Color Me Cameron 5K Color Run – Race Report

I woke up this morning feeling a bit better than I did yesterday. My throat isn’t nearly as sore and my headache is gone. Since I was feeling better I went on with my plans to run 4 miles prior to the 5K, to total 7 miles for the day.

I got to the trail in town a little over an hour before the race and did 4 easy miles. I felt like I was pretty low on energy, but I think that’s to be expected since I hardly ate anything yesterday and our puppy had me up in the middle of the night last night (potty break and mini dance party in the living room). When I got to my 2 mile turn around point I saw that the low water bridge was underwater from all the snow from Thursday melting!

For those who know the Dora Trail, photo taken post-race from the other side of the bridge.
I accessed the trail from route 99, just to snap the picture!

I’ve always said that if it’s ever under water I’d still cross it since I’m a good swimmer, but the way the water was rushing over it (see white water in above picture) I don’t think I would have tried it.

Once I finished up my run I walked over to the start of the race, which was just across the street from the trail head. I checked in, received my raffle ticket, and went back to my car to switch into my white shirt. I also swapped out my Garmin for a Timex stop watch, because I didn’t want to take any chances in having my Garmin get messed up from the color.

I lined up behind the chalk line drawn on the ground to indicate the start and chatted with a few runners around me. There was no start banner or anything, and we were all trying to figure out which side of the chalk line we should be on (people were on both sides of it and facing all directions). Eventually we found out we were on the wrong side and properly lined up before the race started. They did the Pledge of Allegiance, said a prayer, and then played the National Anthem, and then we were off. The race was scheduled to start at 9:00 AM and things got going right around 9:10 AM. Pretty good for the first year of a small race.

The race meandered through the streets around town, going through various “color stations”. I don’t know what other color runs are like, but our color stations consisted of kids with a 5 gallon bucket of color, using dixie cups to throw it on runners (and in their faces…) as they went by. Most of it seemed to be colored corn starch, but some of it was Kool Aid. I know this for a fact after a kid got me right in the face and I got a mouthful of Kool Aid powder. I was worried it was going to stain my skin, but luckily the bright red washed off of my face!

Finish line area. Notice the runner in sunglasses with green
all over her face but barely anything on her shirt.

**Edited to add: During the first mile of the race we ran past the Pulaski Co. Sheriff’s Department and there was a deputy standing with an inmate on the front steps. No joke! The inmate was in an orange jump suit and handcuffs and they were just kind of standing there watching everyone go by. It was very bizarre and if I had had my camera with me I would have a picture to show you. But I didn’t bring it because I didn’t want it to get messed up.

For the last mile or so, we ran on the Dora Trailback over to the start area. This is the “trail in town” I’m always referring to. I like getting to run on a familiar trail during a race. I kind of feel like I’m “sharing” it with other people who don’t normally run there. Speaking of which, as I was running on trail around mile 2.5 I saw a group of three women up ahead and one of them had on a blue sparkle skirt. I caught up with them and told her I liked her skirt and proceeded to run with them the rest of the race.

After we finished I continued to be a “third wheel” and hung out with them at the finish line area. It turns out they’re part of a group called Sole Sisters, which is based out of Wytheville. I’ve seen members of their group at numerous races, most recently the Blacksburg Classic 10 Miler. They’re a great group and I really enjoyed talking with some of them today! They will also be at the Blue Ridge Marathon/Half Marathon in two weeks, so I hope to meet up with them again.

Me with new friends Glenda, Wendy, Louise, and Anita

You’ve probably noticed I haven’t said anything about time or pace. This run was a fun run and that’s exactly what I did- I just enjoyed the run. I didn’t push myself at all and ran at or a little below my typical long run pace. Hey, you can’t help going a little faster at a race!

I really liked that this was a low key event- no shirts, no bibs, no mile markers, untimed, about 300 participants. It was exactly what a fun run should be. All of the proceeds went to the Cameron Fitzwater Memorial Scholarship Fund. The weather turned out great, and it was a gorgeous day for a run. Sunny and in the mid-40’s. We couldn’t have asked for a nicer day. They handed out cups of color at the finish line, and then everyone did a “color palooza” and threw their color into the air at the same time:
 
 

But before that happened they were in the process of drawing names for door prizes, and had said they had 170 door prizes to give out. We thought they were going to do all of those before the color palooza, so we did our own mini group palooza since we were tired of waiting.

