On a normal day, if my 15-year old daughter were to rub her psychedelic chalk-covered hands all over my face and neck, leaving me looking like a Salvador Dali painting on acid - I'd pretty much slap her upside the head, and then ground her for a week.
Yeah…that is totally me.
But…when one is running the psychedelic-infused Color Run 5k with said daughter - you just go with the flow, and then try to exact a bit of revenge with your OWN psychedelic chalk-covered hands.
All is fair in love and war…or in this case, at the Color Run.
The "Happiest 5k on the Planet", aka "The Color Run", blew into Kansas City yesterday morning…and how could I NOT sign up for a race that promotes "healthiness, happiness and individuality"???!!! Several months ago, when I looked into signing Hubby, my regular running buddy, and I up to run this, the conversation in my house went like this:
Me: "Hey - the Color Run is coming! Wanna' do it with me?"
Him: "Color Run? Never heard of it."
Me: "It's really fun. You run while people throw colored chalk dust on you."
Him: Totally silent at this point, but he had this weird expression on his face that looked like this:
Needless to say, Hubby was NOT on board with doing The Color Run, so I had to find my next
Of course, when she heard she'd be getting up early on a Saturday morning to run a race with her Mom, you can only IMAGINE the excitement.
Saturday morning dawned cool and cloudy…with a slight northerly breeze in the air. We wanted to leave the house at 6:30 a.m. (for an 8:00 a.m. race start), so I waited until the last possible second to wake up Daughter. She, uh, tends to be…um…a tad bit…grumpy…if woken too soon.
Although Hubby wanted nothing to do with getting messy, he was more than willing to drive us to the race and cheer us on from the sidelines. While he drove us, I spent time going over the race strategy with Daughter, who, I'm SURE, was attentively listening to me behind her dark sunglasses from the back seat. I know that she wouldn't have been using this time to sleep, or anything….
We arrived at Arrowhead Stadium by 7:00 a.m., and HOLY TRAFFIC JAM, BATMAN…you would have thought that the Kansas City Chiefs were playing a Super Bowl game that morning…cars were stretched out for miles, attempting to get into the stadium for parking. It was crazy. I knew this was a popular race, but I was still taken aback by the number of participants….I never heard a final number, but I DO know that my race bib number was six digits. Yowza.
The Race Gods were smiling down on us, as we managed to snag a second-row parking spot, which actually sounds pretty dumb to be all excited about when you're getting ready to RUN for 3 miles, but hey.
This is a "wave" race - meaning they send out so many runners per wave - and I was determined to be in the first wave. Not sure why that was so important, as it's not a timed race or anything - but I wanted Daughter and I to be able to run without 20,000 other runners breathing down our necks…and if we were out first, we could quickly get up ahead and leave the other runners in our dust. (Hee hee…see what I did there? "Dust" - as in "colored dust"!!!)
Fortunately, arriving an hour before the start pretty much guaranteed that we were literally at the starting tape:
Yup - nothing but empty pavement before us…SWEEEEET!!!
We killed time by dancing to the obnoxiously-loud music blaring from the speakers, as well as taking silly selfies:
Before we knew it, it was 8:00 a.m. - we were OFF!
The course basically wound around the parking lot at Arrowhead Stadium, and it didn't take us long to settle into a good, comfortable pace. Within the first quarter of a mile, we were greeted by a Drum Line, and because percussion along race courses is ALWAYS cool, I stopped to take a quick photo:
Race directors take note…more drum, please.
It was about here that I had a bit of a race snafu.
I was wearing a neon orange hat - not so much to protect my hair from the colored dust - but to keep the rain off my sunglasses. There had been a bit of a 'spit' - or mist - that morning, and I hate nothing more than getting rain-soaked glasses. Gah. Well…remember that northerly breeze I mentioned earlier??? Every so often, that "breeze" turned into a major gust of wind (there was a cold front blowing in, apparently), and unfortunately, my hat became a victim. One minute it was there - and the next - it was gone.
NOOOOOOOOOOOOO!!!!!!!!!!!! NOT MY HAT!!!!!!
(I only have about a hundred hats, but still…)
Daughter came to my rescue, and quickly retrieved my hat…she then even volunteered to wear it, tucking her pony tail through it so it wouldn't go sailing off in the distance again.
