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You don’t need to be a runner to enjoy the happiest and most colourful 5k

by Editor
Wednesday 1st October 2014

Race report: Lewis Cousins reports from The Color Run presented by Dulux - London, Sunday September 28, 2014

Lewis Cousins reports from The Color Run presented by Dulux - London, Sunday September 28, 2014

I have recently been bitten by the running bug following a few years in the injury wilderness and relished the opportunity to try a fun-looking event such as the Color Run.

The communication by the organisers was second to none with fun-filled emails and brilliant information on the Color Run events.

‘Color Run spelt minus the ‘u’?’ I felt myself asking, but the latest email cleared up my question - the Color Run founder (Travis Snyder) was inspired by the Indian Holi Festival, and decided to combine the idea with a 5km running experience.  From the first event in the United States in January 2012 the Color Run has since spread across the globe, leaving a trail of colour and happy runners.  Given its American heritage, its name is spelt accordingly - ‘Color’ - throughout all territories.

The event capped off the UK’s most colourful summer – starting at London’s Wembley Stadium in July, the Color Run has spread its happiness to Manchester, Sunderland, Birmingham, Belfast and Brighton before returning to London, for the final event of the year and giving me the opportunity to review the colourful event.

With the alarm buzzing away at 5.45am it was time to rub the tired eyes and prepare myself to run 5kms around the Queen Elizabeth Olympic Park, a venue I have wanted to visit since the 2012 Olympic Games.  Dressed in my fab Color Run T-shirt, Color Run headband and tattoos I set off for London from a quiet Reading train station.  As the train pulled up and we got on, there was an influx of fellow Color Runners joining us, all looking the part with Color Run tattooed faces, hands and arms, bright coloured tutus and the all-important T-shirts.  The closer the train got to London the more Color Runners joined us and the atmosphere was soon buzzing with excitement.

Arriving at the spectacular Olympic Park venue we were met by a sea of white T-shirts all heading towards the warm-up area and start line.  With over 10,000 runners warming up and waiting to get covered in multi-coloured paint I managed to grab a quick photo of the excited faces at the start line.  The London Cheerleaders were doing a great job of pumping up the crowd and it wasn’t long until the MC was on the microphone and throwing out limited edition glasses and tutus into the crowd.  Ten minutes before the start we were guided to the start line by the adorable Dulux Dog, there was a huge cheer at 11am, and we set off around the Olympic Park.

Lewis Cousins reports from The Color Run presented by Dulux - London, Sunday September 28, 2014

The first stretch of the route was a long straight towards the canal before doubling back towards the Olympic Stadium and you could see the pink haze of the first paint station... the excitement was in the air and it all happened so fast... pink paint everywhere, ears, eyes, mouth and hair but fun, fun, fun!  As we followed the route towards the Aquatic Centre there was a quick right then left turn and we were face to face with the volunteers of the yellow paint station. Greeted by the checkpoint MC we entered the yellow haze to cheers and applause but more paint getting into the areas missed by the first station.  Onwards we went, following the route around the impressive looking stadium towards the City Mill River and as the stadium passed on our right we could hear the thunderous music and cheers from the orange paint station.  Passing through the waves of paint splatting your face, arms and chest we were snapped by the official photographers but there wasn’t too much time to smile as you were trying to get your bearings and sort yourself out.  It was only a few hundred yards around the Old River Lea and the volunteers armed with blue paint were waiting to greet us with another fantastic welcome and, as this was the last paint station, we were given an extra helping of paint to see us on our way.  The blue paint station was around the 3.5km point and the final route back took us parallel with runners still approaching the orange paint station. There were gasps of surprise as they could see the colour that was waiting for them.

The finish into the Olympic Park was quite a sight with the Stadium and Arcelormittal Orbit both shining in the midday sunlight behind the roaring spectators and volunteers.  As we went through the finish line we were handed a final helping of paint in a sachet that was to be used at the Festival Stage.  There was a lovely touch after finishing as next to the Festival Stage were a few platforms and tents where you could have your finish photos taken and printed out for free.  Stepping back out into the glorious midday sun the MC and DJ’s were in full flow, whipping up a fantastic atmosphere with the crowd of runners and spectators. It wasn’t long before the final shower of paint came on the MC’s count and again we were plastered in pink, orange, blue and yellow paint whilst enjoying the music and carnival atmosphere.

In all this was a well-organised and hugely fun run and one that doesn’t need to be taken too seriously. The focus is on healthiness, friendship and community spirit and these boxes were more than ticked with families and friends of all ages running or walking the route.  You don’t need to be a runner to enjoy the Color Run spectacular and this really is the ‘happiest and most colourful 5k’ I’ve seen.

Lewis Cousins reports from The Color Run presented by Dulux - London, Sunday September 28, 2014

Find out more at www.TheColorRun.co.uk


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