Two weeks ago, I wrote about the 2016 Color Fun Fest color run that some of my family completed on Saturday and while there were some nice things about this run, there were also quite a few disappointments.
But to start on a high note, this run, like almost all fun runs raised money for charity so in the spirit of philanthropy, any run is a good run. This specific run (or the company which did the run) raises money for children’s charities which is a big reason they promote the run as a family run.
Because of the ‘family friendly’ drive and the setup of the racetrack, this was also a short track measuring 1.8 miles for a single loop which you could choose to run 1, 2, 3 or even 4 times in a row depending on how you feel. The short track was great for families with young kids who couldn’t make it the full 5k (or whose parents couldn’t, at least…).
This is, however, where some of the cons came in.
I’ll start with the tickets. As stated last time, my family purchased the VIP tickets which, granted, included extra color packs, a color run T-shirt, a bandana, the choice to run more than one run (this last perk was the real reason that I spent the extra money on the day) and they waved the $5 day of pick-up fee. With the short course, however, and the choice to run however much you wanted, really anyone could run any run they wanted.
Part of this was due to extreme lack of organization. The course was unclear – there were cones marking out some but no helpers pointing which direction to move in or where to turn – and because of the lack of helpers or security no one was looking at who was a night runner, day runner, or a VIP runner who could run as many times as they want. If I had known this was the case, I wouldn’t have spent the extra money.
This was advertised as a family fun run, as the vast majority of fun runs are, however for this run, the organization – or lack thereof – made this an impossible run. Simply put, this was a walk, not a run. There was no corralling system and to get ahead of the massive crowd of walkers – many of whom took shortcuts ahead of where runners were anyway – and the start line was blocked by the party crowd (I’ll touch on this in a minute).
Most of the walkers at this run didn’t seem to understand runners’ etiquette either. Where this can’t be blamed on those who organized the event – except that they did make comments about not being a race and don’t worry too much about runners in the color zones (less than helpful) – the lack of organization/volunteers meant no one was calling attention to where walkers was supposed to be.
One big case in this was unclear directional sides. Walkers looking to watch cars race (slowly) walked on the wrong side of the running course blocking walkers and runners trying to fight their way up through the second half of the loop. Walkers note: pay attention to runners especially when you are a big party stretching across the whole course or when you are crossing runner traffic – keep your head on a swivel!
So coming back to the other big note: this is a party run – much more party and much less run. Every run started late after a lot of hyping up of the crowd and throwing of huge color packets. There was live music from a few unknown bands and some electronic music playing in parts of the course as well, which was fun, but it was inconsistent.
There were two color posts but runners more than volunteers were the ones playing in them/throwing the powder at runners – not so fun for actual runners! – which meant that it was a war zone that came to a frenzied stand still you couldn’t fight through. When you could fight through, you were basically clean of powder anyway.
The last little grievance I had – I’m sorry this turned into a bummer post – was that there was a bit of an advertising error in how the night run was set up. They said something about color being sprinkled down on you and about a black lighted course but the black lights were almost nonexistent and the powder set up didn’t change from day night to night run. The powder also so light, you could barely tell it was there unless you really piled it on. Oh, and watch out for runs on a racetrack – the road was still really tacky from the heat and regular ill treatment (by the cars).
But now I’ll try to end on a brighter note!
This run was comparably cheap, which was one of the big reasons that there were so many people/families of all shapes and sizes out in mass. It was amazing watch little kids in strollers and youth sports teams together because they could afford to come out and have fun together.
If you are in a large, battle ready group who loves to walk, this is the fun run for you! If you want to run in a run to show off your training or just push yourself, pick a different fun run.
- Taylor Gallagher