Race: The Color Run
Place: Louisville, Kentucky
Date: June 9, 2018
Time: ?? (UNTIMED EVENT – my Garmin had 1:04:18 w/ stops to wait for friends)
It has been 5 looooooong years since I have done The Color Run. The only other time I have done it was in 2013 when my friend Marisa flew in from New Jersey to do it here in Louisville and I went along for the ride, sticking by her side the entire time.
And this time…this time I was taking it all in by walking it with a group of friends. And my roommate, Cathy, even got into it this time. We went to Target on our lunch break to find some cheap white shirts to wear to the race, both hitting the jackpot in the clearance racks…so that was winning. Our friend, Melissa, dropped by our office building on Friday after picking up our packets (which for us just meant race bibs because we weren’t feeling the extra $$ you had to pay to get a shirt we would never wear again). We made plans to all ride together and get good parking spots down near Waterfront Park the following day. This meant a decent bed time for all so we’d be up and ready to go that morning.
The challenge was…the early morning. I made sure that I had breakfast ready after I did all my physical therapy stretches. I even got coffee made for Cathy as that would be vital for her to function. Trust me…coffee was necessary. I made myself a cup as well because I wasn’t running today…simply enjoying the moment and the walk with good people.
The plan was to be at Melissa and Paul’s by 6:30 am. BUT…I always underestimate how long it takes me to physically put on sunscreen and make sure I have it lathered in good so I don’t become a lobster or crispy critter out in the sun. So…when all was said and done that morning…we walked out the door at 6:30 am and I texted to let Melissa and Paul know we were on our way. Luckily, they are only a short drive away and we arrived at their house before our ride, Melissa’s mom (also walking the race), arrived. I kicked off my old running shoes (I call them my rain shoes) that I was wearing and went to settle in and relax on the couch. Melissa and Paul finished getting their things together and we knew her mom was close, so we all headed outside to wait to pile into the car.
We managed to get downtown and paid to park at Waterfront Park near Joe’s Crab Shack. We made the walk through the finish area, making haste to get into one of the first waves to get started earlier and, perhaps, to snag some free swag. We were in the 2nd wave to go through, and while standing up there waiting to go…I managed to catch some Color Run shorts (size 2X) and a Color Run t-shirt (size S). I asked Cathy to tuck them into my tutu, but she ended up just carrying them with us the entire way. We were sent off and I walked ahead with Cathy who has been working on her walks for a 5K. We knew that today wasn’t for time, but she wanted to see how her endurance was doing.
We actually walked by a camera as we made the turn to head out onto the road and start our 5K. We waved and smiled and waited for our first chance to get a little messy. We were ahead of our pack, so we’d pause and wait for them to catch up (Melissa’s mom is coming back from hip and knee surgery and doing amazing). We spotted the first color zone…PURPLE…and Cathy and I sprinted through. And the fun was just starting.
Sure…it was humid and warm, especially with the sun up…but we were getting messy and having a blast with our friends that day. And it was amazing. I talked Cathy into a small sprint around a corner to teach her how to “run the tangents” and she did great. But we were way ahead of our pack because of this, so we found a safe corner to wait and hopped back into the fun with them. We did this throughout the run, pausing before the color stops to let everyone join us to go through. Orange and yellow were next up, and we jogged through that too. This was set up in an ally way of sorts, and Paul joked about watching out for needles. HA! It’s not far from the truth in Louisville. We got properly doused in color and continued on the way.
It was starting to really warm up and we were now on the streets with little to no shade. But, alas, we just kept going. I mean…it’s June. It’s going to be hot and sunny. But now the sweat was mixing with the color and that cakes it on really good. Trust me…I think Cathy was scrubbing blue off her back for a week afterwards. The pink was next. Then blue. And we did the same. Except somewhere in the blue zone, Cathy went up to someone and said, “HIT ME!!” And they really layered her in the color. So, she learned if you tell them to hit you up…they will. She was a delightful rainbow of color at the end of that.
This left the long haul back toward the finish line, which was back at Waterfront Park. The green zone would be last. But along the way, we stopped at Toast on Market to take photos with the wings and then Cathy stopped at Slugger Field to get a shot with the Louisville City FC signage. Apparently on the way to green, the Red Bull girls were out and Cathy saw a 10 year old rush by with a Red Bull screaming “I GOT ONE!” Lord, have mercy! We went through green…hit up the foam zone, and grabbed hands with our teammates and walked through the finish line together.
We were given our superhero unicorn medals and a color packet for the color throw at the end. We were definitely more interested in getting some water. And then we spotted the line waiting for the Steel City Pops cart…so Paul went to grab wallets from the car and we stood in line. He returned just in time. Popsicles all around. It was just what we needed. Mine was watermelon, for the record.
After sitting around and cooling off as much as possible, we snapped a few photos before letting Paul and Cathy go do the color throw. Melissa, Debra, and I got in line to have the leaf blower blow some of the extra color off. Paul and Cathy joined soon after. And then we were off to KDF headquarters to check out the yard sale before heading home.
The Color Run is always a fun, un-timed event that is just…a blast. I smiled. I laughed. I danced through color zones. I got coated in color (and thankfully the blue came out of my hair this year). And I got to walk it with amazing friends. And I even got a t-shirt in my size at the start (thank you Cathy for carrying those for me), since I refused to pay extra for the actual The Color Run shirt. I think shirts should come standard with your registration fee and bib. But, that’s just the seasoned 5K runner in me.
I bet I’ll end up doing another one of these sometime in the near future. And I’m okay with that. It’s nice to have a no-pressure, fun time with no expectations or goals. Other than to…ENJOY!
And maybe become a rainbow unicorn in the process.