When I heard Color Me Rad was coming to the Jacksonville Equestrian Center, I was totally excited! I began to tweet with several of my friends and before I knew it, we’d formed a team called “Nerd Herd” of almost 25 runners!!
This was the biggest race team I’d ever participated with. It was really exciting to think I would be running such a fun race with 24 other people! One of our teammates designed a super cool logo for our team which she emailed out to everyone. I dug two of Adam’s all-white shirts out of his dresser and summoned my best ironing skills.
Friday before the race, I headed to the Ramada Mandarin to get my race packet (& a few teammates packets to save them the trip). They’d offered race packet pickup earlier in the week, but my schedule wouldn’t allow me to go. I knew picking up my race packet after work the Friday before the race would be a little dumb, but this was ridiculous.
Finally, after about an hour of waiting, I made it to the front of the line. I showed the registration coordinator my list of names to check-in that I’d compiled using the iPhone Notes app. She was grateful I had everything easily organized for her to check us in. It also made it easier that all the packets I was picking up were for the same team. First I got our race numbers, then I waited in line to get our t-shirts (sooo cute), then waited in another line to get the color bombs, and then a last one for neon colored sun glasses. FINALLY!!
On the day of the race, our entire team of 25+ people had plans to meet up at the Equestrian Center at 8:45 am for a group photo. We were scheduled to run at 9:10 am, so we figured this would give us enough time.
BOY were we wrong!
Traffic was a nightmare. Adam was driving while I was texting friends and checking twitter. I started seeing people complain about the traffic and reading tweets and texts to him as we got closer. He made the bold move of taking a back way to the Equestrian Center. BOOM. We were there super quick. No traffic. Coming in the other way? Not so good. We hung out and waited for the rest of our team to arrive…while our starting time of 9:10 came and went. Thankfully they had a very fun emcee who kept everyone informed of start times, color bombs, and more.
So you may be wondering, what is this color race anyways? What makes it colorful? Several times throughout the race, you’re literally “bombed” with colored corn starch. Plus in your registration packet, you get one packet of color. I tucked this guy in my sports bra to hold onto until it was a good time to start the race.
After a few minutes of waiting, Monica and I met up. She said the rest of our team had already started because of all the traffic madness. Thankfully, the emcee kept announcing they knew about the traffic delays, and that they would keep the course open for as long as they necessary for everyone to run. Monica took off to run the race with some of friends.
Adrenalin was running a high at the start.
People were popping open their color bombs and already tossing them around at each other.
Thanks to Jason for catching one of our few group photos.
Here’s Andy and Jake. They caught on to what the fuss was all about immediately. They just hadn’t realized we had to run 3.1 miles yet. Mmuahahahaha
Finally we were off. We split into two groups. Group 1 (Adam, Lauren, and Jake) ran ahead at a “Jake pace”. Group 2 (Anne, Jake, and I) hung back at an “Andy pace”. It was a lot of fun to run the race with Andy. His shirt was super cute too. People would jog past us and cheer him on with “Go Andy, Go” and “You can do it, Andy!”.
A lot of the race was actually running. There were a few areas stationed throughout the race where we would be “color bombed”. You could see them in the distance.
It was essentially running through a big cloud of color.
Check-in after the first color bomb station? Everyone’s OK! Let’s go!
… the whole running thing started catching up as the adrenalin leveled out a bit..
There were lots of fun costumes.
At some point, Color Me Rad turned into the Zombie me Rad.
Another color bomb station. They weren’t all pink, I just seemed to take good pictures at the pink ones.
At one point, Andy found a better way to tackle the miles.
Not all stations were filled with colored corn-starch. Two stations had people with colored-water packs on to spray us with yellow or green liquid. I preferred the non-water stations, but these weren’t too bad. Finally, we broke through the woods to the finish.
Violet Beauregarde twins!
Can you spot our fans?
I’m not 100% sure how this area right before the finish ended up entirely blue. There wasn’t anyone around tossing blue starch in the air. Maybe they ran out?
Some people were a little “love drunk” with the color towards the end of the race. Very interesting hippy dippy stuff was going on. People were “color-starch drunk”.
And we were done! Quite possibly the easiest, most laid-back 3.1 miles I’ve ever run.
Now THAT’S sexy!
Panorama of the scene! Click the photo to view the full size panorama.
And just in case anyone were to possibly leave not colored head-to-toe, every 10-15 minutes or so, everyone grouped together for a full blown color bomb.
“It was like I’d murdered a Smurf in the Shower”
Now THAT is a sweet “tan line”.
Remember how easily we were able to sneak in before the race? Yeah.. not so easy leaving. We sat in the parking lot and waited…and waited… I chewed my arm off.. and we waited.. and finally we were able to leave. Then we saw remnants of how crazy it was before the race. Whew!! Live and learn. Hopefully the Color me Rad peeps took note and will improve things a bit next time around! I heard there were 5,000-6,000 people running (though this is unconfirmed) and the race starts were only 5 minutes apart (9:00, 9:05, 9:10 etc).
Regardless, the race was a blast. I would HIGHLY recommend doing this race. This would be a perfect “first” race for anyone that is a little nervous about completing the full 3.1 miles distance or for a group of people that are of different experience levels.
**Color Me Rad provided me with two free race entries (and 4 to give away) so we could share our experiences with my readers. Thoughts and opinions here are 100% my own and not influenced by others.**