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I asked for colored corn starch to be chucked in my face. Actually, I demanded it like a neurotic nutcase. I was a protagonist when I said in so few words, bring it! Even though they were strangers who hadn’t been regaled by my first-world problems, they were thrilled to throw color at my moving meat target.

The fearless fun of a color run.

As an official finisher, these hacks were how I maximized the fun run.

Wear White

I signed up for the color run with the hope of getting coated in color. I expected the color to coat my hair, shirt, and nostrils.

So, I wore the registration shirt (conveniently white), white shorts, and tube socks. The only thing that wasn’t pale was my shoes which were old trail running shoes that happened to be bright orange, so they were festive too.

Normally, I avoid white clothes like Saturday morning spam calls, but for this event, I purchased the full outfit. I bought my shirt with the registration package because I wanted a souvenir and rarely do competitive events, so the chances of it adding to an overstuffed shirt collection is unlikely.

White shorts were bought from Goodwill. I was surprised to find a pair in my size for $3.19, which my budget handled easily. White tube socks were bought online because there are some things I don’t shop for secondhand.

I tried to preserve the color with a few applications of vinegar, but washing machines are too efficient because the color drained out after the first wash. There is a hint of color at the armpits, but overall it’s still white.

Even though I couldn’t get the color to stain, it was worth the effort. It’s good for my soul to have moments of unconventional. It keeps the neuroses at bay.

Throwing On Shades

Wearing eye protection wasn’t mandatory but necessary.

Some online articles suggested goggles, but I used my glasses which worked well. I have photochromatic shades (automatic dimming), which are fancy and worth the expense. It’s nice when glasses automatically fade to grey when the sun is doing its best to blind.

I contemplated wearing contacts and sunglasses, but I harked back to living in the desert and grains of sand annoying my eyes and lids with and without contacts. I didn’t want an annoyance to become a colorful saga, so I opted out of contacts.

Turned out to be an excellent choice because as I ran through each color station, the cloud of color was enormous, and even if I didn’t get blasted in the face with color, the odds of getting color near my eye were better than standing line sweats.

I brought a tiny cleaning cloth too. It got covered with color, but it was handy to have something for the big chunks.

Start Early

My jogging partner and I arrived early like 7 am when it starts at 8.

I’m so glad we dragged our sleepy heads from dreamland to get there questionably early.

First, we had a general idea of where we were going, but there was plenty of room for error. Error we did, as we tried to find the correct parking area and didn’t. This lead to a few false starts but eventually figuring it out.

Second, we found a sweet spot at the front with zero effort.

Third, we had plenty of time to explore the terrain before we started. We could jump up on the giant unicorn display with no line. We could stand stoic and proud in the glittery photo box. And we could use the bathroom before they became an increased hygiene liability.

We managed to get to the head of the line before there was a line and had plenty to watch as the starting chute filled with eager, white-uniformed humans. When we got bored of that, we watched the ever-growing line for parking.

My zeal was firmed around the idea, if I’m going to do it once, I’m going big, getting there early, and will enjoy every minute.

And I did.

Your dreams should include something more than a dream house.

Maximum Gratitude, Minimal Stuff

Fearlessly Fun

A few other insights for color run delights:

  • Bring a companion, if you can. Fun is best when shared.
  • Scoop up snacks. There were stands with treats for finishers. Some were tasty, some were questionable, but all were free.  
  • Hydrate before. The staff offered water at one marker, but water was limited. It was a boon to be hydrated before and not search for an oasis when I was colorfully caked. 
  • Use the buff in your registration kit or bring your own. I covered my nose and mouth as I passed through each station while encouraging staff to give me their best shot. It was more fun to interact with staff than keeping my mouth shut to prevent a colorful mouthful.
  • Bring enthusiasm. Even though the color run is 99.89% fun, I still had jittery nervousness. I reframed that energy into enthusiasm which increased my enjoyment and brought humor to the people I interacted with.
  • Bring a change of clothes or a bag. I brought both but changed into clothes instead of a bag. I was excessively proud of my color and didn’t want to hide it. Wearing a sports bra and spandex shorts underneath the white attire which was smart because there was a foam station at the finish line!

The only flicker of sadness was how short the event seemed compared to my preparation; months of anticipation for hours of fun.

It was still worth each of the 240 minutes, but it was yet another reminder to focus on the journey, it’s longer than the destination.

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2 thoughts on “Color Run Hacks

  1. Yeah, this is clearly not in my Boomer playbook. I ran 15 marathons and many 5K’s but never anything where people threw stuff in my face. Nah, I’ll pass. I’m sure there is some reason these things are popular but it totally escapes me. The races I ran were like near death experiences. Running as fast as you can for over three hours, its awful. But trotting at a leisurely pace while people throw powder at you? Yep, that’s an OK Boomer for me.

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