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May 23 / Jane

Color Me Rad Jersey Shore 2013

This past Sunday, I met Issy and Dan and some of their friends at PNC Bank Arts Center for the Color Me Rad novelty 5k run.  It’s one of those increasingly popular “color runs” that draws participants of all ages and all shapes and sizes; it’s family-friendly and non-runner friendly, and not really a 5k.  I signed up with the thinking I’d try something new: just a jog with some friends while transforming my white shirt into a rainbow of colored cornstarch.  I’d have fun, enjoy it and know my $35 entry fee went to a good cause: the Jersey Strong Foundation benefiting restoration efforts from Hurricane Sandy.  But somehow I knew I wouldn’t like it.  $35 to “run” a 5k surrounded by families, children and non-runners and not even get an official time?!  At least I would get a t-shirt out of it…

The day started out cloudy with a threat of rain.  I got stopped in traffic a mile from the exit into PNC.  The last time I was at PNC was with Alex, Steve and Matt for a TOOL concert and I don’t remember there being as much traffic into the venue.  Either way, I parked close to the start 15minutes later and waited for the rest of my team to arrive.  I listened to the DJ announce they had 9,000 participants (one of the largest turnouts for the series) and that they had raised over $50,000 for the Jersey Strong Foundation (yay!).

My team arrived, along with the rain, and we geared up with race bibs, bandannas, and sunglasses (yes, despite the rain).  We got someone to take a “before” picture of us and we headed into the start corral.  At 10am we were off, running through the parking lot of PNC.

The before picture

The before picture

We ran through our first hot pink color bomb at the “1k” mark.  Then downhill and back up into an auxiliary parking lot (where we tailgated the TOOL concert actually).  At the “2k” mark we got sprayed with green coloring, then we headed back towards the venue and around the backside where a live band was preforming and a water station was set-up.  Our team had split up at this point, myself running with a friend of Dan’s, Dan and Issy behind us, and everyone else behind them…  We ran over to the other side of the venue, around the parking lot and into a small park.  At the park and where the “3k” mark should be we got sprayed yellow.  Back towards the venue, curiously close to the 3k was the “4k,” where they threw orange-colored cornstarch on us.  Then it was not even a quarter mile to the finish.

At the end my watch showed 2.4miles.  2.4 for a 5k?  Someone’s math is off.  We decided to head backwards through the course to meet up with our team, maybe we’d even get to the full 5k? Either way, the “race” was relaxed enough I think lots of people even ran the route more than once (to get more colorful), they didn’t notice us going backwards.

The team formed up again in the finish chute and we took some “after” photos before dispersing home for a hot shower.  Thankfully I came prepared with a change of clothes, a towel and sheet to cover my carseat.  I was a very ugly shade of greenish brown at the end, with the mix of colors and the rain, and I was happy to save my tan interior from a similar fate.

The after photo

The after photo

Overall the run was fun (despite my mostly negative commentary): the course was interesting and challenging.  I just really wish it would have been a full 5k!  Getting colored was also fun, it felt childish, in a good way.  In the finish chute I accidentally popped a green color bomb directly into Dan’s face (oops, sorry Dan!).  I had meant to get it on all the teammates standing in a circle, but clearly it did not happen that way.  In the end, we got dirty without getting muddy (well, not intentionally muddy anyway, some of the grassy areas were getting soggy with the rain).  And, the novelty of a color run is a good one, it’s something different.  But the run, being 2/3 mile short of 5k, was just over too quickly.  I felt bad for those who celebrated running their first “5k,” as it was NOT a 5k.

But, I feel like been there, done that with these color runs now.  I’d do one again if they certify 3.1miles (and maybe time it, I like to get “credit” for my runs), AND I get a Groupon or something.  Until then, I think I’d like to celebrate Holi instead.  =)

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