I can recall the days when running a 5K seemed dreadful to me, however through training I have grown to enjoy running and seldom run 5K’s these days unless they are unique or for a good cause so the Color Vibe fit both of those requirements and the best part was my kids wanted to do this one with me. It was my boys very first 5K and what a great one for them to start off with. The Color Vibe, although a for-profit event, typically donates a part of the proceeds to local charities and really is a fun way to get the kids involved and active. While I was not a fan of the $5 charge to pick up your packet on race day since the pre-packet pick up was so far, I did like the fact that at a certain point of early registration you could register you kids for free, of course you still had to pay the processing fees but they were minimal. I was fortunate enough to have a friend of mine pick up our packets at the designated location as this was far from me, so I was spared paying an additional $25 for my crew.
The days leading up to the race I received several emails from the event staff saying how it was oversold and they were opening up a second event on Sunday and encouraged people to attend that one. I was not able to as I work Sunday mornings so I was preparing myself for a very crowded and hectic day. In addition, the forecast was calling for late morning rain so I decided to try to get there as early as possible even though our official start time was not until 9 am.
The morning of the race, I woke my kids up at 5:30 am, which is no easy task in my house. We all got ready and headed to my friend’s house where they got into my car at 6:45 am and stopped for bagels to eat in the car ride down. We arrived at the event approximately 7:20 and met up with another friend and her family. We parked at one of the designated two lots and headed on the yellow school busses that would take us to the event site. Upon arrival, we were told to remember we were on the “pink” busses and needed to re-load on that line in order to be taken to the proper lot at the completion of the race. We disembarked the busses and headed towards the venue.
Although we arrived early, so did thousands of others and the line was unbelievably long and wrapped around the festival area. I was sure this was going to take forever and my fears of an overcrowded race were coming true. We headed over to the ample supply of porta-potty’s, which is a must before any race but especially if you have children with you. We then found our way to the back of the rapidly growing line and stood there thinking about how long we would be waiting as the first wave was set to be at 9 and we were so far back it would probably take an hour to just get to the starting line.
While on line, the kids were getting bored and other people were opening up their color packets so we let them open them up and they had a blast getting it all over them, and us! The skies were grey and I began to feel a few sprinkles of rain, but before we knew it, the line started moving. It seemed as though they were starting to let waves off closer to 8:30 then the originally scheduled 9, which was fine by me! The line began to move fairly quickly and we ended up in the starting corral just after 9. As soon as we were allowed to run, we met our first color throw and were off!
The course twisted and turned around the park, some parts of the course on pavement and other parts through grass. In the 3.1 miles there were several “color stations” that had one specific color they would throw at you each. The kids and I played a game of guess the next color. My daughter has some knee issues and her hip and knee began to really bother her so about .25 miles in, I ended up giving her a piggy back ride that lasted most of the race, probably about 2 out of the 3.1 miles. I didn’t walk when she was on my back either, but rather kept up a light paced jog to keep up with the others. The funny part is my kids say to me that I should be carrying them on my back because I have “races to train for”. I suppose they are right as I end up training every opportunity I get. There was only one water station on the course, about halfway in. As we began to head into the last mile, my son turns to me and asks why I am not tired like he is, and I respond “I run all the time and train to do these” and with a serious face, he looks at me and says, why do you enjoy running so much, this is hard to keep up for this long. I chuckled and told him that the faster he runs, the sooner it is over so he proceeded to run his little legs off with some of the others in our group.
As we approached the finish line, I told everyone that they are running as fast as they can on their own and to meet at the water station just after the finish line. After crossing the finish, we got water and watched some of the awesome dance party going on at the pavilion area. It was so cool when they handed out color packets and then at a certain time had everyone release the color packets. We were full of color and laughing and dancing. It really was a fun experience and although my kids are not necessarily fans of running, they have already asked me to do another one.
I have to admit, although the race had so many participants and I could barely find anyone that I knew there even though there were so many there that I did know, it was very well organized. While on line, the kids were amused. While running I never felt over crowded or like my kids would be trampled. The race was fun and people stopping to take pictures and the color stations really made it fly by. The shuttle service was smooth and I didn’t have to walk very far to get to the venue off of the bus when we got there or far back to my car after the race ended. Overall, great experience, fun and I look forward to another one!