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The Happiest 5km on Earth

So who here has ever done the Color Run before? Well let me tell you about my first time and why I've done 3 more of them since!

I'd seen ads for the Color Run a number of times over the years, but I'd never actually participated. However, everyone always looked like they were having so much fun that I decided it was time I got involved. I didn't want to do it on my own, so I roped in a bunch of friends from work and we all signed up together.

For those of you who aren't familiar, here's a quick rundown on what exactly the Color Run is and what's involved...

First off, while it's technically called a "run" and it's 5km long, it in NO way requires any amount of fitness (other than being able to amble along for 5km at your own pace). It's supposed to take you ages to complete it because of all the stations to stop at along the way.

Secondly, it's important to note that this is NOT a fundraising or charity event. This is a business so don't make the mistake of thinking your money will be going to towards any cause other than having a great day.

Third, the entry fee can seem a bit high for an event like this, but I promise you that it's well worth it. Generally the entry fee is around the $70-$80 mark, but it includes your t-shirt, a packet of colour for the end, a sweatband and some stick on tattoos. They do pre-sales and early bird deals as well so if you want to go, get in early to get the best prices.

The course is made up of a number of "stations", hence why it takes quite a while to make it round the entire 5km. There are usually about 5 colour stations along the way, as well as a mix of slime, bubbles/foam and confetti stations. The colour is just water based powder that volunteers squirt out at everyone as they run past (see below). It's expected that you'll hang around at each station to take photos, get as much colour on you as possible and generally have a good time dancing to the music. The stations are all spread out along the route and usually include pink, blue, orange, green and purple powder.

So for my first Color Run I had booked in with my team and we'd all received our "race packs", including our t-shirts, our bibs, sweatbands and our tattoos. (Quick note - I would highly recommend getting your packs delivered because if you try and get them on the day you'll be waiting in line for hours!) We were all geared up and ready to go, including a couple of team mates who decided to add a little something extra and brought along brightly coloured tutus!

As a side note, be sure to wear old clothes and definitely old shoes for this event. Whilst the colour will mostly wash out, it can stain white clothing (including shoes). I actually went to good old Kmart and bought a pair of white runners for $8 and a cheap pair of exercise 3/4 pants. Also, be sure to take a towel for the car seats, as well as some clothes to change into (if you don't want to sit in your dirty ones). I took another t-shirt to change into and some other shoes and socks as the foam stations can leave you quite wet (especially your socks and shoes).

The starting line for the run is chaos, there's no other word for it. There are thousands of people all lining up to take part and it's insane. The participants are sent off in waves to help space things out and ensure that everyone has time to enjoy each station without being drowned out by the crowd. I didn't want to have to carry anything (including a bag) so I tucked my phone into my sports bra, and my exercise pants had a small zip pocket where I could put my ID, car keys and my credit card. I would recommend doing the same thing and leaving everything you have in the car so your hands are free to pick up powder and foam to throw at people!

The halfway mark!

We made sure to take photos after each stop to capture our adventure, which made looking back at it so much fun. At the end of the run there's a finish line and then you get to collect your medal, an extra colour packet as well as a bottle of water.

Once the run is over, it's then time to join in the biggest party of the event! There is a large stage set up that has DJs and entertainment playing throughout the event and they also do giveaways for the crowd. The best part of it though, are the colour throws. When you collect your colour packet at the finish line, the idea is to head over to the crowd in front of the stage and wait for them to do a colour throw. Basically they count you down and then everyone chucks their powder into the air creating this huge explosion of colour. It's fantastic fun!

Be warned though that it makes things a little difficult to breathe for a few seconds until the cloud clears, and there's a good chance you'll end up looking almost black!

I have to say this was one of the best days I've had, a great group of people and a fantastic event that was heaps of fun. If you haven't taken the chance to get involved, then definitely give it a go! (Afterwards it's hilarious fun to stop in to a McDonald's for some fries and a burger looking like you all just went to war!)

Until next time,

Nat x

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