Bring Out the Tutus: The Color Run Chicago 2013

This year was my second The Color Run and once again I walked it with a team. Last year, my team made team shirts. This year we decided to do a little bit more. Ok, it was a lot more.  We decided to walk again this year and wearing tutus was the plan.

Since I’m a crafty person, I decided to make my own tutu. The goal was a “no sew” version and after a little searching online I found a starting point for my version. It was a bit surprising how many sites come up as “no sew” but include sewing! “No sew” means no sewing, not just a little. I was happy with how mine turned out especially since it matched the colors in my zebra print socks.


We weren’t the only ones in tutus either.Costumes fit since the 5k it is a fun run/walk. There were lots of people in team costumes ranging from something as simple as matching shorts, socks, or bandannas to full-out costumes.

I saw this guy’s shirt after we finished and I had to ask him if it was ok to take a picture of it. He was super patient too since my cellphone didn’t like the dust and was acting slowly.


We arrived about half way through the time set aside for people to enter the course. Since this was taking place on actual streets rather than a path, participants had to get going so the streets could be reopened. Once we got in line, we didn’t have to wait long.  They were doing what seemed like a timed push of people.  There were also people walking a long piece of tape to mark where the next group of people started and stopped once you neared the starting line.  I really liked this since then you didn’t have to guess when you were going after a while. There was pattern of  move, stop, move, crowd cheer, repeat.

This year seemed to have many more people walking than last year. Since we were walking it, this didn’t impact us at all. (I had some friends who ran it and they said that they had to get around people.) There were a lot of families as well.  Some kids were old enough to walk along and others were in strollers and/or being pulled along in wagons.

One of the things that I really like about The Color Run is that you can clearly see where the start, finish, and the color stations are located. The course was on the street and had numerous signs so you knew you were headed the right way.  There was one water station as well.


There is ton of color thrown at both the color zones and then at the end.  Once you made it through the giant finish line area and walked a little bit, there was the party area.  They had DJs playing dance/remix music to get everyone pumped up.  Some people were dancing.  Every now and then they would talk about the upcoming countdown for a color throw.  The guy with the mic would countdown (and most of the crowd would join him) and then everyone would throw color powder up in the air.

While there were people just throwing powder here and there and not as part of the countdown, the countdown throws were really cool. From within the crowd it was a giant cloud of colors that mixed together but from afar you could see each color more distinctly fly up in the air and then start to mix together.

Overall I was very happy to have participated in The Color Run again. My team has already said we want to do this again next year and have a team theme in the works.

Things I did differently for this year’s The Color Run:

  • String backpack rather than a fanny pack – I had enough around my waist already wearing a tutu.
  • No head bandanna – I wore the terrycloth headband that was in my race packet to protect part of my forehead and sprayed a lot of leave in conditioner in my hair.
  • Kept my cellphone in the ziplock more – There is a lot of color powder and the touchpad was being cranky. Rather than risking scratching it or damaging it, it stayed hidden away.
  • Capri pants w tall socks instead of full pants – This was part team costume (crazy colored socks) and part weather related. It was significantly warmer this year.

The one major negative this year was that I forgot to bring a clean shirt to change into after the race.  I didn’t want to wear my official race shirt that was in the race packet.  The color powder goes through fabric as well so even if I was brave enough to drive home in a sports bra, I’d still be getting color on my car seat.  Luckily we keep a roll of paper towels in the car and I was able to cover the majority of the seat. I only have to wipe a little bit of powder off the seat and then thoroughly wiped off the seat belt.

I ended up with a bit of teal on my toes and one blue line on an ankle post race.  Everything else scrubbed off with body scrub and a shower puff.  I make sure that I clean up as soon as I can so that it doesn’t stain. The bits of color I’ve had left in the past wore off within a day.  This year’s date was also Father’s Day and so I didn’t want to go to family dinner with a green face. I made sure I covered my face with my shirt from time to time in the color zones. I also wiped it off right after the race.

Basically, there is no crazy color dusted face photo. That will be next year.


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