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  • Welcome! My name is Kelly, and I am a picky eater. On this blog I share recipes, new (to me) foods, restaurants, and products that I try in an effort to expand my tastes. You might also find me talking about my pug Olive, Miss Kitty, Project Life, my journey with running, and more! Feel free to contact me: [email protected]

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Race Recap: Color Run 5K

Last weekend I headed down to Chicago to run my first 5K – The Color Run!  I had planned for this to be my first race ever, but when I decided to do Crazylegs at the last minute, that became my first.  So I guess this would be my second race.  Ever.

The weekend started with a bus trip down on Friday so I could pick up my race bib.  My brother lives in the city and helped me navigate public transportation to get from the bus to the site (train) and then to the car he rented (he has a community car type thing) to take me up to the hotel (bus). Along with the bus and train rides was also quite a bit of walking – probably more than I should have done the day before a race, but it wasn’t to the point that my feet were hurting so I wasn’t too concerned.

Color Run

On our way to packet pickup we ran into Krista!  Krista was one of the people who alerted me that the whole Color Run thing was happening, so I was hoping to see her while I was down for the race.  Krista was taking part in the Color Run also, but she was planning to walk it with some other friends.  I’m glad that I ran into her at that point because I didn’t really know when/where we would be able to see each other on race day.  (As it turns out I ended up getting to the race a bit early, and she got there a bit late, so we never saw each other on race day. 🙁 )

Krista and Me

 My parents came into town for the race as well, so I stayed with them at a hotel in Northbrook – about 20 miles from the race location.  I was a little concerned about being stuck in traffic going to the race because we were so far away, but since they were driving me (and all of the hotels close to the race location were sold out) I decided to just not worry about it and deal with it if it became an issue.

On Saturday morning (race day) we headed out at about 6:30am.  We stopped at a Starbucks to pick up a bagel and cream cheese, and I also had a nutrigrain bar and banana in my room before we left.  The traffic on the way there wasn’t bad at all.  We got there at about 7:30am, and really lucked out and found a place to park in the lot right by the start! At this point I was just anxious to get running.  When we were walking around a bit, I was pleasantly surprised to see that there wasn’t a ton of people already lined up at the start line. (the race started at 8am) I was afraid it was going to be another situation where I had to stand and wait for a long time before I actually started running so I quickly hit up the porta potties and then headed to the start line hoping that a large crowd wouldn’t form too quickly.

There wasn’t too bad of a crowd when I got back to the start line  and the 15 or so minutes that I did have to stand and wait went quickly.  There was an announcer entertaining the crowd as well as great music blasting to keep the energy up.  The weather was beautiful and everyone around me was dancing and laughing – they do like to call it “the happiest 5K” after all.  I ended up going in the second wave, about 5 minutes after 8.  The start was pretty crowded as expected but things actually cleared out pretty quickly after that.  I threw out the idea of videoing the race on Twitter last week and people seemed to like the idea.  I wasn’t sure if I would do it or not for various reasons, but I ended up just going for it.  Since I was using my phone to video that meant that I didn’t have music to run to, and I couldn’t track my pace/time/etc.  I decided that was ok.  The race isn’t timed anyways so I figured I’d just have an estimate of what my time was with the length of my video and that was good enough.  My music was harder to give up, but luckily the race was pretty high energy as it was and I had no problem just running to the sounds of the race.

Color Run

It seemed like a really long time before I hit the first “color zone.”  Once it was visible up ahead though you could tell everyone picked up their pace.  The poof of color in the air up ahead was pretty cool, and you could hear people cheering.  The point of this race was to get filled with color – so that is what I aimed to do.  I heard from Kayla that in order to really pick up the color you had to basically stand in front of one of the people throwing it, so that is what I did.   I was wearing sunglasses, so I wasn’t worried about getting it in my eyes, but I closed my mouth tight so I didn’t inhale the dust.  On the other side of the color zone, I checked to see where there was color on me, and there was a bit but definitely not a whole lot – good thing there were 3 more zones ahead!

As I ran the rest of the race, I didn’t push myself too hard, but I wanted to run as much of the time as I could.  I felt like I was going at a pretty steady pace, but I did stop to walk a couple of times for about a minute.  Since I wasn’t timing myself, I had no idea how fast I was actually going. The race course was a flat out and back along the lake.

Color Run

(This isn’t me, I just thought it was a good illustration of what the “color zones” were like)

The next three “color zones” seemed to come quickly.  I used the same strategy as I had for the first one and eventually I was covered in color.  When I crossed the finish line I couldn’t believe it was already the end.  I was barely out of breath and felt really good.  Then I looked at the time and it was 8:35am.  The race started at 8am, and it was around 8:05 when I actually started.  So I ran/walked it in 30 minutes?  That can’t be right, there is no way that I was going at that pace with how good I felt. Hmm.  I looked more into it after the fact and a lot of people on the Chicago Color Run Facebook page are saying that their own tracking said it was more like around 2.6 miles rather than the 3.1 of a normal 5K.  Although that still seems on the fast side for me considering I walked a bit, it is much a more reasonable pace.


(I obviously had lost a bit of color by this point, but this is after the race back in the hotel room)

Overall I had a lot of fun with this race! I didn’t get AS colorfied as I thought I would, but I was definitely colorful at the end of it.  I enjoyed how laid back it was, but I’m glad that wasn’t really my first race as I had originally planned.  As much as I would have been stressed out about getting my packet, travel, parking, getting there on time, running the whole thing, etc probably would not have been worth it for the 30 minutes of running.  Don’t get me wrong, I really love the concept, and if it was somewhere that wasn’t an overnight stay away I would definitely do it again.  I also really enjoyed that there were people of all ages, shapes, and sizes doing this race!  If there is a Color Run in your area I definitely suggest signing up!  It is a fun party-like atmosphere and a great way to get some exercise! There is a Color Run in Milwaukee on August 24th, registration opens very soon so if you are interested I encourage you sign up!!

Color Face

Now I bet you all are wondering where the video is that I took during the race.  Well, it didn’t exactly turn out – and that is is putting it nicely.  The plastic bag over the camera did weird things to the picture, it was very bumpy from me running, during the color zones I put my arms in the air with my phone in hand so you can’t really see any of that anyways, AND my phone ran out of storage space so it didn’t even record to the end.  Fail.

Oh, and since I was videoing (or thought I was) I couldn’t photograph, so thanks to my parents for taking most of the photos that I used in this post!

4 Responses

  1. I’ve really been thinking about doing this race as well, but can’t decide. I love the idea, but the price seems a bit high and I think I’d rather have it be more competitive. I think that this is a really great event though for lots of people though (especially those who might be trying their first 5k).

    I love the last picture with all the color on your face! 🙂

    • Thanks!

      I think this race would be more fun to do with a bunch of friends, and I think if I did it again I’d stop and take photos more and try to get more color – since time doesn’t matter, its really more about the color. And yeah, it is a little pricey. I think I paid as much for this race as I did for Crazylegs which I bought the week before the race!

  2. This is awesome! I was wondering how they did the color. I am glad you did it, since I bet there are very few experiences like this in the world… definitely more about the fun than the time- but it sounds like you did great! Congrats!

  3. […] It was  good thing since I was walking it and she was running it and we ended up not seeing each other the day of the race.  (You can read her race post here.) […]

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