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