The Wonderful World of Color
By Zachary Risinger
It was 6:30 a.m. and the alarm on my iPhone blared at me to get out of bed. It was Sunday, April 22, and it was the morning of The Color Run.
Having absent-mindedly signed up in February at the request of a friend and having completely no idea what it was at the time (until I watched the videos they put on their website), it had completely slipped my mind until about a week before. I was going to go over to the OC Great Park with some friends from the Running Club, and I was going to meet my friends that I signed up with at the event since they don’t go to UC Irvine.
The drive over there was an adventure all in itself. The line to get into the park took us over half an hour, and we watched runners pass us by who parked miles down the street in order to avoid the line. There was a couple that ran by in tutus on the way in, much to our own amusement. It was only a preview of just how crazy and ridiculous our day would be.
So, here’s the basic concept of The Color Run: run a 5K, after each kilometer there are people throwing colored powder on you. That’s basically it. Simple concept, but it translates to a ridiculous amount of fun. The Color Run’s claim to being the happiest 5K on Earth definitely proved to be true.
The first color that was thrown onto us was yellow. Volunteers lined the sides of the course, pigment in their hands at the ready. Runners, arms thrown into the air, ran and laughed through the stretch of people tossing the powder at shirts, legs and just about anything else they could aim at. It was tough to see as we ran through the cloud of color, and the yellow powder that hit me directly in my left eye wasn’t helping. I’ll be damned if I wasn’t laughing and having the time of my life through the whole experience though.
Every kilometer proved to be much the same, with different colors being thrown at us at every station. We stopped to take pictures after every station to track our progress as we went from being completely clean to being almost unrecognizable technicolor runners for the day.
That being said, it hardly even felt like we had just run a 5K. Having been a cross-country runner in high school, I’ve ran my fair share of 5Ks, but The Color Run felt unnaturally short. Perhaps the saying that time flies when you’re having fun also applies to running distances.
But even after the run had been completed, the fun didn’t stop there. Part of the race package that is given to every runner includes a color packet of your own that is to be saved until the end of the race when everyone throws the color into the air at the same time. While runners from our heat trickled in, runners colored from head to toe in neon powder danced their tired little hearts out. People were taking pictures, dancing, throwing color around (even though we’re supposed to hold onto the color until the end) and generally having an awesome time.
The “color throw” (as they call it) was a great way to end the day. A countdown was initiated, and all at once a cloud of colors exploded into the sky and subsided over the crowd of cheering runners.
Through everything, what I took from the day is that sometimes, we don’t need an excuse to do something just for fun. The Color Run isn’t even timed, and you don’t even have to run the thing if you don’t want to. The point, more or less, is to just get out there and do something ridiculous for the sake of it. I highly recommend it, even if you’re not a runner. It’s 100 percent worth it.
Check out thecolorrun.com for more information and future dates.