Does being showered with dye while you’re running a 5k sound fun to you?
It did to me at some point.
A few months ago, Steven got us tickets to The Color Run. I must admit that I didn’t thoroughly research this, but merely saw photos and decided that someday I would like to do this. (If you know me at all, you’d know there are tons of things that I’d someday like to do, but probably won’t.)
Today was the big day. It was so big that I actually forgot about it and almost missed it, due to scheduling issues in visiting family. As it turned out, I was able to change my flight and be home just in time to pick up my bib and get a good night’s rest.
Steven and I woke up at 5 and 5:15 respectively. Last night, I asked how many tickets were sold to the 5k and I was told 21,000. She said to get there early and carpool. We were dressed and ready at 5:30-40ish and he picked me up at 5:55.
On the road, Steven decided to take the Ben Franklin. The bridge was closed from 6:30 – 8:30 in the morning. We had time, right?
On our way, we’re happy. We are convinced we’ll have parking spots and we’ll actually meet other runners. As we continue on with our blissful smirks (about having been so responsible and having left early), we see a sign that says two lanes will close. Okay, two lanes isn’t bad. It’s 6:10am. It’s a Sunday.
I won’t bore you with the story. There was a wall of traffic. We decided to take the exit before Rutgers, double back and take the Walt Whitman. Unfortunately, we were unsure where the bridge was, so we had go somewhat lost in Camden. I pointed us to the direction of Rutgers and then my GPS revived and we were directed to the other bridge.
We bypassed all of the cars.
It was glorious.
Of course, I probably wouldn’t be writing about this if it was so great. Once on 76, we hit another wall of traffic. We couldn’t get around it. There was another exit we could’ve taken, but I was afraid we’d get lost in East Jabumble (like the Camden detour) and decided to tough it out.
For two hours.
Yes, this 20 minute drive turned into two hours (and counting!).
We tried to be happy.
Around 7:55 or so, Steven’s car said “Hot coolant” or something. Seeing as we were stuck in bumper to bumper traffic, he turned the car off and waited a few minutes. He did this three times and the message disappeared. Once again, traffic has moved an inch.
Finally, around 8:15 or so, a state trooper comes hauling ass (at about 10mph) and suddenly, traffic starts to speed up (at around 5 mph). That’s when we realized that out wonderful exit (which was the cause of our trouble) was blocked by the trooper.
Our relief came in the traffic moving; however, it was short-lived in that every douche bag in Philly, Delaware, and New Jersey decided to cut everyone off and go to the next exit. Yeah, if you’re reading this and were actually in the right lane and then got into the left only to screw everyone in the right lane, you are a douche bag.
Steven was furious at the cars trying to screw everyone else over that he actually lost it and began to hulk out.
We got into a heated debate about taking a different exit. I was quite irritable (I’m sure) in that I was convinced that I could have gotten us there much quicker. I went through a series of phases (extremely angry, comedic, angry, furious, sleepy). At one point, we manically started laughing about how intelligent we are: waking up at 5am to run and have paint thrown in our faces. So masochistic, in fact, that we were willing to wait three hours for it.
I won’t drag this out any longer. We arrived at 8:47.
People were actually covered in dye and leaving. We park in a random lot and start our walk to the race. We never saw the starting line, but it LOOKED like a starting line. We began our run and were sprayed by less-than-enthusiastic people with dye in their hands.
I think I heard a pseudo, “Woo!” during my jog through. Most people stopped to be further lathered in the color.
We reached the second point and were covered in blue. The girl that actually sprayed me, lifted her arms, made eye contact and shot it all over my face.
After that, we reached the finish line. Now, I’m no fool, but that was one short 5k.
No, see, we didn’t start the race at the beginning. It appears (now that I see the map), that we started at the last half mile (ish). Yes, and there was a party going on. People were covered in dye in a pit of other color-runners. There was a DJ of sorts and a couple of dye packs thrown. It was okay and in retrospect, the better part of The Color Run.
I think they were giving out free popsicles and Kind Bars.
We decided that we wanted to run the whole thing, so we began our search for the starting line. Steven asked one of the women in charge and she goes “oh, honey, we’re not starting it anymore.”
Yes, we figured that out—what, with being three hours late and all.
He asked where it began and she pointed him in the direction. We found the beginning and there were a few stragglers on the trail. The security was taking down the cones and no one was really sure where they were going.
We found our way back to the car. As I look at the map, I realize I never saw the rest of the trail.
Okay, my thoughts on The Color Run:
First, if you’re selling 21,000 tickets, you should also have people directing traffic. I know for a fact that at least a hundred (definitely plenty more) “Color Runners” never made it to the run in time (and were three hours late—if not later).
Second, have a few waves of runners. People of The Color Run, having a 7am start and a 7:45 start does nothing if you’re stuck on 76 for three hours and you left at 6am. I’m just sayin’.
Third, schedule your waves, please. If you know (and you do) that there will be 21,000 extra cars on the road, schedule when a couple thousand of us can actually get there. I don’t want to sit in traffic. It’s not fair to anyone.
Fourth, perhaps make it easily accessible by public transport.
Fifth, I would like to take a moment to thank the good drivers. Thank you for being upstanding citizens and following traffic. To the people that cannot drive safely (I’m talking to you Girl with the Pink Sports Bra and your posse of 2 minions), just go home. Don’t even bother coming. Why cut everyone off in traffic and drive like a mad-woman, get to the race and lay on the pavement to sprinkle color on yourself. Seriously? What.
Overall, the people that organized this (I use that word loosely) are incompetent. Secondly, they are for-profit. I (like many) misunderstood that it was a nonprofit. On its website, it says that they donated $600,000 to different charities all over.
That’s a lot, right?
Not when you consider that tickets are over $40 per person and they sold 21,000 tickets in ONE city. That’s over $900,000.
I’m glad they managed to send over 600k (2/3 of ONE city) to ALL of the charities.
Let this be a lesson to me: read.