Yesterday I did my first Color Run 5K in Baltimore. If you’re thinking about doing a Color Run, do it! It’s known as the “happiest 5K on the planet,” and it is. Everyone is happy — the volunteers, the 25,000 runners (dang!), the staff. Even the cops providing security on a Sunday afternoon were having a blast.
After we arrived, I could tell my husband started feeling a bit envious that I was in the race and he wasn’t. Although he perked up when he spotted the La Cakeie cakemobile. He quickly ordered and devoured the (aptly named) Ribbon Cake.
He did promise to run with me next year.
How Did I Do?
The Color Run is not a traditional 5K — it is not timed. It’s all about having a good time while exercising and raising money for local charities. I did this race for the experience and not with the idea of setting records.
I still made a point of looking at my phone for my start time — 1:46.
This was my first race without any inclines. The whole route stayed around the Camden Yards ballpark — home of the Baltimore Orioles. An easy route, my pace started faster than normal, usually meaning I won’t finish strong. But I had such a great time during the race, I ended up with my best race time yet.
When I crossed the finish line, the time on my phone read 2:34. Holy cow…48 minutes!
My last 5K, The Goblin Gallop, I ran/walked in 55 minutes. Wow!
Why was this one quicker? For the Goblin Gallop, my interval training lasted only 1 mile. During The Color Run, my interval training spanned the entire race. I’m not sure if it was the sensory overload or the sheer amount of fun, but I never felt tired.
In fact, I can’t believe to cross the finish line when I did. It didn’t feel like I just ran/walked 3.1 miles.
Of course, I paid for that great time when I got home. My right knee and left ankle started swelling. This morning I woke up to very sore legs.
Thankfully today’s muscle workout helped to relieve the stiffness. I plan on an easy walk this afternoon to help with the soreness.
Some Color Run Advice
If you want to do a Color Run, here are some tips for you:
- This is not the race for designer tracksuits! The color is just powdered cornstarch and does come off…mostly.
- Keep your phone in a plastic bag. Trust me, the color gets everywhere!
- Ladies, before the race, use leave on hair conditioner or spray coconut oil in your hair…you’ll thank me later (especially if you’re a blonde)!
- No makeup! Just makes it easier for the color to come off in the shower. Plus, why would you exercise wearing makeup anyway?
- Regardless of time of year, always wear white. It’s the best way to proudly display your colors.
- Arrive early! The crowds are huge — 25,000+. Runners are released in waves. I was in the second wave. The last wave of runners started as I crossed the finish line.
- Prepare for the color zones. Along the 5K route, I ran through five color zones – yellow, orange, purple, green and blue. When you hit one of these zones volunteers squirt you with the colored cornstarch. I wish I had my sunglasses on to protect my eyes from the powder. Some people wore bandanas over their nose and mouth. But that means no multicolored tongue!
- If you want a lot of color on you, run on outer edges of the color zones. The volunteers will nail you! Less color? Run straight down the middle of the zone.
- Stay for the after party! The Color Run is one big party with a 5K in the middle. It has a DJ, Zumba class, food vendors, and lots of color!