Tag Archives: color run

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?