There’s a new kind of race taking this nation by storm. It’s anything but typical and has started a movement. It’s The Color Run. The Color Run seems to have emerged out of nowhere. They have encouraged many ordinary couch potatoes to get off their hind ends by making running enjoyable for them. With a little music and A LOT of Color, people of all backgrounds come to participate in this race. Known as the happiest 5k on the Planet, they celebrate healthiness, happiness, individuality, and giving back to the community. Whether you’re a 6 minute-mile or a 11 minute-mile runner, there’s a spot for you at The Color Run. It’s an event where your level of success is not measure by time, but by how much fun you’re having.
The race officials give you only two simple rules to follow:
1. Wear white
2. Finish plastered in color
As you noticed, there’s no mention of headphone usage, time requirements, age, or fitness level. Just a requirement to have some fun!
The Color Run started in January of 2012 with over 600,000 participants and has taken off like no other race before. They estimate that by this year (2013) they will have over 100 events and over a million participants. The Color Run not only creates a healthy and fun atmosphere for new (or veteran) runners, but they give back to the communities that they visit. They choose a local charity for each city. They even have a link on their webpage to nominate a charity for the event being held in your city. To find out what cities they are coming to next, click here.
I got the chance to participate in The Color Run this past March, and I was totally impressed. I had never experienced such genuine happiness at a racing event like I did at this one. Over 10,000 people came out to run in my little city of Winston-Salem, NC. At each kilometer, runners were doused from head to toe in colors. Almost every inch of my body received a new hue. Even two days later, people were telling me to check my ears. Just when we thought that it was all over, and were winding down, we crossed the finish line to find a “Color Party” in progress. They had erected a stage in the middle of the fairgrounds which provided the “bravest of runners” a place to show off their dance moves. Music from The Color Run deejay penetrated the air and colors from the color-coated mobsters filled the sky. Before the race, every runner was given a bag of color, which we held onto until the finish. When we reached the stage, we waited for the countdown and threw our powdered colors into the sky. It was a sight to see! .
Possibly the best part of this race, was being able to share my passion for running with my mother. My mother, who is fit, had never run much before. In no time, she whipped herself into shape to complete her first 5k at The Color Run. I have to say, she did awesome… even with the paint strewn in her face. I think she was very pleased with her new accomplishment. She now has an open mind for running and even includes it in her regular exercise routine. That, in itself, is amazing! I’m very proud of her. Now, we’re looking for a 10k to run in together.
A portion of the profits from The Color Run event in Winston-Salem this year went towards Big Brothers Big Sisters. Big Brothers Big Sisters exists to empower children to reach their potential by continuously recruiting, developing, and training mentors to provide professionally supported, one-to-one Big Brother and Big Sister relationships. Big Brothers Big Sisters has helped many underprivileged children in my community and I was happy to know that I was running for them.
If you’re looking for a way to peak your interest in running, I would suggest looking into the Color Run or another themed run. Themed runs are all the rage these days and there are always new ones popping up. There are glow-in-the-dark runs, zombie runs, underwear runs, or even a Krispy Kreme Challenge. Yes, participants run 2.5 miles towards a dozen of their favorite sugary glazed pastries, munch them down, and run 2.5 miles back to the start. I say more power to them. It takes what it takes.
No matter where you are in your life, remember that, you too, can begin running and experiencing life like you never have. Start out slow and find a fun race that you can get family and friends to join. Some of the best 5ks happen right around the holidays. Check with your local fitness stores to see if they have information on races. Do a Google search and see what 5ks are happening in your town. Once you finish one, sign up for another. Just be sure that you are enjoying yourself. If you’re ready to take the next step, and run a half-marathon, click here for some tips.