Ever fancied going for a run and having powdered paint thrown at you? Nope, neither have we. Ever in fact. Which is why we find it strange that so many people are making their way around the country to do just that. Okay, there’s probably a little bit more to it, we know.
Some of you may be aware of Holi, also known as the Festival of colour. A popular celebration of Hindu origin that takes place predominantly in South Asia. The festival sees people throw various coloured powders and spray liquid paint at each other – a springtime celebration of love, dance, music and colour. We’ve never been, we don’t know a great deal about it, but it does look pretty fun.
The Color Run, if you’ve ever seen the marketing campaigns, look a bit like that. Lots of people smiling and covered in, well, lots of colours, as they make their way round a 5km running route. Their most recent takes that concept and moves it into darkness, with participants wearing head torches, glow in the dark T-Shirts and neon temporary tattoos.
But what is it about these events that makes them so appealing? Over at The Allrounder we’re quite into are running, we’re pretty competitive in fact. When we take part in a run we generally do it to race. We want to beat our times and push ourselves. It’s for that reason we have, up until now, never taken part in a Color Run.
But we like to give everything a try, within reason (bungee jumping? no thanks). So we decided to head on over to the Olympic Park at Stratford to find out why these events are becoming so popular.
When we arrived at the race village there was one thing we noticed, even more so than all the flashing lights. It was a big difference to the majority of the timed races we normally take part it. Everyone stood around seemed ridiculously happy. Yeah sure, people are excited at the start of a 10k, but people here were actually having fun. It was like a big party. On stage were people jumping about performing dance moves, urging the crowd to join them. Kids were running about shouting and waving luminescent devices.
There wasn’t the normal sense of anticipation that happens at the start of a race. The general atmosphere meant that people were just excited to be there.
After half an hour everyone moved towards the start and waited for the countdown, adjusting the various light-emitting devices attached to them. Then suddenly we were off. The 5km route looped around the Olympic park ending near the ArcelorMittal Orbit. Along the way we were blasted with colour to the cheers of the crowd, everyone shouting and waving as we made our way to the finish.
As competitive races go, it’s not the most taxing, but that’s good, it’s not meant to be. What the Color Run is about is having fun. But even more importantly is the fact that it does it whilst promoting fitness at the same time. 5km is a daunting distance for someone to run who isn’t a seasoned runner, and if this was any normal 5km race then there would probably be a lot of people at the event that wouldn’t want to take part. But with the lights, the colours, and the blaring music, a 5km course seems irrelevant. By the end most people looked like they wanted to carry on.
And even if you are a keen runner – maybe you run amazing marathon times or scale mountains – it’s nice to do an event where you can just enjoy it. A chance to remember that running isn’t just about getting faster, you can have fun doing it as well.
Fore more information about Color Run events head over to the website here.