Sunday, April 1, 2012

Race Report: The Color Run - Atlanta

So for the first time in nearly six (yes, you read that right!) weeks, I don't have a bag packed to go anywhere. It boggles my mind all that's gone down in the last 6 weeks, and truly, I think I'm still internally processing all the emotion that has gone through my head. But this isn't about sentimental stuff, this is about the HAPPIEST 5K ON EARTH (true statement), The Color Run!

If you haven't heard of the gloriousness that is the Color Run, here's the low-down: it's a 5K race, all for charity. Each city has its own specific benefactor, so in the case of Atlanta, it was for Children's Network Hospitals (#FTK!). The only rule for the race is that you're required to wear a white shirt. At each K, there's a load of volunteers gathered up to throwing paint powder (what we learned is colored cornstarch) at you, and literally dyes you as you continue along the course. In your race packet, you're given a color packet of your own, and there's a giant paint-powder-throwing-party at the end for all the participants. AMAZING. So... here goes our fun!

I will start by saying that after a few rough weeks, this was exactly what I needed. Happy times. Join me on our photo adventure of the day!

The Atlanta Color Run was all around the perimeter roads of Piedmont Park, which is this gorgeous hub in downtown Atlanta, and home to the Atlanta Botanical Gardens. It's absolutely gorgeous, and we got an even more gorgeous morning for the run, given all the rain we got on Friday. So this was pretty exciting as it was -- great weather, and a race we have been waiting for for MONTHS? Perfection. Heather and I were saying we felt like we registered for this race years ago, even though it was only in January.


Three sorority sisters, minus one. We found her later!

Already pumped.

Team Flair for Theatrics, ready to go!
 I'm not really sure how our group got so large, but really... it was awesome. I had mentioned the Color Run to Jennifer, who I met way back when at the Madison Christmas 8K. She got our team going, and two of her friends signed up. Then Heather joined up, as did two of our sisters, Andie and Mandi. Andie and her (real) sister joined, and a friend of hers. I then got my boss all excited, and his wife joined too! Then the grad that I work with, Jeff, got all pumped and he joined TOO. So much awesomeness in one team.
Team CSO - me, Josh, and Jeff.

Jennifer, racing friend!

Our friend's post-race powder packet started to leak, so a few of us got eye pink before the race started. :)
 So one of the major downsides (if you can call it that) is that there are SO many people coming to do this race... while the race starts at 9 am, it takes nearly 45 minutes to get everyone through the starting point. Can you imagine? We learned that every 5 minutes, they let about 1,000 people through -- do the math, there had to be at least 10,000ish people there yesterday. Insanity. We didn't get through the starting banners until 9:45, and there were at least two more groups' worth of people behind us! So crazy!

It kind of made me more antsy, because there were people already done by the time we were just starting -- so we got to watch the color cloud appear in the valley of the park while we stood there, still clean and white. Torture!

I will say, that this isn't exactly what I would call a race -- unless you were in one of the first two or three groups to get started, this was a brisk walk/jog (jog if you were lucky!). Bottlenecks definitely got a little crazy before each color tunnel, so it was mostly a walk. But a good one at that, given that I haven't ran much at all lately. Let it also be noted that for these facts, the Color Run is NOT timed. :)
Do you SEE that massive cloud of powder!

After yellow (1K)!
 Another unfortunate part of where the race happened was that it was on a few major streets around Piedmont. So we got a full street lane to ourselves, plus the side walk. Some areas got so congested you had no choice but to get back on the sidewalk.

So after yellow, I jumped back on the sidewalk and landed in one of the patches of grass that dipped a little bit, and promptly rolled my ankle when I landed. Not awesome. It didn't hurt too badly to finish (walking/jogging) the run, but lord does it hurt today!

All greened out.

After pink -- pink throwers were by far the best people there. They made sure they got you from head to toe.
 As the caption says, the pink throwers were by FAR the best!
All I see is color. :)

Giant powder paint party at the end -- SO much fun!
 So right as you turn the corner from purple, you get corraled through the end into the giant paint powder party. Cue opening your packet, and just jumping up and down, dancing and throwing your paint powder in the air - SO fun! We had teal, so that was super exciting (who doesn't like adding a new color to the mix?!).
Our shoes turned out pretty too!

This is one of my faves from the day.

I just reall thought the asphalt looked neat.

Team OPA, all colorfied.
Tebowing at purple.


Team CSO, after.

Not gonna lie, I used to REALLY want blue streaks in my hair. Now I've got 'em.
It was quite the adventure getting home (make sure you bring towels in your car). We stripped nearly everything off on Heather's porch just to be sure we didn't color-fy her whole house while we were at it. Powder had gotten through my shoes, through my socks, and dyed my feet pretty well - my toes and heels are still purple today. 
The Color Run pre-race information also suggestions (especially for folks with light hair) to use oil or dry shampoo/condition on your hair. I'm sure glad we did dry shampoo, given that the teal streaks stayed pretty well -- I can only imagine what they'd look like if I hadn't prepped my fresh blonde highlights (oops!). Today, the four blue streaks I have make it look like I'm five years old again and spent too long in a chlorinated swimming pool (so you can imagine, really, the teal looks like faded green today).

If you have the chance to still sign up for your city's Color Run -- do it!

Like I said, after a rough few weeks, this was a great way to turn things around! Definintely worth the hype, the chaos of the morning, and waiting 45 minutes to get anywhere! Back to nursing the ankle -- I've got a half marathon in four weeks! Wish me luck! (And I promise I'll be around a little more often)


  1. Jealous you already had yours. My registration hasn't even opened yet!

  2. it looks like you had soooo much fun! interesting that yours was so big. we definitely didnt have that many in ours, wow. but this does sound like exactly what you needed:) hope your ankle feels better!

    1. Seriously, ours was huge! Not sure the cap, but they definitely surpassed it. I'm curious how big their Encore run was, to boot.

  3. Y'all had green and purple - soooooooo jealous! You were totally smashed in color, love it!!

    1. It was such an awesome run - definitely plan on doing it again, just for the color fun! So much fun overall. I'm really curious how they determine colors for cities, or if it's just willy-nilly "Oh, today we'll do blue, orange, pink and yellow." I find it interesting! Would also love to volunteer one year just so I can throw the stuff at people too!