And this will explain why you'll see the orange hat on MY head for some of the photos, and on DAUGHTER's head for others. Your eyes aren't playing tricks on you.
Soon, we were approaching our first color station - ORANGE!!!!
Daughter and I tentatively approached the line of volunteers on either side of us, and then screaming like banshees, we ran through, waving our arms in the air like fools, and laughed and giggled the entire way as we were getting bombarded with oodles and gazoodles of orange-colored cornstarch.
And I took NO pictures! Gah.
Not to fear, though, because about a half-mile later, we were approaching our second color station, YELLOW!!!
We repeated the same process as before, running through and screaming, laughing and giggling like crazy, through a golden cloudy haze…
And it was here that I realized something had to change. I was reluctant to take my phone out and take too many pictures - ESPECIALLY when we ran through the clouds - as I didn't want to potentially damage it. But…I was missing some good blog material here, darn it!!! Fortunately, it was about this time that Hubby appeared like magic on the sidelines, and he agreed to take over my phone and photography duty. From now on, Daughter and I had our own personal photographer to document our adventure.
He got right to work in his new important role, taking a photo of us as we finished the Yellow station:
And another one:
After this brief break, Daughter and I hit it again, hurrying along until the next station, but not before grabbing some water at the (one) water station along the course. Soon, we were entering Smurf-land, aka BLUE!!!
By now, we'd perfected our strategy. I'd send Daughter a bit ahead, so we wouldn't "block" each other from the dust. And we would turn and spin our way through the dust cloud, so we'd get color both coming and going. We looked like drunken sailors, but it worked, as far as spreading the color to the front AND back of our shirts. We saw other folks start adopting this strategy as well, so we were knew we were on to something.
Before we knew it, we were approaching the last color zone, PINK:
I lost Daughter in this picture…she must have gotten a bit too far ahead.
But that was short-lived, because before we knew it, we were approaching the Finish Line, and she insisted that we hold hands as we ran through it together:
Did you catch that?
I'll repeat it.
She INSISTED THAT WE HOLD HANDS.
Be still, my heart.
After finishing, you get handed a cool medal and some color packets & glitter. We then made our way down to the stage area in the parking lot for the After Party, and here's where the REAL fun is.
See, we were a bit "colored" up - but not too bad.
That was about to change.
After hundreds of runners gathered near the stage, the deejay did a countdown - and then everyone threw their colored dust, from their color packets, up in the air - and when the cloud cleared, we. were. covered.
Of course, Daughter decided to dip into her colored packet before the "official" drop, and decorate my face and neck a little with her pink powder. I looked like a clown.
So, I retaliated with a bit of my yellow powder on HER face.
We had powder EVERYWHERE. On the front of our legs. On the back of our legs. In our ears. In our mouths. And even up my nose, which made blowing my nose very interesting later that day.
Soon, we decided to head home…fortunately, Hubby had spread some old beach towels on the seats in the car, so we didn't totally colorize the upholstery.
When we got home, we spent a few minutes taking some more photos to document our experience:
I'm thinking, that no matter how cool she tries to be, or nonchalant, that she had some fun today. Call it Mother's Intuition…but she definitely had fun.
Finally, we turned the leaf blower on Daughter to blow off some of the dust. Seriously.
Bring it on.
I'm sure our neighbors thought we were crazy, but what else is new??
OUR TIPS FOR A HAPPY & HASSLE-FREE COLOR RUN:
1. Wear sunglasses (to protect your eyes from the dust).
2. Wear old tennis shoes.
3. Everything washes out fine in the laundry - so don't worry about stains.
4. Bring old towels to sit on in the car for the way home.
5. Everything washed out fine as far as our hair goes, too. No issues.
6. Try to get in one of the earlier waves if you can - less crowded!
7. Go with an open mind and good attitude.
8. HAVE FUN!!!!
Oh, one last pic - check out the swag! Besides a t-shirt (which is amazingly soft, by the way), you get a headband, tattoos, and a medal!!!
It's funny, because on the way to the race, I was telling Hubby that this would probably be a "one and done" race for me…but now, looking back, I would do this race again in a heartbeat!
Besides the fun that the Color Run promises, I wouldn't trade the memories I made with my Daughter for ANYTHING.