I had the opportunity today to spectate at the Run or Dye that was held up at Rentschler Field in East Hartford today and while I didn't run this particular race, this was still my first experience at a color run. And what an interesting experience. My wife was taking this race on, so the baby and I headed up with her to cheer her on.
The first thing I noticed pulling the the parking lot is the sheer popularity these events have. It's unreal. We hit an immense traffic backup that went a couple miles all the way back on the highway. When we got to the parking lot, a sea of white shirts reached as far as the eye could see.
While waiting in line, it was fun to watch people walking by that had already finished the race, and also watching others doing a little pre-race coloring. My wife and her friend checked in and headed to the starting corrals while my son and I found some shade over at the last turn before the finish line.
It was a perfect spot to watch the festivities. From there we had a view not just of the rainbow runners heading toward the finish, but we could also see the waves of runners starting the race.
Each corral's start was a rainbow explosion of 500 runners taking off on 3.1 miles of multi-colored fun.
Watching everyone cross the finish was an interesting sight to see. The heat was incredibly brutal, but it didn't seem to damper the spirits of the participants as people ran, walked and even motored passed on crutches with what appeared to be a sprained ankle.
One thing that did surprise me is that people were allowed to push strollers during this event. Seeing the looks on the kids' faces, it seemed like for some kids the experience was a little traumatic. Like, "Mom! That guy just threw paint at me! Why are you laughing? This isn't funny, no, run the other way! That guy has blue!!"
Overall, the event was definitely a unique one to watch. It's a non-timed, fun run event and a really great way to experience a first 5K if you've never run one before. Or a great way to get together with some friends and just have a great time running together, without the pressures of a clock or finishing places.
Have you ever participated in a color run or other themed 5K? What did you think of the experience?