Thanks for taking the picture, Glenda!

Do you like running on familiar roads/trails for a race?
Would you have tried to cross the low water bridge?
Have you ever run on a flooded trail or road?
Anyone else racing this weekend??

19 Comments

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  1. I enjoyed meeting you also, Meagan. It is great have another Sole Sister!

    1. You too! See you at Blue Ridge!

    2. The “Color Me Cameron” 2nd Annual 5K Run/Walk is being held on April 5, 2014. Last year was a awesome but also a learning experience and we learned a lot. This years event will have triple the amount of color, better distribution of the color, and a very different color palooza! Of course there will be door prizes and Aside Oceans playing live.

  2. How fun!! I love that you did it without your Garmin and dint’ care about pace – that’s exactly what that type of run should be!! Glad you made some friends!!

    I really like being familiar with a course before a race. If at all possible, I try to run the course (or at least parts of it) once or twice before race day.

    Probably best you didn’t try to cross! Better safe than sorry and you never know…even a very small amount of strongly flowing water can sweep you off your feet (and make you hit your head…or go down stream…).

    1. I like being familiar with the course, too. If its an out of town race and I can’t run any of the course beforehand, I do my best to memorize the course map and elevation profile (if they’re available). I’ve run a few races that didn’t tell you anything other than where the start and finish were, and it about drove me nuts!

    2. Me too!!!!! I’m definitely always on the search for elevation profiles!

  3. It was great spending time with you today. I’m glad you found us. We will be looking for you at the Blue Ridge in two weeks! Anita (I don’t know what “profile” I am supposed to use so I will just sign my name!)

    1. Thanks, Anita! It was great hanging out today. Looking forward to seeing y’all at Blue Ridge!

  4. Glad you made some running friends. Yes, I think these kinds of races are meant to be fun with no pace involved. I remember reading one intense runner who was thoroughly angry after a color run since the course was just over 2.5 miles for a 5K. I like her blog a lot but she kind of needs to chill out and have fun sometimes 🙂

    1. Its important to know when a race is to compete and when its really just for fun. AND its important to do races that are just for fun and no pressure, in my opinion.

  5. We have a race in my hometown and I agree it’s fun to run that with a bunch of people you don’t know! I’m always amazed at how many runners show up that I’ve never seen.

    Looks like you had a SUPER fun race and how fun to make new friends!

    1. I know! Today I felt like “where did all these runners come from!?” because I hardly ever see anyone on the trail.

  6. That is too strange that there was an inmate and an officer watching the race. Too funny! Good choice about your camera. Let us imagine it 🙂
    I ran a 10 K this morning. Early in May I have a Color Vibe run and I think it might be a great idea for me to follow your idea and do some running ahead of time. I don’t think that would have occurred to me. Thanks!!

    1. I know! I wish I had been able to get a picture of that!

  7. i’m glad u’re feeling better! oh my gosh, those races look like super fun but i’m gonna be honest and say i’m nervous cuz i’m SURE i’d end up choking to death on pink dust 😛

    1. I wont lie. I was worried when some people at the start had goggles over their eyes and bandanas over their mouth. But I just tried not to breathe in the dust as I went through the stations.

  8. I was wondering about that picture! I’m glad you clarified it for me.

    1. Haha no problem 🙂 it was easier to pull over on 99 and come down through the community garden to get to the trail than try and park at the large item drop and go down through the woods.

  9. Your color run sounds like it was so fun and relaxing! I love that you ran without any concern about your time. I’m also glad that you felt well enough to run as planned today!

    I love running on familiar trails during races because I know what to expect! No way would I have run across that water covered bridge. That water is moving way too fast for this wimp! Bill and I ran “Marathon in the Parks” several years ago in an almost completely flooded trail. It was mid-November and every time we would run into another deep puddle our feet would freeze. Brrrrr!

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