The STL Color Run Review/Recap

So I’m just going to lump my recap in with my review of The Color Run because The Color Run is not a timed event, so I don’t have a whole lot to write about. I went in with the mindset that this would be a fun run, and it was.

I’ll start things off with my recap.

I got up, and got dressed. I choose to wear a long sleeve lululemon Swiftly top under my white t-shirt because I was worried that it would be super chilly out. It wasn’t too bad, and I was actually pretty comfortable for most of the race. I drove to St. Louis and made pretty good time, which was a good thing because it took me forever to find somewhere to park. I’m not a huge fan of street parking, I prefer a lot or garage, but since I couldn’t get to any (or at least any that I could see) I finally parked about a block from the police station and about 12 blocks from the start/finish area. It took me nearly as long to find parking as it did to drive to the race.

Once I made my way to the starting area, I started texting my friends to meet up. Somehow, I managed to find them and we decided we were going to start and finish as a group. Which was probably a good thing because they really pushed my pace in between color stations and if I had been on my own (like I had figured on being) I probably would have taken over an hour to finish.

It took us a little while to cross the start line, but once we did we were running at pace nearly 3 minutes faster than my typical pace. Holy Moses! But once you hit the color station you slowed way down. And since those were just about every kilometer, our speed averaged out to roughly my general per mile pace. We covered the first mile in 16:12, mile 2 18:18 (we stopped after a couple of the stations to regroup), and mile 3 came in at 18:32 (I think everyone started to slow way down). The last little bit was .2 of a mile, which I’m not certain if the course was marked long or if it was all the weaving we did to get to the finish line, but we covered that at a 13:51 pace. So not bad. All in all it was a pretty good run (I knocked the 3 miles I had on my training plan off in a fun way) averaging a 17:27 minute per mile pace and finishing in 55:47.

Now for the review part.

I picked up my packet the night before the race, at the Sports Authority in Brentwood. It was pretty crowded in the parking lot (it didn’t help the some people (ahem Color Run car) double parked in the already crowded, small lot), but inside the store it wasn’t too bad. I was able to get my number and my packet fairly quick, and was on my way to finish my other errands in a matter of minutes. They had music playing, multiple areas to pick up your stuff, and plenty of people helping to control the chaos that it could have been.

Race day was a little hectic in the morning. Trying to find parking was a little nightmarish and no one was able to help you figure out where to go. One thing I wish they would have done is had several parking lots/garages marked on their map. It would have made finding parking much less stressful, because by the time I finally parked and hiked back to the starting area, I was in a pretty crappy mood. It didn’t help that I passed several lots and garages on my way to the starting line that I have no clue how anyone got to, since all the streets had been closed off. However, my parking spot worked out nicely, other than the rainy cold walk to and from it, since I didn’t have to pay and was able to hope back on the highway fairly easily.

They let group go in wave starts, which was nice because it helped keep congestion down on the course, but wasn’t advertised. Unfortunately as the race went on, each time you hit a color station you experienced major back up. I don’t know if this had to do with the fact that it was raining, so the squeeze bottles they were trying to use were getting clogged up, or if that’s just the nature of the race. I do wish they would have had a few more people in the center, so you could split off and run through a more tunnel-like area of color versus only getting color pretty much on one side of your body. Unless you pulled some fancy spinning move. Which for us slightly uncoordinated folks, could spell disaster.

The final color station I believe was the pink station. And I don’t know if by that time people were fed up with not getting enough color or what, but the runners themselves were reaching into the color drums and pulling out handfuls of color. Some were even opening unopened drums and just kind of flinging the lids to the side. Which in my opinion is a little tacky. You could have possibly ruined an entire container of color powder, because you just flipped the lid off and let it sit there in the rain.

My last big thing was the finish line. I do not understand why people can’t figure out that you aren’t supposed to stop at a finish line. I understand wanting a photo-op, but when you have 40 people clogging up the finish shoot because they’re trying to get a picture, open their color packet, be a douche in general, that can cause real problems. Especially if you stop short in front of someone who is running. I only issue a little bit of blame to the Color Run folks on that because there were several staff from the race trying to usher people through the finish. Maybe it needs to be even wider than it is? All I know is I was trucking along (for me) and I had to slam on the brakes and stop pretty quickly to avoid trampling anyone who was in front of me, because the congestion was spilling out a least a foot from the finish. One foot from the finish line and you are standing at a dead stop.

The only other thing that comes to mind is the water stop on course. They only had it on one side of the street. So if you wanted a drink, and I really could have used one after breathing in all the corn starch powder, you had to swerve across the entire street to get there. Not happening. Two sides folks. Every time.

All in all, it was a great fun run. Definitely fun to do in a group. Not for you if you’re going to be competitive AT ALL. Just a couple of words of advice.

-If you have really blonde hair, where a hat. Or don’t let them dump anything on your head. Because that stuff will take a while to wash out.

-Plan your parking a head of time and have back up available.

-Bring your own drink if you think you will want something on the course.

-Be prepared to stop on the course. We did several times to go into the color stations, after the color stations, and just before the finish.

-Bring towels or a change of clothes and maybe some wet wipes if you plan on going out at all after the race. I got some pretty strange looks from some folks.

I don’t know that I would do this race again, having done it once already. It was a ton of fun, I had a blast, but it is a novelty type race. But I do encourage anyone looking for something fun to do as a group or family to look into it!

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