December 8, 2012 by CJ
A few months back I had the pleasure of running my first Color Run. What is a color run? It’s a 5k fun run, pretty simple. Oh, I forgot to mention, at every kilometer people throw colored chalk at you. If you are slightly interested, I highly recommend checking out their website.
I decided to run this with my daughter. She’s been running cross-country since she was 7. Beginning with 2k’s she now runs 3k’s. I thought it would be fun to experience her first 5k with her during a non-timed, no-stress, only fun race.
Since this was her first race I decided I’d leave it up to her on how we’d tackle the course. Did she want to run it non-stop, run with me, run and wait for me, or just run and meet me at the finish? As we stood waiting for start of the race to begin I offered my daughter all the various options. She looked at me and asked, “Can’t we just kinda go with it?” Understanding she did not want a plan, I decided I’d just follow her lead.
It took awhile but we eventually made our way to the start line and took off. We ran until we couldn’t. Not that we couldn’t physically run, but because the path narrowed at points or walkers, little kids, and families blocked us. In any other situation this would have irritated me. But I had to remind myself, this was a fun, non-timed race. I didn’t even bring my headphones, this was my first race without a playlist ringing in my ears. I didn’t have my watch and my phone was in my pocket inside a sandwich bag (to protect it from the chalk). I had no clue what time we started or what time it was. Following my daughter’s lead, we stopped, walked and talked. We talked about the cute kids around us, the weather, what color would come first, her classmates, her friends, anything and everything that popped into our heads. We ran when the path was wide and open and walked when it was tight and congested. We laughed with other runners/walkers and thoroughly enjoyed ourselves. I cannot say which one of us had more fun.
Running with my daughter reminded me why I keep signing up for races and why I love running them. All of her races have been in fields on a farm in the middle of nowhere, which makes perfect sense for races for children. This was her first time running on a road. At one point in the race we were running along a part of the highway. She was slightly ahead of me and turned around, with the biggest smile on her face and screamed, “Mommy we are running in the street!!!” It’s funny how you forget the simple, little things about a race. I remember my first race (a 5k in 2011), I did find myself excited to run on something I had only driven over before. As we ran down the street and cars honked their horns in support or irritation, she’d pump her fist in the air and smile back at them. If a hand was coming out for the sidelines offering up a high-five, she ran to it and high-fived them back, crisscrossing back and forth making sure not to miss anyone. Yes, she did trip up a few people behind her. No one got upset, I think everyone got a kick out of watching her. When we hit the color stops, she’d stop and wait for me and we ran through them together. At the end of the race there is a big color party, the finish line festival. A DJ is on the stage playing music and at various intervals colored chalk is tossed up in the air. If you aren’t covered enough after you run, hop into this pit and you will be a new shade in no time!
I brought my phone so I could record what it was like to run through the cloud of color. She asked if she could be my videographer. I didn’t give her much direction, I’m happy I didn’t. The videos are not easy to watch, pretty shaky and facing the ground most of the time. BUT, the most important part of the day was recorded. Have you ever listened to a little kid laugh? It’s the funniest, purist combination of giggles you’ll ever hear. Unfortunately, that sweet innocent giggle is not heard so much in my house. It’s matured into a girly laugh, a laugh that is slightly aware of her surroundings. Every once and awhile that giggle comes out, that laughter someone makes when they are just having the time of their lives… I heard it in this and all the videos she made during our first color run.
If you are ever in a running slump, bored, irritated and not feeling good after you run, I highly recommend signing up for a fun run and taking a new runner with you. Hopefully, it will remind you why you fell in love with it.