Monday, May 21, 2012

The Color Run 2012 (Racine, WI) Race Report

On Saturday evening, I was lucky enough to run The Color Run (HERE) in Racine, Wisconsin.  With so many big cities on the Color Run Map, it was a sweet surprise that one of the events was scheduled in the city offshore of Lake Michigan; in between Milwaukee and Chicago. 

The race was scheduled for an unusual 5:00 PM start.  Packet pick up went until the start of the race.  I was scheduled to coach a practice 10K race at 9 AM on Saturday morning.  So, I ran two hours in the heat with them, drove home to get my things, packed up the car, and headed down to Racine in my sweaty running gear (nothing out of the ordinary for me!).

Long line at packet pick-up

 When we got to packet pick up, things were kind of chaotic and the line for packet pick up (pre-registration) seemed really long. But, it surpringly moved quickly. While, in line, I did some texting and phone calls with Kayla from Midwestern Musings (HERE).  She had won a free race entry from RDM and we were finally going to meet up after communicating on blogs and Facebook for close to two years.

When we finally go to the front of the line, they were directing participants to various lines to get their packets.  The directed me over to Seth, who I have actually been communicating with online for the past couple of months, to help promote the event.  It was kind of an odd coincidence!  He got us checked in quickly after I mentioned my blog and he said he was eager to read about our race experience.  Soon, I met up with Kayla, who drove almost three hours for The Happiest 5K on the Planet!  

Before and After Shirts
There were many versions of white shirts everywhere.  People wore tanks, tees, cut off tees, and there were many fun costumes.  I was one of MANY sporting white tutus.  Your goody bag came with the cute t-shirt that I decided to sport during the race.  The goody bag also came with a white sweatband, tatto and additional packet of "color" to throw at the after party.

Me with the sweet and adorable
Kayla from Midwestern Musings (

Kayla, J and I ended up posing for a few quick pictures, had a few runs to the parking ramp to get loot, drop off goody bags and finally we were off to the start line.  We followed the sea of white t-shirts to the ever growing startline. 

I couldn't believe the number of people that were participating. We were placed next too a loud speaker ... and it was LOUD! They were playing lots of pop music and upbeat tunes. It was like a little pre-race dance party.

The start line ... a sea of white shirts


We were amazed at the number of women participating.  Very similar to the Disney Princess Half Marathon, I thought!!  There were also a lot of families, and non-runners participating.  It was great to see all ages, shapes, sizes, and non-runners participating. 

There was not a clock, the race is not timed, and this is the first race ever where I didn't even wear a watch. It was just about being outside, being active and having fun ... colorful fun!

We ended off starting in several waves, which we didn't know about.  The herd of white tees kept starting and stopping.  We started in about the fifth wave, and there were still several behind us.  We wandered around through downtown, and then through residential neighborhoods and then were to finish along the lake.  There were LOTS of walkers walking side-by-side.  We tried to "jog" around them, but knew were definitely not going to be running today.

First was Yellow ....

It was kind of a cluster of people heading towards adults and children, wearing latex gloves and face masks.  The volunteers were covered head to toe in caked, colored cornstarch.  You had to physically run up to the volunteers as they tossed handfuls on you, and then could blend it around yourself. 

J's contacts were bugging him terribly, so after the first kilometer, he opted to swing around on the outside, and meet up with us after the color station.  I still made sure he got "colored"!!

Then was Green ....

Kayla commented how we looked like green and gold Packers fans!  There was a water station somewhere along this part of the course.  Again, you had to physically stand there and wait for cups to be filled.  Annoying in a typicaly race - yes.  But, not annoying for this race experience.

We looped around to Lake Michigan and stopped to pose some pictures along the lakeshore.  Lots of people were stopped (again, reminding me of a fun Disney race).  This was just about fun.

Next was pink ....

My favorite color of all (of course!).  All the ladies were giddy to run through a cloud of pink.  It was fun smearing my favorite color all over my fluffy tutu and my face.  Sadly, it ended up being the hardest color to get off my face, scalp, arms and chest after the race!

Then purple ....

They were playing Purple Rain, as we got covered in the purple goodness at the last station. 

We headed to the finish line.  Again, no clock (expected).  But the sea of people standing at the "finish line" was crazy.  They were just standing there mingling.  The announcer was trying to instruct them to move, but they weren't.  It was so hot and humid and everyone was looking for water.  There were huge crowds around the one water table that we found.  We grabbed some water, cooled down, and posed for some post-race pics.

I saw someone else post online that The Color Run is a once in a lifetime experience ... not a race.  And, I would definitely agree.  It's one of those things that you need to experience for yourself.  At one point, we said that it should be called The Color Walk instead.  There were very few people actually running or even jogging the event.  At about $50, I would personally prefer to race a half marathon.  But, I do think that everyone should experience this once.  It's a great opportunity to remind ourselves how much fun organized events can be.  Some of us get so serious and motivated about endurance, speed and times.  And, it offers others the opportunity to participate and get their friends and families active alongside them.  I would have to agree that this IS The Happiest 5K on the planet.  J and I are very thankful to The Color Run for having given us the opportunity  check it out.

We watched over the post-race party, where sweaty participants threw extra bags of color and clouds of smoke hovered overhead.  Kind of magical.  But, we had had enough at that point, and just watched from afar.

We did stand in line FOREVER to get an alcoholic beverage.  The food line was twice as long.  I really enjoyed my Mike's Harder Black Cherry Lemonade, as we listened to a fantastic coverband, Hairball.  The band was hilarious and very, very entertaining.

Take a look and see where
The Color Runis coming near you!


  1. Sounds like so much fun. I am signed up for one this August. It's always great to go out and run for the fun of it and leave the Garmin at home.

  2. Interesting. I can see where that would be a once in a lifetime experience. :) I sure wish I had won a free entry though...$50! Wow.

  3. I'm signed up for this in July. It's good to know what to expect!It does sound like a great experience!

  4. It was such an amazing time! For everyone apparently!! Not one rude person out of thousands of people!

  5. Looks like a lot of fun! The tutu looks cute with all the paint on it though.

  6. Sounds like you had quite a bit of fun!