I did my first color run 2 years ago. It was so much fun because it was also my first 5K. I did it with my then-12 year old daughter. Since then, I have enjoyed a lot of fun runs, but my favorite so far has been the ones with all the color. A color run is basically a fun run that you get covered in colorful powder and at the end, you and your buddies are a rainbow of colors. If you have never done a color run, but want to, here are my tips for doing your first color run, including how to handle the mess afterwards.
Tips for Doing Your First Color Run
Bring a backpack– I have a small drawstring backpack I bring on all my runs. In it, I carry essentials like chapstick, my water bottle, my medications and diabetic testing supplies as well as my cell phone (which I place in a ziplock bag to protect it further). Make sure it is a backpack that is lightweight and can be washed or wiped off easily.
Eat a very light carb meal before and a banana after– I seriously recommend it. Many of these runs are in the morning but you still need some fuel to do them. I often hit up McDonald’s (shh!) before a run and get an Egg McMuffin and its a nice balance of carbs and protein. Make sure you drink plenty of water before and bring some with you as well. A banana is a perfect post-race snack because it aids in muscle recovery and replaces lost sugars.
Pick up your packet the day before the run if it’s an option– I have picked up my packet on race day and the day before and find that picking it up before is really the better option. You will often get your choice of extras (many races come with sunglasses, color packs and more included in the price of registering!) and it’s far less crowded and chaotic. If you wait till race day, you will often be left out of some things and you have to stand in line while the pre-party is going on.
If you are walking, don’t walk down the middle of the path– Walking these runs is perfectly fine! In fact, many people do and this is not a serious race. Just make sure to stay out of the way of interval runners so they can get past you. If you are an interval runner, make sure to let walkers know you are coming by and try not to make people feel bad about walking. This run is for everyone of every speed. I have seen people with walkers at these!
Show up early and enjoy the pre-run party– Make sure to show up early on race day to enjoy music, Zumba warmups and giveaways! It’s all included in the price so you might as well make it part of the experience.
Buy any extras before the race when you register– T-Shirts, extra color packs, snazzy socks, and tutus.. These are just some of the items most races sell when you register. If you want them, make sure to grab them when you sign up fort he race as they are often much more expensive on race day.
Wear good fitting bottoms and invest in some ‘chub rub’ power or roll-on- I always make sure my bottoms for the races are really good fitting- they don’t dig in anywhere, they stay on well and fit well. I also use a powder called Lady Anti Monkey Butt on my chub rub areas (such as my inner thighs) as to avoid this very uncomfortable situation during the race and after. Also, wear a white shirt so the color shows up.
Keep your mouth closed when you go through the color stations– I learned the hard way. The powder that they use is completely non-toxic, but a mouthful of it will make you feel like you just swallowed the desert. I was gagging and coughing and it certainly wasn’t my idea of fun. You can wear a bandana over your mouth and nose if you want to combat this, and make sure you always wear sunglasses to protect your eyes.
Make sure your shoes are OK to get colored– Wear shoes that you don’t care if they get stained. I have fun run sneakers I wear just for these events. You could also buy a pair of sneakers second hand, but make sure they are comfortable well before the race if you do.
Register early and look for coupon codes– Color Runs get more and more expensive every year, however, you can save a lot by registering early. Often, they offer the price up to 60% off in the months leading up to the run. Snag a coupon code by Googling or visiting the run’s Facebook page and make it even cheaper!
Bring a towel and a garbage bag– This will come in handy when you are ready to leave. A towel can be used to dust off the loose powder before getting in your car, then sat on and a garbage bag can be used over the back of your seats to protect them.