G and I participated in the Color Me Rad 5K today, Saturday, June 11, 2016. We walked it as the event is not timed and is simply for fun. By the end, runners are transformed into a rainbow (you'll see). It was cold, but at least it wasn't raining like the last few days. We had fun albeit a few kinks along the way.
I have done a couple of these color fun runs in the past but through a different organization called The Color Run. It zigzagged runners through the streets of downtown Spokane with various color stations throughout which splashed participants with dyed cornstarch powder. The first experience was 2013. The second was in 2014 with my mom. G had intended on participating; however, that year was particularly bad with her asthma and I decided it was best she sit it out. I wasn't sure how her little lungs would do with all that colorful powder. With her asthma under control the following year, 2015, I agreed to let her do it as long as she wore a dust mask. One problem. The Color Run was not coming to Spokane that year. She was quite disappointed and so was I, as I looked forward to experiencing this together. I promised we would do the next one that came to town.
The next one was Color Me Rad in June 2016. A different organization but the same concept, nonetheless. (The Color Run, as it appeared, was just not returning to Spokane.) I signed us up for Color Me Rad four months in advance because there was a two-for-one special, and you all know I'm all about good deals!
The week preceding the event, I came down with a sore throat. At first I thought it was allergies because scratchy throats aren't uncommon for me. When it stuck around and gradually got worse, I decided I'd better get it checked out. Lucky for me, no strep! I explained to G that we may not be able to do the Color Me Rad run if mommy didn't feel well enough (and hopefully she wouldn't catch my bug either). Friday night, I went to bed early. When I woke Saturday morning, my throat didn't feel like razor blades and my head felt much clearer. G felt good, too. Off we went.
Color Me Rad was held at the County Raceway, near Northern Quest Casino. It was a rather brisk morning at about 53 degrees with wind. We got started right on time at 9:00 am. As we approached the first color station (purple), I reminded G to put on her mask. I also brought one for myself so she didn't feel singled out. I'm glad we used them. The gal who dispensed color on us got carried away. She doused me directly in the face with purple powder! She threw so hard that, even though I was wearing the mask and sunglasses, the stuff managed to coat my eyeballs and fill my mouth! I couldn't see for a bit and thought my contact lenses were going to fall out; which would have caused a big problem when it came time to drive home. They stayed in place, but over the next half mile or so, I was spitting out purple loogies; which surely all the other runners appreciated! Luckily G was spared the pandemonium, although she felt compelled to frequently ask me if I was okay. And pointed out that I was already "really colorful."
There was another station, this time with slime, where the gal squirted my face. What is so hard about aiming below the neck?! She could have easily squirted it skyward and let it drop down on people. Sigh; whatever. (I did submit an email to the organization afterwards with feedback regarding this issue.) The remaining color throwers saw that we were wearing masks and were more respectful about where they doused us.
G got kinda whiney about halfway through and was ready to go home. She was upset because I forced her to wear the dust mask. She was cold and the wet slime was intensifying this predicament. As any parent knows, once a kid starts whining it becomes difficult to make them shut up. Sooooo the remainder of the experience was little....tense:
"I'm cold! I wanna go home!"
"Me too, but we have to finish."
(As she's literally dragging her feet in exaggerated agony.) "How many more minutes?"
"I don't know. Maybe fifteen."
(Time advances approximately 47.34 seconds.)
"How much longer nowwwww? I'm hungryyyyy!"
"If we run, we can be done sooner."
"No I'm too cold to run!"
(Mom starting to loose it.) "Quit whining and just move along."
(Wind picks up slightly.)
"Mom-myyyyyy....I want my gloves."
(Luckily, I brought them along.)
"My feet are tired. Are we there yeeeetttttt?"
(Me rolling my eyes and contemplating zipping over to the casino for alcohol.)
We both breath a sigh of relief when crossing the finish line. G's mood improved and she was even compliant for a few photos.
Overall, I like the The Color Run better. I felt it was more organized, had more energy, and the color throwers were more respectful. Surely it's a pain to block off all those downtown streets, but it's a prettier course, in my opinion. The County Raceway is more convenient as far as setup and cleanup, but walking around a maze of automobile racetracks doesn't make for an encouraging or enthusiastic atmosphere. Plus, spectators have to make an effort to come to the venue, where as downtown naturally attracts herds of people making it easy to join the vibe. We might just be done with these types of runs anyhow based on this year's experience. By now, I'm sure you want to see photos so here they are:
|Before. Nice and clean.|
|After. She really wanted to show off her green hair|
|This was one of her grumpy moments.Apparently skipping over the rumble strips was therapeutic.|
|She finally stopped to let me get a mid-race photo with a sprinkle of color.|
|G wanted to take my picture.....|
|....after I snapped hers.|
|And here we are, all colorful and cheery and rad.|
Copyrighted 2016 by Jennifer E. Miller