The Color Run 5K Race Report

Run, The Color Run, 5K, Happiest 5K on the Planet, Shine Tour

I’ve run a lot of races of varying distances over the past few years, but I wouldn’t say that I’ve ever done a “fun” race. I always see advertisements for mud runs, zombie runs, obstacle runs, and color runs

The Color Run always looked like a blast! 

Until recently the dates just never worked out for my schedule. I was super excited when I saw the advertisement that The Color Run was looking for race ambassadors. I applied, was selected, and started recruiting for Team Unapologetically You!

The Logistics

The Color Run DC was a huge event. I tend to set my expectations low in regards to logistics for events of this size because I’ve had a few bad experiences. I was happy to discover that The Color Run DC had their act together.

We were running way late the morning of the race. As we pulled into National Harbor the traffic was heavy. I was concerned that we would not make it in time, but there were people directing traffic to the parking garages where there was plenty of space for everyone and you were within a short walk to the registration/start area. 

I had my race packet mailed to me. This cost a few dollars (if I remember correctly I think it was ~$14), but I live an inconvenient distance from DC to travel up two days in a row. At the time I registered there wasn’t any information published about day-of packet pickup. My mom, aunt, and cousin joined my team a little too close to race day to have packets mailed to them. We were able to pick up their packets race morning. When we arrived the line for packet pickup was long. There was only one line and one pickup tent. Surprisingly, it moved pretty quick.

The Happiest 5K on the Planet

The Color Run is not an actual race. There is no official timing, and participants can start any time between 9:00-9:30 am. 

Once we had our bibs we took some “before” pictures then went to line up. 

Since there were so many people participating in The Color Run, runners line up in the start chute and every few minutes a certain number of people get to start. I’m not really sure how long we waited. I didn’t have a watch on {weird!}. The waiting wasn’t so bad– there was a DJ playing energizing music and throwing prizes out to the crowd. I actually ended up winning a color run cross body bag that was tossed to the crowd. Pretty cool. Since I already had a color run fanny pack I gave the bag to my aunt.

Shine On!

The first section of the course went along the water. It was beautiful. We were in no hurry so we walked, took in the scenery, and chatted until we came across the first color station. 

There were some fun signs as you approached the color stations, and since we were in no hurry, we took pictures at every single one. About halfway through we realized that there were quotes on the back of the signs too! As we entered each zone I turned on the GoPro to capture the fun.

Run, The Color Run, 5K, Happiest 5K on the Planet, Shine Tour
Hello yellow! I really had no idea what to expect as we approached the yellow color station. This was my first ever color run!

I’ll start by saying that it is not what you’d expect based off the “official” color run photos you can find online. They make it look so magical. Really, it’s just a group of volunteers with oversized squirt bottles tossing colored powder on you. It was still fun– just different from my expectations.

Click here to view the GoPro video from the yellow color station.

Run, The Color Run, 5K, Happiest 5K on the Planet, Shine Tour
Of course we all looked pretty in pink after going through the pink color station! Before going through pink I didn’t feel like I had very much color on me. Between the GoPro, race bib, and fanny pack– most of my clothing was covered. I ended up knocking loose color off my GoPro after each station.
Click here to view the GoPro video from the pink color station.

Run, The Color Run, 5K, Happiest 5K on the Planet, Shine Tour
Orange is obviously the new everything! We were having fun taking a progressive picture of our colors as we completed each color station.
Click here to view the GoPro video from the orange color station.
The yellow, pink and orange stations were relatively close together. There was a bit of a walk between orange and the next station.
Speaking of the next station– it was, by far, the coolest of the color stations. The sparkle station was next! As we approached, there were sparkles everywhere. The volunteers looked awesome coated in glitter! I was actually expecting to have glitter on me for days, but alas, it all came out in the shower.
Click here to view the GoPro video from the sparkle station.

“Fun comes in all colors when you’re at @thecolorrun! #happiest5k #shineon #sweatpink”

Run, The Color Run, 5K, Happiest 5K on the Planet, Shine Tour
Blue was the final color. Welcome to Smurf Town!
The blue was so blue. You can see from the picture that it completely overtook everything. Blue would have been awesome as the first color– then all the lighter colors could have overlaid it nicely. Instead, we finished mostly blue. If you look real close it’s sparkly blue from the previous station. A little girl with very blond hair went through the station at the same time as us. When I saw here on the other side her entire head was blue. I can’t imagine that came out very easily!
Click here to view the GoPro video from the blue color station.
After going through the BLUE-tiful zone, you walk along the water again to the finish. As we were getting close to the finish area we saw my mom, Nick and Sarge. We stopped and talked for a minute. Sarge was so excited to see us! I think all the color was confusing for her. Someone wanted to pet her when they walked by and the white fur around her mouth got a little blue color on it and I got sparkles on her. Sarge got to experience a bit of the color run herself 🙂
The finish line was kind of a let down. It would have been neat to have more color as you went through. Or even bubbles like they had at the start line. There really wasn’t even anyone hanging out near the finish line either. A volunteer handed participants a finishers’ medal, two color packets, and directed us towards the bottled water and Kind Bars.
I saw someone with a leaf blower helping runners rid themselves of loose colored powder. There was also the finisher’s festival with music and planned color releases. We decided not to go to the festival.

Run, The Color Run, 5K, Happiest 5K on the Planet, Shine Tour

Final Thoughts
The Color Run was a lot of fun! I’m glad we participated. Will I do another one? Maybe. I probably wouldn’t go out of my way to do one though.
During the event I was thankful for the fanny pack and sunglasses.
I was a little concerned about getting color everywhere on the way home, and having trouble getting it out of my clothes and GoPro chest strap. But I had no problem at all. My hands were coated in blue sparkles but it didn’t come off when touching things. I ended up taking my color clothes off outside and hoping in the shower right away. There was nothing in my hair and as soon as I got wet, the color came right off. We pre-washed my clothes outside in a bucket {mostly just to keep loose color out of the washing machine} and everything came out in the first rinse.
All in all, this was a fun way to spend a Sunday morning!

You can view all the photos from our Color Run adventure here.

Tell me– have you participated in The Color Run {or similar event}? What is your favorite type of fun run?
This post is linked up with The Silvah Lining for #TuesdayTales, The Fit Foodie Mama for #WildWorkoutWednesday, and Jill for #FitnessFriday. Make sure to stop by and show these ladies some love!

All videos were taken with the GoPro Hero 3+ Silver.
If you enjoyed this post, you might like 7 Tips to Help You Prepare for The Color Run.

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