The Color Run

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 (Chris Winter)
Chris Winter

Color Run 

 (Chris Winter)
Chris Winter

Color Run

We can't help but imagine that having powdered paint showering over you as you take on a five-kilometre run must make things a lot slower, but for this particular race that simply doesn't matter. Participants in 'the happiest 5k on the planet' aren't expected to break any world records, because having a brilliant time is way higher on the agenda. In fact, the 20,000-odd runners won't even be timed – the finishing line simply marks the start of the Colour Festival, where the party continues with DJs entertaining the crowd. Of course by this point they'll be suitably attired, too. Having started off in white clothes, the runners will be pelted with brightly coloured (all-natural) powders at each kilometre marker with the end result somewhat reminiscent of a primary school art cupboard. All fitness levels are welcome – as are kids of all ages – as walking and dancing around the course are deemed perfectly acceptable alternatives to the traditional jogging option. If the paint sounds fun but you’re dubious about getting pelted you might prefer to volunteer for paint-throwing duties.


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You’re not going to be getting any PBs at this 5km. What you are going to get is covered in colour and have a lot of fun. The Colour Run is a great family event. I saw ages one to 75, all shapes and sizes and all ethnicities joining in. It’s totally inclusive and encourages any ability. Most people walk it so you’ll struggle to run the whole thing due to the dense traffic on the route. They’ll be a bit of weaving and then at the paint stations, of which there are five, you’ll come to an almost standstill as people try and get as much colour on themselves as they can (volunteers are armed with the paint and throw it on you). It does get in your eyes and lungs but it isn’t painful. I’d definitely recommend taking sunglasses.

The event is fairly well organised – they could do with some clearer starting instructions – it turned out to be a bit of a free for all. The finish line bottlenecked so it was a slow 3 minutes’ walk to even cross the line (and get a bottle of water to wash out a little bit of a yucky tasting mouth).

Once you’ve finished you’re given your own sachet of powder to enjoy. There is a finishing party with a DJ for you to enjoy, giving it a real party feel, whilst throwing powder at 15 minute intervals. It really is amazing seeing different coloured powder being thrown simultaneously. By the end you’re absolutely covered but don’t worry, the event organisers send you a special Colour Run t-shirt prior to the event so you don’t have to destroy any of your clothes.

This is definitely a fun afternoon. If you’re taking the whole family, including small tots, then leave the buggy at home. I think there a few people who wish they’d had that advice previously…