Out and about

The Color Run

2 March 2013 | 8:30 am

The happiest – and undoubtedly the most colourful – 5km on the planet.

The Color Run is a unique experience that I’ll never forget – easily the most fun I’ve ever had running. Okay, that’s not really a difficult title to claim, but trust me, this really was a heck of a lot of fun.

This American-based (hence the (mis)spelling of colour) event is a 5km walk/run/dance/skip through clouds of colour with thousands of other like-minded participants. It’s got an awesome party atmosphere and is great way for people of any level of fitness and age to come together for a good cause – the Sydney event was helping raise funds and awareness for the charity HeartKids. Truly, it lives up its tagline as “The happiest 5k on the planet”.

The event is a spin-off of a Hindu tradition called Holi, a spring festival of colour commemorating events in Hindu mythology. During this event, participants hold a bonfire, throw coloured powder at each other and celebrate wildly.

And celebrate wildly we did.

The starting line was packed with thousands of people all in white, waiting for their wave to start. The anticipation was high as we saw runners in the earlier waves jogging by splattered in colours of various hues.

Once our wave began, I realised (with some relief) that runners were actually in the minority, with most people taking their time and soaking up the whole experience. Mums with strollers, couples holding hands and laughing groups of friends made up the crowd, and there was an expectant buzz of excitement amongst the crowd.

Every kilometre you pass through a colour station, each dedicated to a different colour. As we approached the 1km mark, we could hear “The Smurfs” theme song in the distance and knew exactly what colour was awaiting us around the bend.

The colour station was surrounded by a huge cloud of blue powder, and as you ran through there was colour being thrown around left, right and centre. There was much laughter as friends pelted each other, lay on the ground making angles in the blue powder and posed for photos amidst the colourful clouds. No one came through unscathed, but everyone came out smiling.

As we ran on, we passed through the succession of colour stations, each an opportunity to sing along to the colour-themed songs, jump through the billowing clouds and throw handfuls of fresh colour at your friends. It was pretty addictive fun, actually – we just couldn’t get enough – and came out of each station caked from head to toe.

After crossing the finish line, we followed the crowd into a clearing that had a stage and thousands of people dancing to music. Every 15 minutes, colour was tossed up into the air creating a massive, beautiful cloud of a multitude of colours.

Celebrating life and cultivating happiness are what this event aims for, and for us it certainly succeeded.

The Color Run has already been to Sydney, Melbourne and Perth, but there are plenty more coming up later in the year, including in Newcastle, Adelaide, Canberra, Brisbane and on the Gold Coast. Check out their website for details if you’re keen for an amazing (if rather messy) day out!

Note: be prepared to get some funny glances on the way home from those who didn’t take part!

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