I was supposed to do the Color Run back in December, but that didn't happen so I had been looking forward to the next one. Then I heard that Color Me Rad was coming to Tampa. I was excited! These type of races looked like tons of fun. When else do you get to be cover in multiple colors of paint as an adult and it be socially accepted?
Two of my friends and I decided to sign up and I was eagerly awaiting the race. I planned on wearing some white knee-high socks, a white tank and my light green and white tutu from the Sarasota Half Marathon (which was on St. Patrick's Day) and taking off some of the green tulle if need be. I also was going to shorten it a bit. I felt it was a little long when I ran it it last time. I was psyched about that all being turned into a rainbow at the end of the event.
|White attire - ready to get splattered with color|
I'm not going to call it a "race" because I know from friends who have participated in these types of runs, a lot of the participants choose to walk through, and it's quite hard to run around them all. It's mostly for fun - and that's how I was going into it. There is no chip, no clock, no timing of any kind. On top of that we were in the 10 o'clock wave, in Tampa, in May. It was going to be hot.
The race information had said to arrive 60-90 minutes prior to your wave time. Usually I don't get there THAT early for events, but I hadn't picked up my packet yet, so I figured we should just in case. And if anything we could just hang out, enjoy the morning, take pictures and watch the run. That didn't happen. I was glad I had decided for us to get there and hour and a half pre-race. When we got close to the Florida State Fairgrounds traffic was at a standstill and it took about 45 minutes just to get into the parking area. Then it was probably another 15 minutes just to park. Then we still had to get out packets, walk back to our car and make it back to the start line in a half hour.
The packet pick up line was not long at all and moved quickly. Luckily they let us pick up for others, because my friend Vanessa was stuck in that traffic line. Actually she wound up having to park off-site and walk to the grounds. We found each other, got ready for the race and made it to the start - in time for the 10:20am wave. A little late, but no one was really keeping track of the wave times anyway. This was a good thing for us.
|Ready to start|
When we were at the start the initial frustration we had from the parking chaos left us immediately. There was such a sense of fun and excitement in the air. We had been provided with sunglasses which served a dual purpose for us on this very bright and sunny morning. They are used in this event to shield your eyes from the color powder. This morning they were also particularly useful is blocking us from they beautiful rays of the sun. They also gave us all color bomb packets to use as we pleased. We used them right as we started the race. Let's get this party started right! And off we went!
|Color Bomb Packet|
We started out with a light jog to begin the "race". It was hot. I don't run well in the heat, and I'm not accustomed to running at 10am either. It was a bit rough. Nevertheless, we wanted to run, so run we did. Then we got to a color bomb area. We decided to walk through it so that we got nice and colorful. The volunteers in the color bomb squad would throw the powder up in the air or at you and it was fun to walk through. Everyone was having an awesome time.
|Orange Color Bomb Area|
Then they had a sprayer area were the volunteers would hold paint sprayers and spray the runners as they went through the stations. People were twirling around getting sprayed and it left a splatter type effect on your outfit.
We tried to take pictures along the course, but of course it was hard to do with all the powder flying all over. That stuff gets everywhere! I do believe I tasted the rainbow quite a few times and I think the lining of my stomach might be purple. (I have now learned that many people cover their mouths with bandanas while in the color stations to prevent this - you live and you learn). Luckily there were two water stops along the course so I got to rinse my mouth out. And it was super hot, so the water helped with that as well.
|Random Photo Bombers|
We walked a lot of the way in the middle, but picked up the running again for the last half mile. We ran steady to the finish until we came to an area where they were giving out more color bombs. We had to stop and grab those! Their purpose was to be used at the finish, but we decided to use them within a few moments - apparently we hadn't been covered with quite enough color yet.
And then it was another little sprint to the finish line where there was a bunch of screaming and cheers. We were excited. We had tons of fun. We wanted to jump for joy. And we did.
|Jumping for Joy|
We grabbed some water, hung out for a little bit and then headed back to the car. As much as we wanted to stay around for the event festivities...there was a Margarita Festival going on later that night...and we weren't too sure how hard it was going to be to get all this color off. We headed to the car.
|Me, Vanessa, Mera|
When I got home I was quite nervous about how difficult it was going to be to get the paint off my body and out of my hair. I didn't notice how much had gotten all over me. In fact it had actually gone through my shirt. The color even seeped through my shoes and socks and onto my toes!
|Color went EVERYWHERE!|
Surprisingly enough it actually wasn't that hard to get the color off. The most difficult part was my hands. For some reason I had to scrub my hands several times to get the blue stain off. The rest of me was fine. And I shampooed my hair twice and everything was out.
And another surprise. I threw my clothes in the wash just to see what would happen. My shirt and socks are white again! Who would have thought!
Would I do another race like this? Absolutely. It was fun. It was different. I got to be silly, act like a kid, and do something I would never do during a normal day. The only complaint I had was the parking fiasco, but any frustration was soon gone once the race started - and I had an awesome time. Color Me Rad was an awesome start to an awesome Saturday!