The Color Run {Race Recap}

Note To Self: Try to write a race review sooner than 1.5 months after a race happened. To make a long story short for why my Color Run review is so late: I didn’t have as much fun as I had anticipated (at no fault of the event organizers), and when you don’t have much fun during an event, you really don’t feel like writing a review for it…


For months, I’d been looking forward to running the self-proclaimed Happiest 5K on the Planet. The morning of the Color Run finally came, and I was pumped. Since the race was an hour away, we had to be up and out the door much earlier than we were used to since we have a tendency to run races that are no more than 15-20 miles from our house. (Read: We are lazy and like our sleep.) The race was scheduled to start at 10am, so I was awake at 6:45 to make sure I had enough time to eat and let it go down before the race. We wanted to be in Amesbury no later than 9 am in order to beat the crowd and get a good parking spot.

Color us bad.

Well… we beat the crowd alright, for our run anyway. There was a horrible accident on the highway, which caused us to be stuck in traffic for 2 hours with only one mile to go to the parking lot. Yup, we were moving at a whopping 0.5 miles per hour on the highway. By the time we parked and were shuttled to the start line, it was 11am and we were in one of the last waves to run. When you’re the last of several waves to run, this is what the start line looks like:

Wow, look at all those people….

Just to put it into perspective, this is what the waves are supposed to look like:

Doing it right in Austin, TX

By the time we were ready to run, I was hungry. Like, desperately hungry. My tummy was grumbling, and it was not a quiet grumble. That’s what happens when you eat your secret stash of snacks you have hoarded in your car the week before you actually need them. I told myself: “The faster you run, the faster you can eat.”

Color Girl ready to destroy Rich. The look on her face is priceless.

Well, it turns out that you can’t run very far or very fast with a starved stomach on a poorly shaded race route on a hot, cloudless summer day. I barely made it through the first two color zones before I started to succumb to the heat and my hunger. And the hills.

The first of many hills

The only thing that stopped me from cursing (for a few moments) was the sight at one of the color zones. The majority of the run went through a residential neighborhood, and I guess they didn’t factor in the coastal breeze because this happened:

This disaster was not planned.

Imagine coming home from a nice day at the beach and seeing your house, cars, and driveway covered in blue dust. Whoops.

I have nothing to brag about for this race. It was probably my worst run ever. I ended up walking about the last mile and a bit because I was stuffed and couldn’t be bothered. I was hungry, hot, and hungry. I just wanted some water, some food, and an adult beverage to make me forget what just happened. Did I mention I was hungry from the start?

We made it to the finish line just in time for the last Color Festival of the day. Everyone looked like they’d be in about four or five rounds already, and I was slightly (okay, more than slightly) jealous of how much fun they’d been having when I was likely sitting on the highway waiting to park.

Look at all those people having fun.

I wish I could say that the madness of the day ended once we crossed that finish line, but it didn’t stop there. We were stuck at Amesbury Sports Park for another three hours, waiting to be shuttled back to our vehicles. Apparently there was another accident on the highway with several casualties, which closed the shuttle route. Hundreds of people were stranded with no food, water, or shade.

After more than an hour of waiting in the hot, hot sun, the Color Run organizers started distributing bottles of water and free swag to everyone. By then, my back was sore and and I just wanted to get home. Also in the back of my mind was what kind of destruction was awaiting me at home since Tonto had been home for an unplanned 9 hours.

Look how happy we look! I was not.

From what I heard, the second day of the Color Run went much smoother. The day was cooler and there weren’t any traffic back ups en route to the start and finish lines. Sometimes I wish I could see into the future because then I would have changed my race day from Saturday to Sunday.

It seems like everyone on other cities, and even other waves on our day, had a lot of fun but it definitely wasn’t the experience I had anticipated. For the cost ($50), you just didn’t get much bang for your buck. No free food, not great swag. But then again, it does cost a lot of money to put on an event of this size. I don’t know if I’ll do this race again next time around. If it’s a race actually in Boston, it would be a sure thing, but if it’s in the ‘burbs again, I’ll have to give it more thought.

The event: The Color Run
The location: Amesbury, MA
The date: July 28, 2012
My time: Untimed
The cause: Home For Our Troops
The swag: White cotton shirt and headband
The grub: Burgers, hot dogs, fries, & beer at a cost


10 thoughts on “The Color Run {Race Recap}

  1. Oh no! Such a shame that a run you’d been looking forward to and were really pumped for turned out to be so disappointing 😦

    I keep waiting for Colour Run to make it across the pond to the UK though …

  2. Sorry you weren’t happy with the race. I suppose we all have a lousy time, every now and again. Doesn’t make it easy when you are miserable and just want to finish. This past January, we were one of the earliest risers for the WDW half marathon (on the first bus from our resort), and as luck would have it, our bus driver tried to take a short cuts to the race, only to be continually stopped by road blocks for the race. After a time, the people on the bus started getting pretty upset (myself included). We were getting to a point where traffic was becoming an issue, and we were all afraid we would miss the race start time. Eventually the bus driver listened to us, and got us into the race area in the nick of time to be able to walk to the race start. It wasn’t an ideal situation as my stress level was at an all time high-worried I’d not get to the start. Eventually, I calmed down by the time of the start, and had an enjoyable day afterwards. Sometimes, it doesn’t matter how well a person plans; stuff just happens. Happy Running! 🙂

    • That stinks about the half! The bus driver should have used his common sense and known that normal roads would be blocked off road for such a huge event! But you’re right, stuff happens!

      If I were to ever do a half, I’d probably only do one in WDW b/c the constant change in scenery would really make the time fly by. Hope you had fun regardless of the traffic issues!

  3. Sounds like a giant bummer all the way around! Very sad about the casualties, too. We got stuck in traffic for about an hour on the way to the Warrior Dash this year (I forgot to put that in my recap) and I was sad that I didn’t get there as early as I wanted to. Running while starving is no fun!!! Thanks for the recap, and here’s to better events ahead. We all have to have a worst event, I suppose!

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