I had been waiting for a chance to embark on what’s billed as “The Happiest 5K” for a very long time. It was with much envy I would look over my Australian and American friends’ photos as they appeared, longing for the day I too could spend 3 miles getting doused in powder paint and positively skipping for joy. Luckily for me, The Color Run announced their first ever UK date several months ago and, suffice to say, I was already setting a reminder telling me to sign up.
Fast forward from that initial sign up date to yesterday. Myself, Tom and our friends Laura & Stuart were all dressed in white and ready to go. On arriving at Wembley (the rather unpicturesque London location chosen for the run) we were greeted by a sea of enthusiastic, tutu-ed and temporary tattooed runners who all resembled what I imagine would happen if the cast of “Fame” met the 118 commercial.
After milling around in the 30C heat for a while, we joined in with a token warm up, humoured a poor Welsh compere whose voice (and jokes) seemed worse for wear and eventually made our way round to the start line. Due to the sheer volume (around 15,000 I believe) of participants, we were released in waves of 1000. Luckily we made the third wave and so there was mimimal time spent getting sweatily aqcquainted with all those packed in around you.
The whole premise of The Color Run is that it is a untimed, family friendly 5K event that insists runners start as white as possible and then celebrates every KM (or so) run by covering you in specially formulated powder paint that coats your body from head to toe.
I KNOW. Awesome.
We ran through flurries of pink, blue (/purple), yellow and orange paint storms to much amusement and delight. I have no idea why this relatively simple concept brings such fun to the masses but it does. You look ridiculous but feel wonderful and no matter how many times you’re warned not to open your mouth when you run through the colour throws, you still end up squealing, smiling and inhaling powder like a pro.
We had all agreed this was not a race to be “ran”, so to speak. We adopted a casual jog/walk/pose for pictures/shuffle past the crowd technique that saw us finish the route covered in colour in just under 50 minutes which, considering the heat, was about long enough spent on the course.
At the end we were greeted with various flavours of Coconut Water (which I still can’t bring myself to love. It should just taste so much nicer than it actually does. Sigh) and bottles of water. We then deemed it a good idea to join a queue for a free jumping photo in the Dulux tent. Wrong. An hour or so later we finally were treated to a jump on a trampette whilst having a photo taken on an iPad.
To be fair, we did actually get a physical print out of said high quality photographic masterpiece which is more than I expected so all was not lost. We then joined in the post run rave party and the infamous colour tosses. Amazing.
Overall it was an amazing day and an incredible event. Being the first in this country there did appear to be a few teething problems (namely sound issues at the start) and I was somewhat disappointed there wasn’t more (/any) music around the course. Tom has already volunteered to run with a Boom Box next time which is something I’m now very much looking forward to and will be sure to remind him of when the time comes.
So here’s hoping this becomes an annual summer event here in London! 5K, tonnes of paint, perfect blue skies and wonderful company make it very difficult to be anything other than blissfully happy. I even still have pink hair a day (and 2 washes) later. Happiness. Defined.