Months ago, my friend Nakia organised a group to participate in The Color Run. Unfortunately, we couldn’t follow through but to her credit, she did so and graciously agreed to tell us her story. It’s my privilege to present her brilliant story and photos of the event. I sincerely hope that it encourages you on your journey towards increased fitness, and better living. Cheers!
My Color Run Experience
by Nakia Kuznof
This is not the first 5K race in which I have participated. This is, however, the first 5K race in which I have participated that I am unable to wear the free race t-shirt, and man, I was bummed about that! One of the things that saddened me was that this 5K is The Color Run, and according to their motto it’s “The Happiest 5K on the Planet.” I was the opposite of happy when I tried on that race shirt. Once I looked at myself in the mirror and realized that I wouldn’t step foot outside of my bathroom in that shirt, let alone join a race with thousands of people who were super stoked to be there, I knew I had two choices; either be sad and mope, or I could suck it up, buy a plain white tee that fits, and go on and get happy.
I am working on changing my life for the better, so I needed to remind myself that although I can’t fit into the race tee now, I will use that as another non scale victory when I can wear it in the near future. I think that whenever one embarks on a weight loss journey, it is important to recognize accomplishments along the way that aren’t tied to the number on the scale. Life is so much more than that, right?! So, after that thought, I shook off the “Woe is me” attitude, and went to the store. I was going to rock my plain white tee and let the good times roll!
My tween daughter and I got to The Citrus Bowl in Orlando where the race was being held in plenty of time to witness the waves of people rolling in to get ready to walk, run, and party! I saw immediately that I should not have been sad about not wearing my race tee-shirt because there were participants in all kinds of crazy get ups; from the elderly woman in a rainbow wig, to the young man in a wedding gown, to the teenage girls with fairy wings and argyle socks, all the way down to a toddler with face paint and a feather boa. Individuality and creativity were encouraged and appreciated! In the registration packets, there were two temporary “The Color Run” tattoos along with a color packet to be thrown later, so my daughter and I put our tattoos on, but said to one another that if the race comes back to Orlando again, we’re going to get a wacky outfit together and wear it with pride!
As I mentioned earlier, this was not my first 5k race, but it was definitely the liveliest! There was music pumping through giant speakers not only around the start and finish lines, but also at the four Color Zones along the race route. There were residents and police officers along the street cheering us on, and the atmosphere from start to finish was like a party. With each Color Zone that was passed, the excitement grew and grew. Walkers and runners alike remained upbeat and the organizers had everyone start out in waves of approximately one thousand runners as to not create a bottleneck situation at any point during the race. The volunteers throwing the colored corn starch were very enthusiastic and were generously splashing people as they trotted through the Color Zones. In these areas, the excitement would spike to “The. Best. Party. Ever” levels. There was cheering, laughing, dancing, and even a few people who looked to be passed out, but were actually on the ground making colorful angels on those Orlando city streets.
Volunteers were giving high-fives as people proceeded under the balloon arch at the finish line. After we passed through, there was an open field that housed the main stage, food and beverage vendors, race check-in, and The Color Run Store. Cases of cold bottled water were available and there were also samples of protein bars close by the water station. Every fifteen minutes or so, someone would get on the stage and give a countdown for those who wanted to release their color packets (if they hadn’t done so already) at the same time. As soon as the announcer got to “ONE!” there was a ginormous cloud of color. Close to us, we could see the individual colors of the packets around, but when we looked up, the fog was a greenish brown. It was still an awesome experience, and it was so much fun to celebrate with everyone there.
If I were to rate my experience at The Color Run on a scale of 1 to 5 with 1 being “I hated it and would never go back” and 5 being “I loved it and would go to another race without hesitation,” I would give it a 5. My daughter and I both want to do it again, but next time with more running (because we didn’t do any) and cool costumes. This experience has reminded me to enjoy the journey, and have fun each step of the way. I might not be where I want to be, but I’m appreciating where I am now all the same. I walked this race today, but I plan on running the next one. I will also be running in my race tee-shirt.