The color run Philly.
It delivered on it’s hype and seriously was a lot of fun.
(We were joking as we walked back to the car at the end that if there was ever a run that we could tailgate beforehand, this would be the one)
There were a ton of people. I missed the official head count, but this race was huge. As I mentioned before, it completely sold out and that definitely showed. There were a TON of people running. Easily into the thousands. But it was a good mix.
About half and half I would estimate between runners and run/walk or straight walkers. Which led to my re-naming the back of the pack that we were in “the color walk”. Between a narrow path and a ton of congestion, we could not have run the race even if we wanted to. That being said, we did not want to. We wanted to get together, run a little, walk a lot, joke around and enjoy the experience. Crack some jokes, have a lot of laughs, and have some nut job volunteer blast us with artificially colored cooking product every 10 to 15 minutes or so. I am happy to report that by that measure, we were completely successful on all levels. And it was a lot of fun.
So: the big question mark in my mind was: Whatis this really all about? What’s the deal with these “Color Stations?”
Picture this: Volunteers in brightly colored T shirts of whatever color the station was double fisting oversized restaurant style ketchup squeezie bottles full of their colored cornstarch, blasting everybody who came by. Some just having fun and other REALLY into it going completely insane. It all added up to a fun and definitely unique experience.
The color stations were a literal hazy puff of colored smoke. A giant cloud of color that you could barely see through. Case in point…
The course itself was in Fairmount Park, right in front of the Please Touch Museum, a location I am very familiar with since we end up taking Tess there once every 6 months or so. It wrapped in through the park and back around to the start/finish area again. It was a good, scenic run that I will definitely try and replicate as a run for myself as I move forward in my training. It’s always nice to have a new route to provide a change of scenery in my back pocket. But back to the race…
I knew what kind of vibe they were trying to set right from the beginning, because I got to the race around 6:30 to check everything out and meet up with the team, and the MC was already going and introducing what would turn into a solid one hour massive Zumba class. After the race, the MC was coordinating a “color throw” around every 20 min or so in the finish area, which is that iconic picture of the massive crowd all packed into a tight area with a huge multicolored cloud of color erupting above them. It seriously looked awesome. Very cool stuff. Then somehow, out of that color throwing crowd a totally new scene was formed. It turned from sweaty runners into a nightclub. In a field. At 9 am. Still sweaty, but now with blaring club/ dance music, complete with thumping base and that consistent “uhn-thiss-uhn-thiss”. Which led me to realize that I am old. (and you know what? I’m oddly OK with that)
So, overall impressions is that The Color Run completely excels at the goal of getting people out and active in a new and interesting way. I get it now. I also can see why there is a distaste for that type of race from some in the “serious” running community. But Like I said in my Race Prep post, I am all for these types of races if they are introducing new people to the sport in a non-threatening and less overwhelming manner. This was cemented to me when the MC on the stage asked “So how many of you out there just ran your first 5K today?” the response of yells was pretty damn loud. Which was awesome. I know I’m a dork, but that made me smile as big as anything else that day. All those people doing accomplishing a new challenge and getting active for the first time is a great thing. That’s why I really like the Color Run and the other similar theme races. It’s a a great entry point. It’s almost like “Fisher Price: My first 5K Road Race”. Because really, let’s face facts: Lining up for your first 5K can be scary as hell. For someone who has not done it before, 3.1 miles feels like an eternity. But this event provides a base of experience. Now new runners have shown up, pinned on a bib, and lined up in the starting corral. They now know what it feels like to cross that starting line, they now know what covering 3.1 miles looks and feels like, and most importantly, they now know what crossing that finish line feels like.
I liked it, and as long as we can make it a big social event again next year, I’m on board to do it again. Probably with more props this time around. (The goggles and snorkel were a big hit this year…only room to improve for next though. swimmies and an inner tube?)