Bubble runs. Ugly Sweater runs. Zombie runs. Color runs. Fun runs are popping up all over the States and I am loving it. I had previously participated in an Ugly Sweater run, but none of the others.
I always took personal offense when I would hear people discussing these "fun runs" as not real races. C'mon people! It may not be your scene, but if it is a race that can get families or people out moving and active - I am ALL about it.
I had done an Ugly Sweater 5k in 2014. I loved the scene, but my only complaint was the race wasn't even close to a 5k. Otherwise it was a well run event that participants thoroughly enjoyed. The smiles, laughs and energy was electric and it was great hearing folks saying it was their first race. I can get behind an event that gets people excited to get out and move.
But the Color Run was always on my list. So when I saw they would be hosting one in "Boston" I was ready to take part. One thing I can't stand about races is when they claim to be IN Boston, but are really 45 minutes away. Well this Color Run was the same way as it was actually being held at Gillette Stadium, which is the home of the New England Patriots and in Foxboro, MA - a 45 min drive from Boston.
Aside from the lack of actually being IN Boston, I wanted in. I reached out to the Color Run PR group and they offered me an ambassadorship, which came with a complimentary entry and a discount code. I was able to get five friends to take part with me and forming team Weight Off My Shoulders!!!!
How awesome is this crew?
Susan (pictured to my right) and I drove down to Foxboro together and made it with plenty of time to spare. Bib pickup was a breeze since they assigned your number on the spot. Plus this was an un-timed race so there weren't any chips to worry about either. Bib numbers were really to make sure you would be able to locate your pictures after the race.
I thought the race started right at 10am, but once there realized you could start at any time during the window. Since we are early birds, we were there and ready for the 10am start.
We entered under the balloon and thought we were going right to the Start Line, but this actually took us to the Start corral area. They were allowing waves to go ever 5 minutes or so. I thought this was a great way to make sure people were not on top of each other. Also there were rules shared that all walkers should stay to the right and runners to the left (or the other way around) but either way it was stressed to the crowds. Now to see if folks would adhere to that. :P
The emcee atop the Start platform did a GREAT job of keeping the crowd engaged. They threw out a bunch of free swag and made anyone with a birthday feel special.
It was FINALLY our time to start. Okay it was only 10:13am, but it felt like we had been waiting out there forever. :P Just kidding, but it did feel like more than 13 or so minutes.
We counted down from 10 and were off. I had no idea what to expect from the course and hoped it would be at least a 5k. The course would be winding through the parking lots surrounding Gillette Stadium and the surrounding Patriots Place shopping complex.
Since the race was not timed, I had zero goals except to see if we would be able to run the entire time.
As soon as we started, we were greeted with our first color stop: yellow.
I seriously was getting GIDDY as we approached. It was finally time to get my color on...
And WOMP! I came through with barely any yellow on me. Okay self I had some time to regroup before we hit the pink station. I wanted to make sure I had as much color as possible by the end of this run so I might have to take it into my own hands.
Mile 1: 9:12
As we weaved through the parking lots of Patriots Place, I was LOVING the amount of high fives and cheers that were coming from participants coming back towards us (out and back style). I freakin love high fives so you can only imagine how much I was getting out of this run. We weren't having a problem running either. Folks were adhering to the rules set before the race (for the most part). We did a little bobbing and weaving, but either way we were still able to move forward at a good clip.
Oh hey pink! Okay I was ready for some better color on my body...
So this time around I literally stood in front of a volunteer spraying the color clay to try and get more on my body.
Well it was better than the yellow, but still not as much as I wanted. I would need a new plan for the last two colors.
But first I needed a water break.
Mile 2: 10:26
As we approached the orange section, I saw other folks diving into the containers of colored clay themselves and I was right behind them. I tried to get a video, but we had some technical difficulties.
BUT it worked! I knew that for the final stop - blue. We would be able to catch an action shot.
And here it is. I refuse to edit my videos so I love the realness of this. Susan wasn't ready and I had to live in the moment. ;)
Ahhhh YES! Just the amount of color I wanted. :P
As Susan and I made our way back towards the Finish we took a moment to stop and capture the crowd heading out of the orange section.
And to share a little selfie!
Mile 3: 12:09
After passing the three mile marker, we noticed a group of teenagers completely cutting off part of the race and heading towards the Finish. Ummm why would you SKIP color in a color run? They completely missed the blue section.
I was wicked confused, but shook it off and focused on Susan and I getting to the Finish.
We took a moment to take in the finish chute before realizing they would be hitting us with additional colored clay. BUT I was able to make sure I added green to my collection. Poor Susan got green right into her mouth. :( She had worn a bandana over her face the entire time until the final stretch. Rough!
But it was a blast and I had no idea that we would also get a medal!!! Day Freakin' Made!
FINAL TIME: 36:12 (10:52 min/mile pace)
We finished with 3.33 miles on the Garmin... and we ran the entire time! Plenty of room to get around walkers and strollers.
We grabbed water and waited for the final two members of our crew to finish.
We asked a friend to grab a pic of my friend Frank and I. Frank has shed 95 lbs with Weight Watchers and is one of my biggest inspirations. Our other teammate Mark decided to get us with another bag of colored clay that they gave each Finisher.
I kind of love this photo! :)
Our crew came, laughed, ran and conquered the race.
Here is our before and after for your enjoyment!
We didn't even mean to stand in the same exact spots!
After bidding everyone goodbye, Susan and I saw a photo op and had to take part. Please enjoy our slideshow. These pics make me wicked happy.
Overall I had a freakin blast at the race. The energy was electric. The participants were delightful. The volunteers enthusiastic. I was able to run the entire time. My friends joined me. It offered plenty of parking. And it had a medal. I saw individuals taking part, groups of friends and full on families. It was a race I would definitely do again!
Have you ever done a Color Run? Thoughts?
Disclaimer: I did receive comped entry to the race for being a Color Run ambassador, but all thoughts are my own. Ain't nobody got time for lyin'!