Wednesday, May 16, 2012

Run Recap in Technicolor

Here's how it went on Sunday.

6:18 am
My brother Alex and his buddy Nate picked me up (I spent Saturday night at a friends in Seattle. Thanks Wendy!). It was a BEAUTIFUL morning. You may detect my level of excitement from the photo. Alex and Nate were excited too, but they were operating on much less sleep.

Arrived at Seattle Center. We found free parking less than 1 block from the starting line. We saw a few other Color Run T shirts and the set-up crew, but it was pretty quiet.

We realized the run didn't begin for two more hours. Good thing we're so photogenic. Took lots of "before" pictures.


Visited the sponsor's tables as they set up. Alex and Nate had 5 Hour Energy (I was already pretty amped up; didn't want to make myself sick). We people-watched as Seattle Center started filling up. Lots of people wore costumes (white suit coats, white bathrobe and towel, white tutu, wigs, etc.). Everybody was happy.

We walked to the starting line. Right up to it, in fact.

Looking down the course, I had a terrible thought. "I'm not a fast runner. What if all these twenty-somethings who are pawing the ground and chomping at the bit overtake me in the first few feet and I get trampled?" Oh well, what a way to go, I decided. I hoped I would at least make it to the first color station.

Photographers and videographers scurried around the crowd. The energy level was HIGH. Loud music played and the crowd of 7,000 + runners was antsy from all the free caffeine; the anticipation was invigorating.  

The yellow tape was taken down, and we all counted down from 10.

"...Three, two, ONE!" The crowd lurched forward. I didn't get trampled.

I looked over my shoulder,back up the slight incline of the starting line. It was really cool to watch the sea of white T shirts come pouring down behind, around, and ahead of us. It was a little like being in the middle of a slow moving avalanche since we were all caught up in the momentum. A smiling, whooping, laughing avalanche.
I carried my mp3 player in case I needed my playlist to keep me moving, but I never used it. The crowd's energy was plenty. 

Alex, Nate and I ran at a slow pace (thankfully). I smiled at the stalled traffic in the remaining open lane as we ran past them. Pedestrians on the sidewalk gave us quizzical looks.

As we neared the first kilometer marker, right before turning onto Second Avenue in downtown Seattle, we saw a blue cloud of dust. Cheers erupted.

As we ran through the color gauntlet, volunteers shot us with colored cornstarch from plastic containers that looked like condiment bottles. The chalky texture felt cool on my skin and stuck to everything it touched: my arm, my shirt, my shorts. One volunteer aimed for Alex's torso, but he ducked into it for full coverage.

At the turnaround point, runners rounded the divider in the middle lane, and ran the other direction on 2nd Ave. Before we reached the halfway mark, the fastest runners startled us by being on the return trip already. They shouted encouragement to us and gave high fives. Then we made the turn, and saw how many thousands of people were all on the same street.

9:15 (approximately)
We ran back to Seattle Center and saw the finish line a few blocks ahead. There were a lot of spectators on either side of the street, cheering us on. As the crowd of runners thinned out (either racing ahead of us or stuck on the hill behind us) we ran as a trio, feeling pretty triumphant. At least until two girls sped past us, one on either side. 

That didn't stop someone in the crowd from pointing at Alex's completely covered face and shouting "YEAHHH!"



The rest of the morning was spent with the crowd throwing colors in the air. It was more fun that it sounds.

Woo hoo!

Thank you Alex, for sharing your photos.


  1. How fun!!!! Is this an annual event?

  2. WOW! I didn't know about this run. What fun! Same question as above -- does it happen every year?