A lot of you have probably heard of- or seen photos of- the Color Me Rad 5K. Its now a worldwide event that donates some of their proceeds to various charities. To sum it up, its a 5K race/walk that people get drenched in colorful paint or powder, depending on the location. I’ve wanted to run one for a few years and was pretty disappointed when the Color Run in my college town of Geneseo took place when I was studying abroad in France! (I survived, though. I was in France, after all!) So when I heard back in September that Color Me Rad would be coming to Lyon, I signed right up!
I ran with a fellow assistant, Emma. She very graciously allowed me to crash at her place since Oyonnax is a bit of a hike from Lyon, and we had to pick up our registration packets the day before. The packet included the teeshirt, sunglasses (which were absolutely necessary), wristband, race number, and some candy!
There were a couple of snags- the run itself was held in the Grand Parc Miribel, on the outskirts of Lyon, that only one bus services. As the run was held on a national holiday, bus times were reduced, and Emma and I had to wait over an hour to just get on the bus- which was of course packed! On the way back, after waiting at the bus stop with other runners for almost an hour, we got a heads up that the bus would not be circulating, so we were forced to call an Uber to take a (much more expensive) ride back. A lot of other runners were trying to hitchhike home, but, well, look at us- no wonder strangers didn’t want us in their car! (I was surprised the Uber driver didn’t say anything).
Some tips for the Color me Rad run?
If you wear glasses, just don’t for the run. I left my eyeglasses at Emma’s place and was super glad I did- I had to squint at times but the powder gets EVERYWHERE! Wear the sunglasses for sure, and I would even advise not to wear contact lenses. It gets nasty.
You’ll want to take pictures but also not ruin your phone. If your exercise clothes don’t have pockets that zip, I recommend bringing a small bag. I wore a money pouch under my shirt to carry my tablet for photos, some money for snacks and ID. There were plenty of people with small zip-up bags.
You’re not going to set a personal best during the Color me Rad run. There are a ton of people, of all ages, and the paths get blocked sometimes and you are forced to walk. Just enjoy yourself!
Powder gets EVERYWHERE! At each kilometer checkpoint there is a ‘Color Station”- where volunteers literally douse you with pink, blue, green or yellow powder. I had read online a lot of horror stories about the powder not coming off- but a good scrub in the shower was all it took to get me back to normal.
Have you ever participated in a Color Run or a Color Me Rad 5k? Let me know your thoughts in the comments below!