Friday night we grabbed our packets (bibs, white shirts, drawstring bags, a rubber bracelet, and a dye packet) and then headed to the Continental for dinner with Kristi - who is a long time friend of Melody and graciously hosted all of us at her house in Jersey for the night! (Dinner, btw, was AWESOME - seared tuna with mushroom risotto - yummy!!)
The race took place at the Philly sports complex, where the stadiums for the Phillies and the Eagles are. Saturday morning was beautiful - low 80's and "abundant sunshine" (according to The Weather Channel). This is great, unless you're standing in the middle of a parking lot in a start corral with a few hundred people. In that case, this weather is really hot. Since we'd read that Run or Dye sends waves of a few hundred runners every 5 minutes following the 9:00 start time, we got into the corral around 8:40 so we could be towards the front.
By "9:00 start time" they really meant 9:10. And by "every 5 minutes", they really meant almost every 10. We were in the 3rd group to be released, so we left at 9:30. The start was chaotic and hot, and we really just wanted to get going!
The color used at these types of runs (The Color Run, Color Me Rad, Run or Dye, etc) is a colored, nontoxic, cornstarch based, powder. The first "dye station" was immediately after the start and it was pinkish purple, and we completely missed it. If you ran in the center, you could easily run the whole race without getting any color on you at all.
The course wound through the parking lots of the stadiums - yes, the PARKING LOTS. Seriously?! The course never even went on any "real" roads. It just wound its way around the parking lots and the stadiums.
There were 2 dye stations on the course - yellow and orange. They were poorly manned by volunteers (including a lot of kids) who simply grabbed colored powder from buckets and threw it at you. If you wanted any color, you actually had to stop running and wait in line for them to throw it on you. Or, you could be like a surprising number of people and simply ROLL AROUND ON THE GROUND. Yes, that happened - a lot.
The last dye station was green, and it was right at the finish. Speaking of the finish - it was really crowded and there was no official "line", just a lot of flags. (And my RunKeeper said 3.01 at the end of the flags, so the course was short!!)
This was supposed to be a super fun, laid back race. I wasn't running for a PR, but this ended up being an annoying race. There were a LOT of walkers on the course. This is totally fine, and I love that people are out and moving. But I'm not referring to just any walkers - the annoying walkers were those who were walking 5 and 6 across, completely blocking the course, and strolling along like they were at the mall. The absolute worst, though, was someone SMOKING on the course. I'm not even kidding. Who smokes in the middle of a 5K course?!
Overall, I have to say - the time spent with my girlfriends was awesome and so much fun! I was super proud of my BFF, Michelle, who ran her first race - check out her thoughts about her first race! I'm glad I did it, but I wouldn't do a color run again. I would, however, gladly spend another 24 hours talking, laughing, eating, shopping, and running with these girls!