Thursday, September 6, 2012

Runners Are Slightly Insane

Admit it. You know we are. Case in point: The Color Run. From the moment I found out there was such a thing, I wanted in. The idea is that you run a 5k, and at every kilometer, they toss a different color on you. By the time you’re done, you’re covered in it. Too cool. So my daughter and I signed up for the run in Birmingham as part of a series of runs throughout the fall (Wine and Dine half marathon at Disney is next…woo hoo!).
We looked over the race materials and saw that parking was an issue (it usually is), so we made the decision to stay at a hotel in the vicinity and walk. We run half marathons, so a three mile walk to get to a three mile run shouldn’t be a big deal, right? Then along comes Hurricane Isaac. I’m on the coast, and I’m no stranger to hurricanes. As hurricanes go, this one wasn’t that bad. We got a little wet, some lost power, there was some flooding, but it was no Katrina. But the remnants floated around in the air and ended up in Birmingham on Color Run day.

We were about a half mile into the walk when the bottom dropped out. We started laughing. What’s a little rain? It’ll keep us cool. We trudged on, two and a half miles, to get to the starting line, where we stood in the rain for 45 minutes waiting to start. That was about the time that it hit me. We had driven an hour, booked a hotel, and walked three miles, in the rain, for the privilege of running an untimed 3(.1) mile run, only to walk 3 miles back to the hotel. And all of this just so that we could have colored baby powder dumped on us, which would immediately turn to sludge in the downpour. We were nuts. And I couldn’t wait to get started.

We were in the third wave, and the thunder had started rumbling by the time we made our way to the first color station. They threw it on me, but it didn’t stick, and I was seriously disappointed. From then on, I stopped at every station and had them shower me in the stuff. When we finished, we went over to the stage with our own color packets in hand, and when they gave the signal, we tossed the color in the air. The sky instantly disappeared and it got dark—we were in the middle of the crowd and there was that much of the stuff in the air (side note: it tastes awful).

By the time we walked the three miles back to our hotel, the sun was peeking out and I had blisters on both feet. I had broken my cardinal rule of running. I bought a pair of white shoes for the occasion and I had never worn them before. Between breaking in new shoes and 9 miles in soggy, squishy socks, my feet rebelled. I thought about it again when I was peeling off the soaking wet clothes. We were slightly off of our rocker.

It was worth every minute and I would do it again (well, except for the new shoes thing). The rain did wash a lot of the color off, but I still had my trophy when I was done—a white shirt totally covered in big, colored splotches. We had a blast. And if you’ve ever stood in the rain at the starting line, I bet you understand.

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