Yesterday, I travelled up to Birmingham to do the Color Run at the NEC. After starting to run more regularly I wanted to go to a big running event and I thought this was a perfect place to start. The last time I ran with a large number of people was in junior high school competing in cross country events. I used to be so small my school t-shirt almost touched my knees so it’s been a while and running with 100 people and 8 thousand split into waves is totally different. This isn’t like other events it’s not competitive in the slightest, its main purpose is to promote healthiness, happiness, individuality and giving back to the community. After eating a big bowl of blueberry porridge covered in plenty of strawberries and some cashew butter my sister and I jumped on the train to Birmingham armed with glittery face paint, temporary tattoos and our colour run t-shirts. Luckily the train station is connected to the NEC so there was no chance of getting lost which seems to happen all too often when I’m around.
The event was held in one of the many halls at the NEC. There were a few stalls dotted around the edge of the hall from food stands to information desks. At one end of the hall there was a stage with a group of people. This was where people were beginning to warm up for the event. Not my usual sort of warm up it was in a dance/zumba style but it was surprisingly fun. Being surrounded by hundreds of happy people meant I was more excited then scared. As we warmed up the atmosphere was starting to build in anticipation of the start of the event. After, we moved over to the start chute. There was a huge crowd of people and they gradually moved us to the start line in separate waves. My sister and I were in the second wave.
The atmosphere at the start of the race was really nice. There was music playing and everyone was cheering. Shortly after the race began my sister and I have overtaken a large majority of our wave. Since we both run fairly regularly, a 5km run is a breeze and we both probably took the running a bit too seriously but it was still really fun. Alot of other people were more focused on having fun and spent more time at each km point where you get doused head to toe in a different color. Some people were even rolling around in the paint powder (I’m slightly jealous I didn’t think to do this). The first km point was orange and I didn’t really get much paint on me but the next km point was a different story. At this point my sister and I had caught up with the first wave and at the 2nd km point I got absolutely covered in blue paint powder and spent the rest of the day with half a blue/purple face. Over the next 2km we got covered in pink and yellow paint powder and we were now close to the front of the first wave. When we reached the finish line we were handed a pack of paint powder and water. By this point we were both thoroughly covered in paint but little did we know it would only get messier.
The finishing line opened up into an area with a festival layout. There were a few stalls run by the sponsors of the event and there were also a few food stalls which were all fairly unhealthy foods and none of which catered to my array of food intolerances. Typical burger and chips sort of food which I expected but it would of been nice if they served ‘clean’ healthy foods especially as healthiness is one of the key things the event is trying to promote. But I had prepared for this by packing some of my own food in my bag so it wouldn’t ruin my day because walking around feeling hungry and having nowhere to eat is no fun.
As well as stalls there was a stage where people who had finished the race started to gather around. Weirdly enough this was the part I was most nervous for because I don’t do well in large crowds of people but this was the most enjoyable part. There was music playing and they were getting in crowd the jump around and dance in preparation for the first colour throw. We counted down to the throw and hundreds of people threw their packets of paint powder in the air creating the most beautiful dust cloud I have ever seen. I was sneezing purple for about a day after this. Over the next couple hours there were around 4 more colour throws each time we got progressively dustier and more colourful. When it was time to go home we both really were covered head to toe in various colours of paint powder. This is when the snazzy yellow ponchos we were given came in handy for the train ride back.
The day soon came to an end and I was back to Rugby. I can honestly say this was the happiest 5km I have ever run and it is the most fun I have had in a long time.I would recommend it to anyone thinking of doing it. I actually enjoyed it so much that I’m thinking of doing the Night Color Run in London, I just need to find someone to do it with and I definitely will be trying some more serious running events in the future but I think this was the best starting point for me. Running is something I really enjoy so I need to start doing it more often.
My last point and probably most important, my sister and I used this event to try and raise money for the NSPCC our goal is to reach £250. We will accept donations until the 15th of September and any amount you can give will be appreciated. www.virginmoneygiving.com/deliciaandalannah
‘Life was meant to be colourful.’
Hope you have a wonderful day! xoxoxo