Thursday, September 13, 2012

DC Color Run 5k Recap

Color Run: The happiest 5k on the planet!! Yep, I'd have to agree!!

Since the last big National Harbor racing event in DC, The Hot Chocolate 5k/15k was a complete disaster, (Read about it here) my group and I decided to leave early as to not run into traffic again. To our surprise and delight we ran into absolutely NO traffic. We even managed to find a parking spot on the lower level of a parking garage very close to the start!

We went to registration where we were one of the 1st to register. We got our goodies which consisted of a Color Run tee, a Color Run sweat band, a Color Run tattoo and, a Red Bull! They also had a small merchandise table set up where some of my friends purchased way cool Color Run knee socks! I opted to purchase a pair of pink and black sunglasses. The prices were pretty reasonable.  
Since we had arrived early than expected, we had plenty of time to walk around. We checked out the harbor scenery and grabbed a warm drink at a local coffee shop. It was a brisk cool morning, and the hot chocolate I had was not only delicious but also hit the spot and warmed me right up. We then went back to our cars to drop off our stuff and then met up with the rest of our Run, Mama, Run! group to take a before picture!

After our picture we all lined up in the sea of white outfits. There was hundreds of people lined up. We ended up in Wave 3. The DJ was spectacular and really pumped us up for the run. As my group and I danced, took pictures and, videos, we watched the 1st wave start the run. About 10 min. later the 2nd wave went off. It was now our turn at the starting line. The DJ continued to pump us up and, throwing free merchandise out to the runners! He called the start for our wave and we went off.

I was still extremely sore from my half marathon the day before, so I started my run out slow. My group was super sweet and decided to run slow with me. Unfortunately, I was more sore than I thought and had to slow down even more. I had never ran at or had been to the National Harbor before, so I had no clue what type of terrain it would be. The terrain ended up being gravel which was horrible on my sore foot and calves. One of my friends in the my group slowed down with me and we went on our way. The race claims you will get a burst of color at every kilometer. I would say the 1st color was indeed about a kilometer. Truthfully, running through my 1st bit of color was nothing like what I expected. I am not really sure what I expected. The color is a cornstarch and food coloring mix. It didn't really stay on your clothes, as we ran more and more it just kind of fell off. However, it was so much fun running through each color. The volunteers and music at each color station was so exciting it pumped me up each time!! We ran through a Red color station, then an Orange, then a yellow. I was super excited for the next color BLUE!! The color was so vibrant and pretty!! I MIGHT have even rolled on the ground to get more color. 

After running through the blue I got somewhat disappointed. I could see the finish yet, I hadn't seen green or purple. I wasn't entirely sure we were even supposed to see these colors but, for some reason I expected them. It also seemed extremely short of a 5k. I did not wear my watch so didn't get an official length of the course. I did end up texting our friends that ran ahead to wait for us so we could finish together. They did, it was pretty easy to spot them too. I was happy to see the spectators weren't overwhelming at the finish.

After finishing we went to meet up with the rest of our group to take after photos! What a blast of a race!! We couldn't resist jumping into the after party group where they were throwing more color into the air. The DJ was playing more music and throwing more merchandise out. It was intense! I felt like I was at a concert except we would get a blast of color dust every couple minutes. The huge color burst were intense, a couple times it ended up in my mouth. I wouldn't suggest bringing children in to the after party unless they have eye protection as well as a mask/handkerchief to cover their noses and mouth. I was happy to see they did hand out handkerchiefs to the runners in case they did need them.

Overall a fantastically ran event. I didn't see any hiccups at all! I was impressed with the DJ as well as the volunteers. I was impressed with the photographs they took. After all was said and done, I wasn't even disappointed about the lack of color or distance.

Now for the worst part of the race, the cleanup! We didn't want any color in our friends car so we stripped out of our colored clothes and changed into our clean clothes. We used baby wipes to clean up in the parking garage. It was a mess. There was color everywhere under my clothes where it soaked through. My hair was covered. It wasn't really a gross feeling but, unclean for sure. We still walked to get lunch even though we weren't clean all the way. We figured there were more like us out there anyway. When I got home and finally showered it still didn't all come off. I had to scrub super hard to get it all off. The clothes I wore mostly came clean with a regular wash and some borax. However my shirt was ruined with color and never came out. I suggest wearing clothes you don't mind ruining. They say you can preserve the color, however all my colors were mixed and it wasn't really a color I wanted to preserve.

Would I do this again? Heck Yeah!! I also think Big C would have a blast so maybe next time I'll bring him along!

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