The Happiest 5K on the Planet

The Color Run was not messing around when they came up that slogan.  It was seriously the most fun I’ve had in a race.  Ever.  When telling people about it, I got some funny looks.  Maybe those people don’t like having fun (doubtful).  Maybe they didn’t understand the excitement behind it (possibly).  Maybe they were bummed they didn’t sign up (absolutely).  Whatever it was, there were 17,000 people in the New England area that took advantage of the fun! 

As I have noted before, this is taken directly from the website:

What is the Color Run?
The Color Run is a one of a kind experience that is less about speed and more about enjoying a color crazy day with your friends and family. Our events are all about people of all different speeds, ages, shapes, and sizes toeing the start line. Whether you are a casual morning mall walker or an Olympic athlete, the 3 miles of the Color Run course will be the most enjoyable real estate you’ve traveled in a VERY long time.  You will love this Color Dash of fun!

What is the Color?
Each kilometer of the event is associated with a designated color.  1k is yellow, 2k is blue, 3k is green, 4k is pink, and the 5k finish is a “Color Extravaganza.”  As the runners/walkers hit the Kilometer COLOR RUN Zones, they will be blitzed by our volunteers, sponsors, and staff with COLOR.  The color is a special “elf made” recipe of magical color dust [colored cornstarch].  All products are 100% natural and safe.  You can eat the stuff if you’d like (we have tried it and don’t suggest it, it is surprisingly high in calories and leaves a chalky aftertaste) [it sure does, but more on that later]. 

How does it work?
The Color Run pretty much has 2 SIMPLE rules. 1. White shirts (any mostly white T will work great) mandatory at the start line and 2. Color plastered EVERYTHING at the finish!  Runner/walkers begin the 5k at the start line like a brand new pristine coloring book, they end looking like they fell into a Willy Wonka… tie dyed… vat of colored goodness.

“A vat of colored goodness.”  Yeah, that pretty much sums it up.  But I’m getting ahead of myself… let’s back it up to the morning of the run…

Getting Ready

After reading the pre-race packet they emailed to all the participants, I knew the following: 

  • I was going to wrap my phone in Saran wrap to make sure it did not get covered in cornstarch.
  • I was going to bring a towel to protect my car from turning into something that this little lady would like:


  • I was going to wear my running shoes. I wish that I had gotten these (in aqua and orange), but the white/purple ones were the only ones they had in stock at the store.  This was my way around that… genius!
  • Since we were picking up our packets on race day (and there was a shuttle involved), I knew that I wanted to wear a tank top so I could put The Color Run shirt over it and not have to carry anything while running.
  • Finally, I was going to pack a spray bottle filled with white vinegar.  I read on their site that using white vinegar should help keep the color on the shirt when it is washed.

Race Day

Bre and I (our Running Team of Two) met up around 7:30am and hopped into my car.  As we were driving to the shuttle parking, it started pouring.  The sky was so gray.  We weren’t sure if the race would continue, but we kept going.  The parking lot was already pretty full when we pulled up, and we were there two hours before start time.  We figured the race was still onThere were a bunch of people in tutus and capes.  Lots of people had sunglasses to protect their eyes.  I was dressed in black shorts and gray tank top – not exactly fitting that “all white” attire.  We hopped on the school bus (haven’t been on one of those for a LONG time) and headed to the packet pick-up and starting line.

Once off the bus, we got in the line for the packet pick-up. 

Considering how long the line was, it went pretty fast and you could tell they had it down to a science.  At the first stop, we were checked in (via iPad! Fancy!) and given our bracelet and color packet for the Color Throw at the end of race. 

We ushered over to the next tent and picked up our fake tattoo, white shirt and sweatband (headband).  The next tent had gear for sale, so I purchased a pair of The Color Run socks and just pulled them over my usually running ones (which was pretty tricky to do while standing in the rain and balancing on one foot).

After we were all set, it was only 8:30am.  We took some before photos to show the rain and how white our shirts were before the start. 

We hung out under an overhang with about 200 other runners.


Finally, we decided to go to the starting line.  Apparently, everyone else did too. 

(The lines goes around the bend and back for a while).

We managed to find our way towards the front.  The announcer said there were 6,000 participants in Sunday’s race and 11,000 were in the race the day before.  He did a great job of keeping everyone’s spirits up despite the rain.  He was pumping out some music and telling everyone to dance (which, of course, we all did).  He kept saying how the rain would make for a great base for the color to stick to as we ran, and then he had us doing the wave.  Our favorite parts were watching the umbrellas pop up every so often in the crowd.

