Tuesday, June 2, 2015

The Color Run Birmingham 5k Race Recap

When I started running a few years ago, The Color Run had been created and with the increase of runners in the country, I remember seeing ads for what was being claimed as "The Happiest 5k on the Planet" (could also be said for Disneyland?). I was excited to see Birmingham, AL on the "tour list" of cities. The very first time I attempted the race was back in 2012...it was pouring rain plus it was at a race car track which was cool but at the same time it was a little far out of the way and parking was very difficult with all the participants. The next two years I was out of town for the race and this year I was planning on running the Rock n Roll San Diego Half so again I would be missing out.

However, the weather has been crazy here in the South and with the rain being so bad in Dallas, TX (my layover location) it became a travel concern. Nixing the San Diego trip last minute was difficult but I knew I still wanted to race somewhere. Low and behold I looked at the races available and was excited to see The Color Run as an option! So I  knew I had to sign up. 

Now, I will be the first to admit, running three miles and having colored powered thrown on me is not exactly my idea of fun. I was a little nervous about it getting in my hair or not being able to wash all of it off after the race. But I had heard so much about this race that I wanted to at least complete it once plus this year that added a medal so I knew I wanted to add that to my collection (all about the bling!). Packet pick-up was at a local Kohl's (random, I know), it was super easy and very well done. Got my bib with ease and looked at the little Color Run shop they had set up by registration. They had such fun merchandise! I picked up a pretty awesome unicorn trucker hat (tucked all my hair into cap on race day and did not get one speck of powder in my hair!) and some sunglasses  since I didn't want to mess up my Ray-Bans that I've had for years. The "free" race shirt we got was fine, I'm not big on race shirts since I have so many now. I don't normally wear the actual event shirt on race days (some say it's bad karma others say it just makes you look like a newbie. I personally don't care) but I didn't want to ruin a shirt or have to buy a white tee to wear once. I added my own twist by fraying the ends of the shirt and making it more of a crop top, this was a hit! On race day people kept asking me where they could buy the shirt I had on and I was just thinking you're wearing it! Of course I had to add one of my race day staples, a Sparkle Athletic skirt. I've seen several participants wear the white  skirt but I wear that one so often I was worried the powder would stain it. I opted for royal blue since I have a few of this color so it wouldn't be a tragedy if it got a little messy.  Add some high knee socks and my "costume" was ready. I loved my look!

Race morning came and I was glad they moved the race to actual Birmingham. The start and finish was by the Birmingham Jefferson Civic Center (BJCC) and across the street from the new Uptown section. Lots of parking but I chose to park a little further away to avoid congestion and the cluster of people in the parking garage or parking lot across the street. 

The weather was beautiful! It was very hot but I think everyone was happy to see the sun after the weather we have been having. The race starts in waves and since this race isn't chip timed, people really just line up and are sent off in 5 minute intervals. They had every summery while we waited to begin. Get close to the stage!! The DJ was throwing free shirts and hats as we as other free items. 

There were bubble machines everywhere to add to the ambiance and feel to the race. 

It was just a really energetic and positive feeling at the start line, I mean look this guy had a flamingo on his head. 

Soon it was our turn and we were off! Again, it was HOT out so we decided on Galloway intervals with my timer of 30/30 and the time seemed to fly by. Soon, we were at the blue color station and I was surprised that they threw just enough powder, I think they could tell who really wanted it and who was just kind of there (me!). The race went on and the color stations went blue, orange, yellow, pink and silver at the finish line. I'm super girly so pink was my obvious favorite so why not grab a quick action shot?

We were having a blast but it was getting really warm. I knew we were close to the finish judging by my surroundings. Pretty soon the finish line was in sight and we sprinted to the finish! My first Color Run completed! 

Overall, I would definitely recommend this race. It's great for a first race and one you can do with a group of friends. Don't worry about your pace or time (I don't even think I saw a clock at the finish) and go out and have fun! It really isn't that messy but do pack a beach towel to sit on for the car ride home. Everything rinsed off with my post-race shower and my clothes were not bad at all. The main thing that had color on it was my shirt. I can see why they call it "The Happiest 5k on the Planet" now, everyone just seemed so happy during the race! Get your white tee and sign up today!
It can be pricey but you do get a lot for the experience. Below is everything you receive with the registration fee

Participant Kit
Picture courtesy of The Color Run

Find out here if your city is one of the tour stops and additional info on The Color Run right here


**Disclaimer: All thoughts and opinions are my own. Photos are my property and my own unless noted otherwise**

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