Sunday, August 16, 2015

Color Run, Bellingham, WA

16 August 2015



I have a friend online, at a health and fitness website, who participates in various runs and races around the world as she and her family travel around the world.  What a great way to meet people in other places, right?  

So, I signed up for The Color Run that took place today.  The Color Run is a national organization that sponsors these absolutely wonderfully fun and crazy runs, all around the US and various countries around the world.  (And the photo of the crowd is from their website, of their run in Boston.  But our run looked a lot like that!  All the rest of the photos are by me.)

Okay, a color run is essentially a normal running or walking race, except the point is to have fun and not necessarily to win.  Also, color is added.  As in, COLOR!  There are color stations along the way where runners and walkers get colorized!  The powdered color is cornstarch and chalk dust colored with food dye, so it's supposed to be safe.  

For people with asthma, like me, it's suggested that we wear a mask or bandana.  I wore a mark I picked up at a doctor's office, with a bandana over it.  And sunglasses.  (I lowered the mask and bandana for walking, but pulled it back up before going through each color station.)

The point is to have fun!!!  And since the participants get colorized, everyone is expected to wear as much white as possible.  Most people just wore the Color Run tee shirt, but there were a lot of tutus out there!!!  Colorful tutus, white tutus, men in tutus, boys in their younger sister's tutus.  (You could tell by how they fit.)

Though I think maybe my favorite was the wedding dress posse.  A group of women wore white wedding dresses!  A few of us chatted about it, and couldn't decide if these were second hand wedding dresses, or if the women were all divorced and wearing their old dresses.  But what a great white backdrop for collecting color!

The first wave of people were the serious runners, who care about time.  They ran, and were returning fifteen minutes later when the rest of us (the partiers) lined up at the starting line.  I noticed that the runners didn't have much paint on them - I guess they were focused on running the course, not collecting color.

Well, it was our turn to begin the course, those of us walking, jogging, cartwheeling, the group with kids in strollers, kids running, and a bunch of us over age 60ish.

We followed the route, all 5 km (3.1 miles) wandering around Bellingham, from the library downtown heading vaguely north, around the park, up by our hotel, and back.  Just walking through various neighborhoods with beautiful houses and lush gardens, and every so often some people sitting in their yards cheering us along.  (I was in the last wave of walkers, toward the back, so it was nice to have the people cheering for us.)

Periodically there were color stations - four color stations plus a "shine" station, with shiny glittery stuff.   So I guess that makes it roughly every 3/4 of a mile?  Or every kilometer or so?

They were great!  The roads were all closed for our race, because the color stations took up the entire width of the street.  Each station had inflated arches over the street, flags and banners, signs, and of course people whose task was to toss color on the walkers and runners!!!  By the time we arrived, the road was just one solid blanket of powdered color!!!  We'd walk through the color dust, and people would run up with plastic bottles and toss color on us!  I wanted to get as colorized as possible, so I walked slowly, turned around, pointed out where my shirt was still white and needed more color.  Plus, since we were almost the end of the walkers, the throwers could use up the rest of their color on us.

Yellow, blue, pink, and orange - and then the shine station!  It went on silver, but it actually was really fine glitter!  It just sort of floated through the air and added a sparkly quality to all the colors!!!!

I was walking by myself, but of course talked a bit with some other walkers, as well as a few small children.  Then I met up with a woman and her daughter, and a friend, who were all from Guam.  So they adopted me, and I finished the race with them - and of course we took pictures for each other, because we couldn't get the finish line in our selfies!

Richard spent most of the race by the finish line, cheering as people came in, and he was there waiting for me.  He was lightly covered with the glitter as well, which looked great on his Yankees hat!

So, all in all it was a great race!  I hate to call it a race, since I didn't care about time or beating anyone.  In fact, I don't really know what time our wave of walkers left, nor what time we came in.  Nor do I care.  

I wanted to get covered with color, and I did - goal accomplished!!!!

I know, it seems like a crazy event, but I love crazy!  And whimsical!  And frivolity!  I've always wanted to participate in a color run, and we've made our retirement and our travels the time to do everything we've always wanted to do.

So, a color run!  Of course!  Why not?