pavement, and double back through color zones to ensure no white space remained. And before we could feel any traces of fatigue, we were making our way to the finish line. The so-called “happiest 5K on the planet” wrapped up with a BYO packet of color (provided at the pre-race pick-up), post-race photos, and an after-party complete with booze and dancing, all under a multicolored mushroom cloud.
With a runner’s high and color lodged in unmentionable places, it was time to make the long trek back home. Riding the subway summoned some questioning stares, but did I run errands still completely covered in Roy G. Biv? YES.
While most of us still have some dots of color on our foreheads, ankles, and underarms, there’s no denying it was totally worth it.
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