Y’all. I had a BLAST this weekend at Run or Dye.
Seriously, thank you Run or Dye folks for hooking me up with two free entries to the race in East Rutherford.
And when I say race, I mean, a sincere effort to run for a few minutes, followed by a few minutes of self loathing at my complete lack of fitness right now, followed by total enjoyment of a beautiful spring day.
In short, the Run or Dye race was everything I could have hoped for in a color run. It was an exciting, no pressure
race event that left me sufficiently covered in colored fun. That doesn’t sound awkward at all.
Yes, the race fee was a little high, but I honestly would have done it (and felt good about it!) had I not been gifted the entries.
Packet pick up:
From the start, it was obvious this race would be more about having fun than going for a PR. I headed to Road Runner Sports in Paramus on the Friday before the race and was greeted with a short line and blaring music. Everything moved swift and smooth and in no time I was hooked up with two bibs, two draw string backpacks, two shirts and a couple of tattoos and rubber bracelets.
I had read online the night before that runners would be let out in 5-minute increments between 9-11 a.m. so there was no rush to get there for the 9 a.m. start time. I made it to MetLife stadium around 9:10 a.m. and paid $10 to park. People were already covered in color when I showed up to the start. There was a small area to buy water and swag, but otherwise no vendors like I’ve seen at other community races.
Even though I was only there a few minutes after the official start, we were at the very end of the line. I think there must have been over a thousand people in front so I ended up waiting about an hour between the time that I got there and the time I made it onto the course. However, everyone was in such a good mood and there was music and we were taking pictures so I didn’t mind too much.
It was a beautiful day out and after such a long winter it was honestly good just to be outside. We hung out, made some friends with the people around us and eventually made it to the front of the pack. At the start there was a DJ who kept the crowd entertained and threw out more swag like t-shirts and sun glasses and also kept track of the time to make sure groups went out every 5 minutes.
After all the waiting we were excited to get going and so I ran the first few minutes of the course before my months of non working out set in and I had to walk. The course itself was nothing special. It was laid out with orange traffic cones and zig-zagged through the Met Life stadium parking lot. We came up on the first “color station” pretty quickly and were soon covered in pink.
The best part was approaching the dye area, a haze of color surrounded everything and volunteers threw the color on you as you went through. People were also rolling around on the ground to get even more covered. The whole scene was pretty surreal.
All kinds of people were at the race, from little kids in strollers to teens in costumes. It’s definitely a very family friendly event and totally doable for anyone at any fitness level. There is no pressure to run, no elbowing or anything to get through the course.
About half way through there was a water station with bottles of water which was great to see. I was a little bummed there were no bananas or bagels after the race, but I guess I can’t complain considering I didn’t actually run it.
Anyway, we went through a couple more color stations and just enjoyed being in the fresh air and emerged completely covered in color.
I had to stop on the way home to get gas and got some strange looks from the gas station attendant…
Post race thoughts:
I have no idea if the race was even a true 5k or not, but we really took our time walking through it. I thought at parts the course could have been better laid out, we saw a couple people abandon the course just to cut through to the dye stations and that was kind of discouraging.
I would definitely do this race or something similar again. It was a fun event for a Sunday morning. It hit all the requirements of being relatively inexpensive, outside, and involving some kind of activity. And, I have to give props to Run or Dye, it was really, really well organized for such a big event.
Also, the energy from the Run or Dye staff and volunteers really made it more exciting. There was what looked like a huge dance party after the race and everyone was so friendly and in such a good mood, the people throwing the dye seemed like they were having a great time. Maybe we just lucked out, but the crowd was so pumped and energetic it made even standing in line waiting to get the start a fun time.
I would definitely do it again but be even sillier with it with costumes and such. I was so worried about post-race cleanup, but the dye came out of my hair and off my body pretty easily and didn’t rub off on my car at all on the way home, though in retrospect, it probably would have been a good idea to bring a towel to sit on.
I’ve been wanting to sign up for a color run for a long time, so it was awesome to be given the opportunity to check out what it was all about and be involved with a positive fitness event that truly is made for people of all abilities.
Did I convince you to go sign up? Have you ever done a “race” like this before??