DESCRPTION: A 5k route where 5 tonnes of powdered pigment is thrown at you in different zones.
LOCATION: Wembly Park
DATE: 14th July
Billed as "the happiest 5k in the world" expectation was high for the UK's first Color Run. For weeks, pictures of toothy-grinned runners in colourful clouds appeared on Facebook and Twitter - this was going to be something completely different!
Whilst I was really looking forward to the run, I couldn't get too excited as my race pack didn't turn up! The automated reply to my emails said I could collect it on the day but without contact from a real person I was left feeling a bit unsure. Also, with no bag drop for the event, I would now have to carry an extra top around the course with me after changing into my race shirt.
Arriving early to queue up with the many others missing their race packs, the atmosphere was pretty excitable. White-shirted people swarmed Wembley ready to be covered in colour. Race pack finally in hand - I could now get excited!
The event was very casual - anyone could start between 2:30 and 4:00pm so there was no hurry to the start pen. But after gathering together my group, we decided to queue up and get going.
There was no going. We queued up in 30 degree heat for over an hour without moving more than four steps! I worked through my bottle of water intended for the run before we even crossed the start line! There was no one handing out water to the parched crowd and no one to tell us how long the wait would be. I almost forgot we were going to be running - the energy was sapped out of everyone. But finally, we got the the start. The hype guy had his work cut out to try and get us pumping and ready to run - the crowd politely whooped and cheered and gave a sigh of relief when we started to move.
I don't know Wembley very well. But when a place has 'park' in the name of the underground station I envisage grassy fields, not a concrete industrial estate. This was not a run for the scenery. It was also not a run to take seriously. I didn't bother starting a mile counter, there were no time chips - this was a run purely to have fun with friends. So I'm hoping the girl I saw running on her own with her GPS and headphones in got something from it!
We got to the first colour zone to realise that there was no powder left to be thrown at us. Instead, people were gathering it up from the ground and throwing it at each other. We decided to join in - after all, getting covered in pigment was the name of the game. And despite it not quite being what we expected, it was really fun.
There were four colour zones - pink, purple, yellow and orange - each 1k apart. After collecting each colour on our shirts, shorts, socks, legs and faces, we reached the finish line. Thankfully we were greeted with water (after the refreshment station on the course only provided a bucket of water to dunk a cup into) and a pouch of colour.
The area past the finish line seemed to have way more energy and atmosphere than any part of the whole run! A stage played music and encouraged people to throw their pouches of colour, creating that famous cloud of pigment.
This was certainly a run to remember and I had a blast but I think after the chaos and lack of organisation at the beginning, this will be my one and only Color Run.