Getting Messy in Chicago: The Color Run 2012

The Color Run was a great time, a messy one, but a great time.  It was a fun run/fun walk with no official times and a time frame of basically when everyone finishes as long as it was within the 3 hour time block that was set.

3.1 miles in under 3 hours? I could definitely do that.

The day before the run I headed up to the packet pickup. After a train/walk/bus combo, I made it to the “opposite” end of  Downtown Chicago since I’m usually coming from the south. Of course, I had to stop and take a few pictures.

I love how this one turned out. I’m planning to print it out and frame it.

I’m really glad I stopped to play tourist because Kelly showed up! While I knew she’d be at the run, it was totally random that we ended up at the packet pickup at the same time.

It was  good thing since I was walking it and she was running it and we ended up not seeing each other the day of the race.  (You can read her race post here.)

Packet pickup took if 10 minutes since there were basically no lines. Safe to say I picked a good time.


I knew tomorrow there would be lines especially after seeing these signs posted around the area.

A short walk, a bus ride, a train ride, and another short walk later I was home. I had started getting stuff together the night before since I had hoped to get to bed super early. Since we were walking I didn’t wear my usual workout attire mostly because I was worried that the color powder might stain it. Plus our team thought it would be fun to make team shirts using puffy paint. Even though my bag was packed and ready, I still got to bed later than hoped time. Maybe it was the excitement but I just couldn’t get settled and fought to get comfy. Setting an alarm this early probably didn’t help either.

Races, flights, and leaving for car-based vacations are the only ways to get this non-morning person up this early.

I managed to get up, get moving and make it to my cousin-in-law’s house on time the day of the race. I was quite proud of myself since I had no caffeine in my system.  Once we made it to the L we started seeing other people in white shirts and/or wearing the headbands.  Once we transferred to the second L, there were more people sitting in the car with us and then it was out of the station and into a sea of people heading to the 5k.

Goofing around to get a “Before” for the blog

I was heading to a wedding reception later that day and so I tried my best to prevent rainbow-hued skin: long yoga pants, long-sleeved layering T that had shrunk and belly shirts aren’t my thing so I had no problem throwing out later, my team shirt that was HUGE (you can see the actual shadow of where I am in the picture on the right), 93 cent sunglasses, two bandanas so I could cover my hair and mouth, and the headband that came in the race packet. I knew I looked a bit ridiculous but it worked.  I also had my ID and whatnot with my cell in a ziplock in a fanny hip pack.

After seeing pictures online I knew I had to protect my phone.  Seeing this in the distance made me glad I did as well.

Yellow was the last and most brutal color station if you went through the high color area.

Time to get running walking!

There were a lot of teams participating. Some had also made shirts. Others were in tutus, matching shorts, matching socks, or even more serious like the guys in the painters coveralls. Safe to say costumes are definitely welcome.

After the first station

The cell went away for awhile after this. I didn’t want to risk it breaking from the color dust so I didn’t get more of the route. It went up and then back along the beach so people were stopping to get pictures with Lake Michigan in the background. There was a bit of a breeze so if it was actually hot out that would have been totally welcomed. The route ended back in a field where the color party was held after each wave. There was a countdown and everyone threw their packet of color powder up in the air. Mine wouldn’t open so I ended up popping it in the air ahead of time. It worked and only one of my teammates ended up a little orange.

We all ended up a bit on the tie-dyed side.

I was turning towards the people throwing the color so my front clearly got more than my back. I had put in quite a bit of leave-in conditioner and with darker hair ended up with rainbow hair wasn’t a worry.  My teammates kept joking that I looked like I was ready to rob a stagecoach though were was my horse? but it helped me breathe through the stations.  Yellow was the worst and I did end up coughing like crazy but that was from the angle I got hit. It tasted really weird too. Overall though I had no coughing fits which made me exceptionally happy.

I came home with green-ish feet since the color went through both my shoes and socks.

I had green blotches on my legs and a few yellow areas on my face. Luckily they all scrubbed off.

Overall I was extremely pleased with The Color Run as a walker.  The layout of the course and various tents made sense and was easy to manuever.  It was supposedly slightly less than a 5k but since I was doing this for fun and not for a time I didn’t care. It was well staffed and the people were clearly having great time. There was a water station about halfway. I used one of the beach bathrooms so I can’t comment on the port-a-potties other than there were quite a number of them.  Post race they had bottles of water and granola bars out and while we didn’t use it there was a color removal station with blowers.

I can definitely see myself doing this 5k again.  My teammates are interested in doing so again too. If I actually run it, I know I’ll plan a bit differently – actual running clothes but still with a bandanna for my face, check my bag with my clean shirt, and of course actually train for it.

Music for this post: Janet Jackson

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5 thoughts on “Getting Messy in Chicago: The Color Run 2012

  1. OMG another one of my friends did this run and it looked soooo awesome! I can’t wait to participate next year! Glad you had fun!

  2. Pingback: The Color Run is Coming Back to Chicago « Can't Survive On Yarn Alone

  3. Pingback: Cue the Powdered Pigment 5k! | Can't Survive On Yarn Alone

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