Color Me Rad – My 5k Rainbow Experience
Color Me Rad is a 5k colour run in which different coloured bombs are thrown at you in different sections of the race. All you have to do is turn up in a white t-shirt, and let the colour bombs do the rest. Throughout the 5k, at various stages, the Color Bomb Squad will pelt you with bombs of blue, green, pink, purple and yellow; so you start out in white, and finish as a rainbow. At the finish line you get more colour bombs thrown at you, and the hugs are free!
I participated in Color Me Rad Manchester on the 21st June 2014 at Heaton Park. Before the race all participants are sent a packet including a Color Me Rad t-shirt and some cool sunglasses!
If you do not sign a waiver, then your pack will not be posted to you at home before the race, but you can collect it on the day. The organisers advise you to turn up an hour before the race if you need to do this as queues can get quite long, and they’re right. We turned up an hour before and queued for 5 minutes, but 5 minutes later the queues were four times as long and growing.
On race day we arrived to crisp white t-shirts and excitement. It’s a warm day but thankfully not too hot, although I do wonder if I will struggle in the sun. We arrive to a group zumba warm up, and then did a little stretching ready to head off at 9am. Waiting for the race to start I’m quite nervous, as for those of you following my Couch to 5k blogs know that I will be no where near ready to run the whole thing. 2 days before race day I completed week 4 run 2, in which I managed 15.5 minutes running with walking breaks. Waiting to go I contemplated using the race to do week 4 run 3, but this starts with a 5 minute warmup walk, and as we would be in the first group to set off, with EVERYONE watching us, I felt like we should start off running, so I decided instead just to see how I felt and do the best I could.
Running the race I had good and bad points. My initial run went well, and I didn’t stop until after the first color station, which was yellow. Although I’m not sure of the exact distances, I imagine that the 5 stations are approximately 1km apart, as the last is very close to the finish. I got a good hit of yellow on my way through and slowed to a walk as the course started to go slightly up hill. Up hill is one I struggle a lot with, my calves are taking the brunt of my pain while training, and up hill, even the slightest incline, seems to make them seize up. I don’t want to push it, so I decide that I will walk the uphill sections.
I walked mainly to the second station which was orange, and then as we turned to a slight down hill, I started running again. This time I felt like I got a really good run in, although I don’t know how long I ran for, it felt like a 5 minute run at least, and I really hope it was a good time for me. Coming up to the water station the course started going up hill again, so I slowed to a walk.
At the top of the hill we went through the purple station, and again the course leveled out so I could get in another quick run. At this point I realise how much of the course is on a slight incline, and even though it is only slight, I just can’t manage to run without my calves being in real pain. My feet also start to hurt at this point, and I worry that as my training progresses I will hit more problems, but I decide that my body is only in pain as I’m not used to it, and that I should just keep going and it will get better.
After a bit of stop start running we hit the green station, which is slightly different to the others as instead of a colour bomb the green is more like wet paint being splattered on you, although the coolness is quite refreshing by this point, and I pick up a slow run again.
Coming out of the green station I see the pink station and the finish line! At this point I had no idea how far we had come or that the finish line was so close, so I pick up my pace and run to the finish line.
I was proud of myself for finishing, but a little part of me was upset at the amount of running I managed. I think had I known how far around I was getting I would have tried to run a little more on the uphill sections also, as by the end although I was in pain, I was not particularly out of breath. I think have markers on the course for each km completed would be helpful for people like me. I also wish that I had known about the terrain before hand, as I just assumed that being in Manchester it would be quite flat (as I’m from Yorkshire almost all of Manchester is flat to me), as maybe if I had planned a little better for the uphill sections I wouldn’t have had to walk to much.
Either way I had a really good time and was glad I did it. Hopefully I will be able to continue my training and come back next year with a much better result!
Thanks for reading!
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