A few people were a little anxious to be colored-up, so there were some packets being ripped open and toss around as we all waited.  I definitely ate a big chunk of colored cornstarch before we even took off thanks to the group in front of us.  It’s not tasty, for the record.  It was so funny to see everyone getting hit so early on, and it really made the rain seem like it was not a big deal.

Finally, it was 10am and we were set to start.  The race went out in waves every 10 minutes (to keep it from getting too crowded on the course and to give the Color Throwers time to refresh their supplies).  Thankfully, the rain also slowed down before the official start happened.  Bre and I were in the second wave and took off after the crowd counted down from 10.

The race itself was fairly easy, except for two big (and gradual) hills.  I think we were so amped up for the race, so it didn’t seem bad.  Plus knowing that every 1K we were going to be colorized… well… that made it pretty fun!  The course is not timed and they have music going at some of the color stops.

We were told ahead of time about the “Color Zones,” so we knew that were would be on the outer sides of the road.  We were there to enjoy that “colored goodness!”


The first color was Orange, followed by Pink (which seemed more like Orange), then Yellow:

And finished up with Blue as we neared the end of the course.  When we headed toward the finish line, there were spectators along the course cheering everyone one.  They were laughing at every one coming across the line.  Someone people had more color than others and I was actually surprised at how white our shirts were still.

At that point I took the Saran wrap off my phone as we headed to the “Color Throw” area (smart, right?).   The DJ had music jamming and there was already a crowd of runners hanging out.  We got there just in time for the next “Color Throw.”  Everyone took out their packets and counted down from 10…

Oh my word.  It was a riot.  We could not stop laughing and smiling (probably why I ate so much cornstarch that day).  Here is a great shot of Bre’s hair after that first throw:

We went through a couple more throws and ended up looking like this:

We wandered over to check out the food and drink vendors.  You had to purchase tickets from a tent before going to any food/drink vendor.  We didn’t stay very long as we saw the line for the shuttle busses back to the parking lot were pretty long.  We had to get back as we both had plans for that afternoon.

We got one last photo for our “After” shot:

And I took one of my “new” shoes!  Love them!

We were lucky and the line for the bus moved a lot faster than the reviews from the day before had mentioned.  In no time at all, we were back to the parking lot and shaking ourselves out.  We lined the seats with our towels and spray ourselves down with the vinegar bottle (which made my car smell awesome for a few days).  On my way home, I stopped by to see my family and show them the final result.  I tried to convince my seven-year-old nephew to do it with me next year, but he just looked at me with a “Hell no, you are crazy!” face (well, in his mind it was probably more of a G-rated version than that, but I knew what he really meant).  I think he’ll come around…

When I got home, I quickly cleaned up and hopped in the car with The Husband and my mother-in-law to head into Boston.  We were going in to cheer on my sister-in-law as she crossed the finished line at the Komen 3-Day event.  I was surprised at how easily all the color came off my skin and out of my hair. I only had a few marks that I could not get off, but they were barely noticeable.  The temporary tattoo however, I kept on for a few days!

Man, oh, man.  The Color Run.  They know what’s up.  Happiest 5K on the Planet is right.

100% signing up again next year.  Absolutely worth it!

Questions of the Day:

Have you ever participated in The Color Run in your area?  What did you think of it?

What’s the craziest event (race, concert, etc.) that you have ever been to?


7 thoughts on “The Happiest 5K on the Planet

  1. How fun Sara! I loved reading your description of the run…totally something I can see you having a blast with. I didn’t realize the run happened in multiple states. I’ve looked it up here in MN and I have missed it, but now I know to watch for it next year – yae! Thanks for the heads-up on what should be an awesome event:)

    • Thanks for the comment, Lisse! I’m bummed you missed the one by you! There is also the Color Me Rad race and that seems like the same idea. I can’t wait to hear how it goes if you decide to do it next year (and by “hear”… I really mean “see pictures!”). 🙂

    • Oh it was SUCH a blast! You are going to love it!!! Take lots of pictures (some people had their phones/cameras in Ziploc bags instead of Saran wrap)!!! Clearly, I’m still really excited since I’m using so many exclamation points! Haha 🙂

  2. Pingback: The Countdown Is On « My Healthy Road

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