"I don't want to say I was surprised that it was fun, because I knew it would be fun. But it was way more fun than I expected." —Ian, race participantBecause both of my brothers were star cross country runners in high school, a lot of people back in Kansas assume I'm a runner even though I am not. At all. I went jogging with Ian once in college. By the end of approximately one mile, I was so fatigued and also irritated at Ian's happy, not-winded encouragement, that I vowed I would never run with him again.
Then we moved to Boston. Running culture is huge here, and we thought maybe it was time to give running another shot. We laid some ground rules: Ian couldn't be a perky cheerleader, I couldn't complain out loud. It worked. Karen and Jeremy's encouragement to sign up for a 5K clued us in to setting a running goal. But a serious 5K was still intimidating. Enter Color Me Rad.
I'd heard about Color Me Rad/The Color Run via friends and blogs, so we decided to sign up for the first one to post a race date in Boston. We "trained" and set a goal to run the whole thing, but with no pressure to make a certain time (and the run is in no way timed).
On race day in late July, we woke up bright and early, threw on our white shirts, and jumped in the ZipCar. We picked up some sweet sunglasses and tattoos (and race shirts that we'll actually wear) with our race numbers, then lined up at the start, behind a giant bunny and three guys in speedos and spray tans.
We started jogging and didn't stop, through every color station. I realized adults forget how fun it is to be messy. We passed groups of college girls, dudes in crazy outfits, moms pushing strollers, walkers, joggers. Everyone was beaming, bright white teeth gleaming through rainbow lips.
After crossing the finish line and consuming several coconut waters and greek yogurt popsicles, we joined the color party in front of the stage, where every five to ten minutes the awesome emcee would announce color throws, and the crowd would count down to another round of throwing color everywhere.
While Color Me Rad hasn't turned us into serious runners, it has inspired us to keep going. I learned that I can actually run (my confidence got a huge boost passing all the walkers). I learned that running doesn't always have to be a chore, and can even be fun. I think I've finally moved past my grumpy runner stage, and I now know that if Ian's cheerleading gets out of hand, chucking handfuls of cornstarch at him is an effective and non-lethal way to deal with it. (Just kidding... or am I?)
We're already planning to sign up for the 2014 race and are recruiting friends to join us. Are you in?