We recently took a break from our training to participate in a fun run: Run or Dye. This was going to be a big day for us because we were both running with some special people on their quest to complete their first 5K races! Princess Alana was running with her friend, Christine, who you met in her pre-race report. And as for me, I was running with 2 of my favourite running partners in the whole wide world: my daughters! Check out my youngest (6 years) at Race Kit Pick-Up:
Despite the lovely, clear blue skies above, Mother Nature was in a foul mood on run day. After watching the forecast all week, we knew we might be in for a wild day! Rain, rain and more rain. We woke up bright and early and were encouraged to see that it was not raining – yet. However, as we got ready in our white outfits and glow bracelets and accessories, Alana was texting me to say she was driving through a rain storm which meant it was only a matter of time.
We threw in some ponchos and jumped in Alana’s van to the race site, hoping we might beat the rain; unfortunately, en route, it began to POUR. We made it to the parking lot and sat in the van for a while, debating what to do. To run or not to run? We watched people dashing through the parking lot, umbrellas blowing inside out against the storm. When there was a reprieve in the rain, we made a quick decision to go for it and jumped on the shuttle to the race start. No turning back now!
We got really lucky during our wait in the corral. The rain had abated, the ponchos came off and the party started! Color was flying and we were surprised by how many friends we ran into in such a huge crowd. Over 5,000 people were out, ready to run in the rain. I knew we were on borrowed time with the weather so we just enjoyed getting blasted with color, dancing and chatting with friends. While fun, the wait to run became a little obnoxious in the end – instead of letting waves of 500 cross the start line every few minutes as planned, it seemed they were sending far fewer runners off at a time. It took us almost an hour to get to the start. An hour of no rain – for the love, we could have run the whole 5K and been done in that time!
But eventually it was our turn and off we went! This was my favourite part of the run as we got to run through Fort Henry. The girls enjoyed seeing the cannons and skeletons and we went through a brief history lesson on the run! We soon hit the first dye station (green) which was fun. From here, things got a little rough as the rain started again and came down hard. At this point in the course, we moved onto the grass fields which were crowded, hilly and – due to the rain – muddy. Hey, this princess didn’t sign up for a mud run!
The pink dye station was a fun diversion as well as the purple that followed, but by this point we were soaked and my youngest was starting to tire. We saw some grown men dressed as fairies float by, singing no less, which gave us a laugh and, just as I was starting to worry about how we were going to get through this 5K, the finish line appeared! It was rather anti-climactic with no color blasting or fanfare, but all I could think was AMEN. I didn’t have my Garmin, but I knew there was no way it had been a full 5K. In this case, on this day, running with kids, I was A-OK with that…but if you are going to advertise your race as being “the world’s most colorful 5K”, you should probably make sure it is a 5K. “The world’s most colorful 4.2K” doesn’t have the same ring to it, but that’s what we ran! (Shhh, don’t tell my kids!)
We huddled under some shelter and waited for Alana and Christine, at which point we all made a mad dash for the shuttle back to the parking lot. Mission Run or Dye complete! We were a brilliant, sopping rainbow of a mess! (Note: Days – and multiple washes – later, my hair is still pink. Ahem. Not the best look. But I suppose better pink than green?)
Now, a few words about the Run or Dye race itself. This seems to be the latest offering in color runs, with more established races like The Color Run and Color Me Rad leading the way. We were excited to have this one come right to us. It was great to have this kind of fun run offered right in our area, as we would not likely have travelled to do something like this. I was one of the first 50 to register and, as thanks, I was sent a swag bag with tattoos, stickers and a t-shirt which was a nice touch. Race Kit Pick-Up was smooth, and the swag was great (backpack, race shirt, bracelet, tattoos, dye pack, power bar).
Not so great? No bag check. Kind of an issue when being shuttled to the race start, especially in less than ideal weather. I had to run as a pack mule with my backpack (at least I had my new Run or Dye backpack, natch!). No water stations. This was not a last minute call due to weather – there were never going to be any water stations. So I also had to carry water for the kids because, raining or not, 5K is a long run for little legs. Anti-climactic finish line that came out of nowhere and was almost a full kilometre too early. Again, I was never so happy to see a Finish line, but that is a pretty big faux-pas for a race. No sign of water or post-race food to be found. Not allowed inside the building because we were too dirty. Essentially, no rain plan whatsoever. Meh, not the most organized of races. But of course, the most colorful!
A little rain might have cramped our style, but we’re hardcore princesses at heart! My kids were proud they finished – and I was proud of them for taking the rain, hills and mud like little champs with no complaints. Alana and Christine had a blast on their run as well, taking everything in stride. In the end, it was another great adventure for 2 princesses on the run as we continue to follow the rainbow.
Tell Us: Have you done a color run? Would you have run in the rain?