As I mentioned in my Things I Found post last week, Erie runner and blogger Rhonda Berlin and her daughter, Katie, 11, recently did the Color me Rad run in Pittsburgh (Aug. 25).
I recently did a little Q&A with Rhonda to find out more about this colorful event. (BTW — If you’re wondering was a color run is, click here)
It was not a “race,” right? It was not a race.
How long was it (5K)? What was the terrain? It’s a 5K. It started on a dirt track and then went onto paved roads. This particular course started at the Washington Country Fairgrounds. Part of it went through a residential area.
Is it timed at all? Were there awards? To quote the website “we don’t even own a watch.” You only wear numbers so that you can find yourself in the pictures later.
How much was registration? Registration started at $30 early on and went up after that. By the time it got to $45 the race had sold out anyway. The nice people at Color Me Rad gave Katie & I our registrations for free in exchange for my chatter on my blog.
Did you have to wear your own white stuff (they did not provide that, correct)? Did you have to pre-wash or treat it in any way? They did not provide your white gear, however there were white Color Me Rad t-shirts at packet pickup available for purchase if you wish. No pre-treating necessary, but people with light hair were advised that some leave-in conditioner was not a bad thing. We just wore bandannas on our heads.
Does the color stay in/on your clothes? Do you have to do anything special to “lock” it in? According to the website, you can soak the clothing in vinegar prior to washing and lock in the tie-dye. However, we were driving back to Erie and the powder was sort of coming off of us everywhere. We opted to wear cheap-o clothes and throw them away after the race.
Who is throwing stuff at you? There is a huge team of volunteers called “The Bomb Squad.” These people were very dedicated to their work.
What are they throwing at you? Color bombs are made of cornstarch and some sort of coloring. They were also available for purchase at the finish line. Registration included one color bomb, which was handed to us right before we crossed the finish line. Two of the stations were spraying color on us- I’m not sure what it contained, but it was liquid.
How often are they throwing color at you ? There were 5 color bombing stations on the course. I’m not sure how exactly they were spaced out, but we felt like we got bombed fairly often.
Does it hurt? Not at all. The only problem we had was that we were smiling and laughing a lot, which meant we got some in our mouths. The pink color bombers were particularly thorough and we had to stop and spit some pink coloring.
What if it gets in your eyes? We got Color Me Rad sunglasses in our swag bags and the organizers recommend that you wear them (or some other eye protection). We saw some guys with swim goggles on- it was funny and effective.
Can you see? Does it ever get so clouded with color that you can’t see in front of you? The Color bombing stations are literally a big cloud that you run through. But, there are so many people around that you just sort of follow the crowd. People tended to slow down on purpose at the stations so that they could get thoroughly tie-dyed.
You mentioned going in waves? How many waves were there…do you know? Were you organized by speed? I have no idea how many waves there were. When Katie & I finished there were still people starting. When you register, you sign up for a particular wave. But, once we arrived no one seemed to care about that. You just jumped into the corral and the volunteers would loop a rope at a cut-off point and send that group of people off together.
You did this with your daughter, Katie – what did she think of the experience? At the finish line she said to me, “I want to do that again.” I said, “Ok, maybe we could come back next year.” She said, “No, I mean now! I want to go again!”
Did you run the whole time? No. First of all, I give big props to anyone who runs in Pittsburgh all the time. Those hills are brutal. But, even if we wanted to, it was almost impossible. There were just so many people and things got a little congested around the color bomb stations so it was necessary to walk. The atmosphere was like a big running party. When we slowed down we just started high-fiving runners that were coming the other way.
Did you see any other Erie runners there? No. But, I did see a group of girls wearing Mercyhurst t-shirts and I gave them a holler out on the course.
Were there lots of spectators/crowd support? There were lots of spectators that tagged along with runners, but they were mostly congregated at the finish line. Ken & Mandy watched from the finish line but decided that if we go again, they are running! This thing is too fun to just observe.
Would you do another one? Any time, any place!
Anything I left out that I should mention? If your kids claim to hate running, take them to a Color Me Rad race. They will love it. Also, do not be alarmed if you blow your nose later in the day and it is blue.