Tag Archives: color me rad

rant: are fun runs real races?

5 mile run (50:36, 10:07 pace)

I found this super old 2009 opinion piece the other day about “plodders” competing in marathons and I’m a little upset. Basically they talked to a lot of marathoners that feel that anyone running more than a six-hour finish time has no right to call themselves a marathoner.
I call bull.
In addition to The Color Run and Color Me Rad there are a slew of other mostly for-profit fun runs making their way onto the running scene.


Glow runs, mud runs, beer runs, zombie runs. All of these “runs” (mostly targeted at non-runners) have their place in the business.
My question is why do so many runners have to put down other people’s accomplishments?
I consider myself average speed. I’m not breaking any records or winning any medals at a top speed of an 8-something-minute mile but I don’t fault anyone for going slower than me.
My philosophy on running has always been this: I train for distance but incorporate fun runs, CrossFit and group exercise in as cross-training without looking down on any one form of exercise over another. I think it’s a good philosophy to have which is why I’m so confused when some runners have almost a holier than though attitude toward fun runs.
I’ll admit, I was a little annoyed that there were so many walkers at The Color Run last weekend. Walkers=complete ignorance of race etiquette and staying the heck out of the left lane. Yeah, it was annoying but I don’t fault them for not knowing. I go into fun runs expecting a makeshift obstacle course and leave PR dreams at the start line. Wanna know why? Because it’s a FUN run!
As a runner and fitness enthusiast I love what fun runs do for newbie exercisers. I wouldn’t suggest the Krispy Kreme Challenge or The Twinkie Run for anybody trying to get into healthy living but theme races are great motivators for those just starting out.


I love that they’re family friendly events that get people excited to exercise. They’re not “races” by any means but hardcore elitist runners can have their capped marathons, $175+ entry fees and Porta Potti lines. While I’d love to run a Boston, Chicago or NYC one year it’s going to take some time for me to feel ready to conquer that distance. I’m not there yet but that doesn’t make me or anyone else any less of a runner because of that. I’ll be doing a Ragnar Relay next weekend and you better believe I’m going to be damn proud of that accomplishment. Trendy or not it’s something I couldn’t do three years ago.

Question of the Day: What are your thoughts on fun runs? Do you think plodders have a place in marathons?
Bonus: Check out a great view on the topic from Jeff Galloway himself.

fall is here and what to pack for a color race

3 mile run (27:45, 9:15 pace)

Mile 1 8:53
Mile 2 9:34
Mile 3 9:18

I did mile repeats this morning and I’m going to have to credit these awesome times to the weather. FALL is here!! Yay! First sub-9-minute mile outdoors since J pushed me to run an 8:32 sometime last fall/winter. I’m stunned. If this is what running in the cold is going to do for me here then I’m definitely ready for the cooler temps.

I’m still on that color-filled high from the Color Me Rad 5K in Nashville on Saturday and have the purple snot to prove it (don’t judge, you totally do it too). With the race still fresh in my mind I thought it would be a good idea to share some tips for your first color race.3TIPS

So here we go.

1. Costumes. Get one. If you’re anything like me every race is a tutu-worthy race but if there’s ever a race to rock a tutu at this is it. Go crazy. The more colorful the better, but make sure to wear a white shirt so the color thrown at you will show. I’ve seen white tuxes, elastic suits, clown wigs, you name it. Get creative. See my tutorial here.

2. Have fun. Don’t worry about your time. This is definitely not the time to worry about race pace. Sure, you could easily schedule this as a 5K pace run but you’ll be disappointed. Most color races are untimed and as family friendly events cater to new runners and plenty of walkers. Because of this you’ll have more fun if you just take it all in! Most people will walk/jog/run next to each other with no idea of anything going on around them. Weaving in and out does not equal a good 5K time so don’t be surprised if a PR just isn’t in the cards.

3. Pack a dark-colored change of clothing (jeans and a dark tee work well), baby wipes, a trash bag, and old towels to cover your car seats. You’re going to get dirty and if you care for your seats at all be prepared. I’ve kind of got this color/mud run/foam thing down to a science now. Wrap a towel around yourself or have someone hold it up and strip in the parking lot. Trust me. Runners have no shame (I’ve seen other runners take a poo on the side of the road). Change your clothes (darker colors are less likely to stain) and stick everything with color on it in the trash bag. Wipe your face and arms with baby wipes and line the seats with towels. Voila! All better. Now go get some lunch!

Anything I forgot? What are your best tips for color runners?

color me rad 5k nashville recap

I’m still on a colorful high, blowing my colorful nose and about to wash my colorful clothing.
Color Me Rad was that awesome.
I noticed a few changes from Miami and Orlando to now that made a world of difference. If it wasn’t for the rain delay (can’t control the weather!) it would have been a perfect day.
After gassing up the cars and making a Starbucks run our group set out for Nashville.
It literally rained from the minute we got on the highway to the minute we stepped out of our cars just over an hour later. The closer we got to Nashville the harder it came down. The parking attendants even told us to prepare to get wet. All I could think was: “But what about the pictures?”
Wah. Luckily that didn’t really matter though. Just after we made our way out of the cars the skies cleared. It was still pretty gloomy outside but at least we wouldn’t be miserably drenched.cmr2Cleancmr1cmr3I got color bombed while waiting for race start.cmr4Best color ever.cmr5cmr6cmr7Purple came next.cmr8The race started and finished at LP Field in Nashville. I really enjoyed the parts of the course that gave us a view of the skyline and it made me even more excited for the Nashville Half Marathon in November!
Orange came up just before the finish line.cmr9cmr10cmr11The afterparty. cmr12Our colorful group at the finish.

When we arrived at the stadium around 7:45 the first finisher was crossing. Because of this I’m assuming there was a slight rain delay. I’d also attribute the thin crowd to the sheets of rain that came pouring down on us on the drive over. Regardless, I think the event organizers handled this well. They can’t control the weather but for everyone that did show it was great time.

Like I said before, there were a few things organizers did for Nashville that worked out better than Miami or Orlando

    • Packet pickup was streamlined with a checklist to limit people to taking just what they signed up for (although the venue’s $5 parking fee for 15 minutes was kind of crummy). Afterparty color bombs were also distributed here so slower runners and walkers weren’t left empty-handed at the finish line.
    • Volunteers used fire extinguishers to spray colors and didn’t run out or resort to sweeping and reusing.
    • Even though the race started and ended at LP Field we didn’t spend the entire three miles weaving in and out of the parking lot a la Color Me Rad Miami or running in grass circles like Orlando.
    • On-site parking at Miami and Nashville was 10x less hectic than the circus that ensued with the shuttles at Orlando.

My only complaint was that for an event that encourages kids under 7 to run for free I wish there was a little more attention paid to family values. I’m not one to be easily offended but my group had two children and we repeatedly walked by two girls wearing boyshort underwear with I <3 D*CK written on the bum. Not cool.
We saw them again at the finish line and once more at the afterparty so it doesn’t seem like anyone said anything to them about their inappropriate choice in “clothing”.
Aside from that little blip, it was a great time for everyone and I’m so thankful to Color Me Rad for the opportunity. If you get the chance to check out this race series I’d say go for it! You won’t regret it.

Disclaimer: Color Me Rad provided my entry for this event. All opinions are my own.