Yesterday, more than 30,000 runners participated in the first Color Run 5k in Des Moines. My niece and I were among them. And we were both excited!
My niece, Tawnie, had done her research, watched the video and looked at pictures on the Color Run website and had it all planned out in her head what to wear… and what I should wear :). She saw runners in silly costumes and pulled out tutu’s from previous dance recitals out of her closet. During a last minute run to Walmart yesterday morning in search of white hats, gloves, and sweatshirts (it was FREEZING here yesterday!!!), I found some silly hats in the kids section. Feeling in the silly mood, I picked out a rainbow striped hat with what looked like owl eyes and ears perched on top to complete our outfits. Thankfully too, Walmart had a few (and literally, a FEW) white sweatshirts in the little girls department. My mom and I grabbed one for Tawnie and one for me (yes, I squeezed myself into a Girls XL) and dashed home to get ready.
Tawnie and I got there about an hour early and already the shoot was filled! After finding a KYBO, we snuck ourselves into the shoot close to the front. Then… we waited 40 long, painstaking minutes for the race to start. And once the race started, we waited another 50 long, painstaking minutes for our “wave” to get to the start line and run. Finally, we were at the front and we were running!
The excitement took over. The unexpected. Where would the color blasts be? How would they get the color on us? We started at a quick pace to get around all the walkers (and MAN, there were a LOT of walkers to dodge!) and then slowed more towards a jog. I usually try to keep Tawnie around a 12-13 min/mile pace. but she’s been running during Girls on the Run each week, and I knew from our last 5K together that she is a lot stronger of a runner than she was a year ago. We kept up our game of dodging walkers, weaving in and out of the crowd and keeping tabs on each other, holding hands when necessary to not lose each other on the way.
Just after the start, I noticed that Tawnie’s tutu was a little tight on my bladder and I had to pee… NOW! As we approached the first color station- Orange- I saw a KYBO. YAY! I shouted to Tawnie we were stopping. She whined, “can’t you at least wait until after the orange?” Then, I saw the line. With more than 30,000 runners and 1 KYBO, you can imagine. We didn’t stop, instead, we made sure we on the outside, in the “extreme color zone” and ran through the line of volunteers pouring an orange powder all over us. It was awesome and Tawnie was visibly thrilled :). I loved it. Before long, we were at the blue color zone. We turned and got to the pink color zone. Tawnie was doing AMAZING! She was keeping up. She was actually speeding up as we approached each color station, and having a blast! You could see it on her face. And she wasn’t complaining that her legs hurt or to slow down. We reached the yellow station. My Garmin was in my spibelt and chirped we were already at mile 2. Mile 2! This race was flying by! We turned again and started passing runners who were going the opposite direction, just starting their race. Luckily, just after we crossed train tracks, we heard the blow of the train whistle. Whew! Close call- my bladder would NOT have made it through waiting for a train to pass! We kept on. We rounded another corner and saw the start line ahead of us, on top of a huge hill. Now, Tawnie started asking when we could slow down and how much further we had. Knowing the end was end, I pressed her and encouraged her to keep going, we were almost there. Now, there were a lot of walkers and we began weaving in and out of them again. Once the end shoot was in sight, my girl took off! I sprinted to keep up with her and finish by her side. I couldn’t have been more proud of her- she ran the race! And finished strong! 🙂 Our time, according to my Garmin, was 35 minutes! I am so proud of Tawnie!!
Post race, we found the KYBOS (I held it ALL race long and it was an emergency!!), found my parents, and went to the photo booth for our pictures. Here’s a finisher picture for you all to enjoy :).