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Sunday, May 20, 2012

RACE RECAP: The Color Run - Racine

Jen & Brenda ... nice and clean
I'm not sure this technically qualifies as a race because it's not chip timed and the organizers specifically call it the happiest run.  It really is because running is totally optional.  But let's back up... the races apparently fill up very fast so if registration is open where you live - sign up fast!  A few days before the race we received an email with a LOT of information including the fact that there are a lot of participants and lines would be long.  They were right - the line was L-O-N-G.

Thankfully, the check-in was pretty painless and the line moved quickly.  We were given our bib at check-in, a bracelet to get into the beer tent later and then went to another table to get pins.  Then came my least favorite part of the race, you were supposed to pick up your T-shirt and race bag before the race.  We didn't think we'd have enough time to get back to the car before the start and they didn't have gear check so we took a chance and left without any of it.

The Blue Push Team
Our team was made up of a few of Brenda's teammates from BDC and their spouses/significant others and after leaving the registration area we met up with the rest of the team and got some "before" shots.  Photo credit goes to the Leah and Ann - thanks ladies!  After a few great group shots and some dancing in the street (they played some really great music while we were waiting to start) they sent off the first wave.  Each wave was made up of about 1000 people and after the first wave left we moved up the street a little, more dancing and soon we were off and running.

I hadn't run since Wednesday and hadn't gotten a ton of sleep the last several days so I wasn't sure how this was going to work.  I figured I'd use the fact that it wasn't a "race" to my advantage and kinda take it easy.  I ran in 10 minute intervals with 2 minutes walking in between.  Each kilometer was marked with a color zone that was about 40 yards long.  There were people on both sides of the street and in the center of the street throwing a corn starch like substance at you.  They generally aimed for the hip/back/forearm area to avoid getting too much in our faces which was nice.  I ran with my water bottle (because it was really hot) and I was glad I did so that I could at least take small sips of water because even though they didn't aim for your face it's powder and windy so it gets in your face/mouth anyway.

Going through the color zone
I was a little ways out from the 2nd color zone when I started to walk so I pulled our my camera to get a couple of shots going through the color cloud.  I kept my camera in a ziploc bag to protect it from the color so pardon the fuzziness of the photo.  Color throwers stood with 5 gallon buckets and generally used their hands to toss the substance at you.  When it hit your skin it actually felt pretty cool, which was nice.  There was also a nice breeze off the lake from time to time which helped keep me cool.

Blue Push? I don't see much blue!
I thought the one bad part about the race itself was the water stop.  All the water was on one side of the road and it was sitting on the sidewalk, rather than being handed out.  This caused quite a lot of congestion with people stopping.  Thankfully the water was cold and I grabbed it, drank it all and was back running. A few more color zones to pass through and soon I was close to the finish.  The race seemed to go much faster than I expected probably because of the distraction of the color zones.  There were a lot of spectators out on the sidewalks which was nice too.  Even a cow bell - definitely always fun!  As I was about 0.4 miles out from the finish I spotted Brenda coming towards me.  She told me the finish line was close and asked if I wanted to run it in.  That had been my plan so we picked it up and headed to the finish.  There was plenty of water (which was good because at the last color zone I'd gotten some of the powder in my throat so I wanted to wash it out) at the finish line and I think I guzzled 3 cups of it.

No purple hair - that was a bummer
Luckily, after the race was over we circled back to the registration area and they had a couple of packets left so we picked them up (which was cool because then we had our color packets to throw in the air) and our T-shirts.  I wasn't sure how we'd find the other team members because there were so many people.  The newspaper reported that there were about 7500 people - it was crazy.  But we found them and got some great after shots, danced some more and took part in one of the rainbow color clouds - where they count down from 10 and anyone with a color packets throws the color in the air to blanket everyone.  It was cool but I, again, inhaled a little too much.  Oops!

Sassy Sisters!
We danced a little more and then Ann suggested we get some ice cream.  I've never met her before but I like the way she thinks!  They had gotten to Racine a little early and spotted an ice cream shop near the starting line.  So we headed up there and I got a single scoop of Coconut Joy ice cream.  It was delicious and a great way to end the race.  All in all I'd have to say that if they are doing one of these runs in your area - sign up fast because they fill up quickly and they are a lot of fun.  Not surprisingly I want to do another one!!


  1. Nice job! I LOVE the color station. Fantastic! I just visited your blog for the first time today and your journey is so inspiring!

    1. Thank you! It was so much fun!!