Today my friend Kelly and I participated for the first time in the Color Run 5k (known as the Happiest 5k ont the planet) up in Racine, WI. This is my first official 5k, so I was way excited! The weather was going to be a lot colder than it had been recently (it was about 50 degrees or so) so I could not longer wear the cute tank top I wanted to. I went over to Goodwill yesterday and picked up a men's xl long sleeve workout shirt for 3.99 and shnazed it up.
I did not know if I was going to get hot after the run, so I cut off the sleeves and reattached them with cool multicolored ribbon. This way I could pull the ribbon and rip off the sleeves if I got hot. I also cut up the sides and resewed them with the ribbon again to sinch it in.
I also picked up this white hoodie at Goodwill for 4.99 just in case it was uber cold, hey the race is on Lake Michigan and anyone in IL and WI knows how unpredictable it could be as far as temperature.
I decided to use the tips and recap format for this post, so enjoy!
To save time and hassle, pick up your race packet the day before:
We headed up to Racine after work yesterday and sat in horrendous traffic on 94. I was just in WI two weeks ago and some how missed the 4 lanes merging to 2 for 3-4 miles. Once we got to Racine the pickup was right off the highway. They had awesome Color Run signs and a good amount of parking. Total kudos to the Color Run, this pickup was organized to the T. We got our bibs, wristbands, and shirt packets (with tattoos, shirt, headband, and safety pins). Note: The shirts run a bit small. I switched from a large to a medium, it is a bit tight but still comfortable. I am not sure how they are men's. They also had the store set up and a stand selling Kringles. Kringles are a Racine thing and very much enjoyed in WI and IL. Learn more about them here. They also had the store set up, I saw a shirt I like but I did not buy it, guess I will be buying it online now.
We got to pick our own color packet. Kelly got purple and I got teal. We ended up keeping them and not throwing them.
Color Run themed cookie and Kringle, great personalized souvenir
Day of the race, get there early to get great parking and a good spot in the corral:
I got up at 5am to get ready and head over to pick Kelly up and make our way up to Racine. Zero traffic at that time so bonus there. I wanted to get there early because there were so many parking options and some where quite a walk to the start. We got super close parking and only walked 2-3 minutes to the actual pre race area. They did a great job prepping for this race, very well organized! There were plenty of potta potties, free water, Kind bars, Coconut water, and food for purchase. They had pre race Zumba going on at the main stage which was cool. 7:45am we decided to get in the corral and line up, so glad we did as we were in wave 2. They had a guy getting the crowd excited, they were throwing freebies and beach balls- it certainly made the 20 minutes of standing around in the cold more enjoyable!
Walking from parking to the race area
They had these cute, fun signs everywhere!
In the corral, behind arch 2 meant we were wave 2
Stop and take photos and wear a bandana!
Well I started out the run good taking pictures but after the first color zone I failed until the end. 15 minutes after the first wave we were off. I am so glad we were in front because as we were finishing, they were still starting new waves! We turned the first corner and it was all up hill, argh I hope the whole run was not going to be like this. The first color was pink and it was about .5 miles in. We did not know to stay on the sides if you want color and were in the middle and pinkless after this zone.
Heading into Pink, this zone was sponsored by Victoria's Secret, awesome!
After pink it seemed like quite awhile before the next zone. They had music on the course and people everywhere cheering on the runners, it was a lot of fun. Our mentality was to keep the walking to a bare minimum. I walked a handful of times but only for 30 seconds or so. I had a bit of a side cramp but worked it out. Next up was yellow, we got way more color this time. This is where the bandana would have been key if we had pulled it over our mouth. Yellow resulted in a direct spray of cornstarch in my mouth, yup I was spitting yellow now!
Right at the half way point was water and bathroom, we grabbed water and kept on chugging along. Next up was orange, remembered the bandana and got covered in bright orange. We were feeling good, not too hot not too cold. They save blue for last. Someone got aggressive with the blue and pelted Kelly, she had it all over her hair and back of the shirt. People were so happy in the color stations, runners were rolling in the color. It was awesome running up and seeing how excited the volunteers were to spray you with color. There were even little kids getting into it!
The last .4 mile stretch we would see the end. We cautiously approached a major down hill and then sprinted the last .2 miles to the finish. We ended the race in 36:50, yes I wore my Forerunner and I am glad I did as it pushed us in the end. Plus there is no race clock at this one. We were handed water and Kind bars and went to recover.
Don't forget your post race color pictures!:
Well thankfully at the end I remembered to take pictures!
Race grounds, we finished pretty early, I think we must have finished before a lot of wave 1 people
Kelly is super orange
You can't tell from the pic but I am pretty orange and yellow
Headed over to look at the souvenirs but they did not have the shirt I wanted. We got a free sample of some coconut water and then headed over by the stage. They were going to get ready to throw the color, but we wanted to just watch. I took some pretty color pictures of the color throw:
Counting down to color 3.2.1
Throw! I thought this show was awesome!
Color dust blowing in the wind
Cloud of color
Make sure you are post race prepared!:
We made our short walk back to the car to decolor. Thankfully I read on someone's post to bring baby wipes, boy did they come in handy. We used about half the package of wipes cleaning color off everywhere. It even got through my clothes so it was on my legs and arms. I had brought a change of clothes to change into and towels to sit on. I highly recommend baby wipes, a change of clothes, and towels. It made the journey home more comfortable and we got less stares at Mars Cheese Castle :).
Cloudy sky but nice view
Shirt after race
Bib- now I need to make a bib holder
All in all this truly was a happy race (minus the few unexpected hills). It was my first time running a 5k and running somewhere not on a treadmill, my neighborhood, or the savanna. I was way pleased with our time, especially since we paused to walk through the color stations. I will be doing this race again next year and highly recommend it if you are looking for a fun 5k alternative.
Next up is Dirty Girl Mud Run June 29th in Lake County