How to Win at Color Run
I should probably preface this by saying: The Color Run is NOT a race. There are no winners and no losers; just people who want to have fun and get blasted by color.
However, as someone who has done this fun 5k twice now, I think I am qualified enough to tell you how to make the most of your Color Run experience. This past May, I saw so many people who looked sad (okay, not really) and color-less at the end of the 5K. I wish they had a wise person like me to tell them how it's done!
1. PREPARATION IS KEY
First of all, get on the VIP email list. You will be the first to know when Color Run registration will be happening in your city. This stuff sells out fast. I remember my first Color Run in 2012, the event sold out within a few hours. Some of my friends didn't make the cut.
In your group of friends, make sure you know who is running and who is walking so that no one gets left out. Or pair up based on pace. I'm a part of the Color Walkers - we just want to make the fun last as long as possible. :)
Know where to meet your friends at the end in case you get separated.
Before the race. So fresh and white!
Prepare your outfit - a white top is best. The bottoms can be a white tutu, white shorts, or just wear something dark. Most of the color washes out but be prepared to have some funky colors leftover after the wash.
Pack a change of clothes, some wet wipes, a bag to hold of your color-grungey clothes, and a towel to sit on for the ride home. Even if you change, there's bound to be color left on your skin.
Sunglasses are a good idea so you don't get color in your eyes, as is a face mask or bandana so that you don't inhale so much. Black boogers, anyone?
Feel free to dress as crazy as possible. I promise you that you won't be the only one.
Drive there early or stay at a hotel nearby. Our Color Run is located at the National Harbor in Maryland which is a total clusterf*ck! There is one main road in and out so it gets super congested. Last year we spent an hour just from the bridge to the garage. This year we left at 6 a.m. and traffic was clear. We were left to just wander around for hours but it was nice to just hang out rather than sit in traffic.
One year I'd love to stay at the host hotel - get there the night before, relax, sleep in. And in the morning we can just pick up our packets and take our time going downstairs. Another plus - a shower after the race well before check out!
After running through all the color stations like pros.
4. THE COURSE
Here's where you tell the pros from the amateurs. How you handle the color stations will result in how much color you end up with. There are 4 color stations of each color - yellow, pink, orange, and blue. This year they added a fun bonus - color sprays between one of the sections! Whether you run or walk, slow down as you approach. Raise your arms over your head, and do a slow turn along the left or right side of the color station. If you walked by the left of the first station, then the next station go to the right side. You want even coverage!
Have your friends check you out to see where you need more coverage. if your back is missing color, tell the volunteers where you want them to blast you or just run through with your back to them.
Regardless, by the time you get to blue, they blast so much color you are temporarily blind. You're completely drenched in blue. You just blue yourself.
Still not completely covered in color? No worries! That's what the color party at the end of the race is for! In your race packet you get a little sealed bag of color. Save this. At the race party you dance and celebrate the fun you've had with your friends. Then when they tell you to, you'll open your packet, count down, then unleash that color! It's like a color bomb exploded and you and everyone around you will be completely drenched in color. Check out my Vine video of the color party!
After the color party, take lots of pics, then go find the leaf blower people to blow off all that powder. This is crucial before changing out of your clothes and getting into your car.
You'll definitely want to have your phone or camera handy because the Color Run lends to a lot of awesome photos! But since you don't want to ruin your camera, make sure you have a waterproof case, or at the very least, a ziplock bag. That color stuff gets everywhere!
6. HAVE FUN!
This goes without saying, but just have fun! There's nothing serious about Color Run. Just show up and have a great time.
Have you done Color Run before? Any tips to add?