Three weekends ago I found myself waking up at 4:30am on Sunday morning to embark on a trip to The Aviator Sports and Events Center in Brooklyn, New York to run my very first 5K. Had I been forced to take public transportation that day it would have easily taken me almost two hours to get there but thankfully I had convinced my mother and her husband to sign up for the race with me months before and they agreed to pick me up on their way there. The race, The Color Run is a sort of 5K rainbowfest that has been sweeping the nation and was actually suggested to me by my little sister who unfortunately was unable to run it with me that day. I was nervously excited about attempting to run any race or distance over a mile as that had been my lifetime limit thus far. I ran the mile in school growing up and that was as far as I ever desired to run, until The Color Run that is. I admit I have never been much of a runner, in fact I have been known to say I hated running in the past, however as I had recently quit smoking in January of 2012 I decided signing up for a 5K would be good motivation to stick to my commitment to quitting and also figured if anything would motivate me to run it would be a race described as, “the happiest 5K on the planet.”
We arrived at The Aviator Sports Center around 6:30am and although it had been a while since I had been up and out of the house that early I felt wide awake and ready to run thanks to the copious amounts of adrenaline already pumping through my veins. Although I swore up and down that I would at least make an effort to prepare for The Color Run by taking a few jogs around NYC over the summer, the days flew by and before I knew it the day of the race had arrived and I had not taken even one test run, oops. I won’t lie, there was a small part of me that was a little worried that since I could not remember the last time I ran a mile, or even a minute for that matter, that attempting to run the 5K that day perhaps would make my heart explode, worse case scenario clearly and a bit dramatic, but it did cross my mind nonetheless. I am happy to report that the only exploding that went on that day was that of the hundreds of color packets we were covered with.
The Color Run was scheduled to begin at 8:30am on the dot and my mother, stepfather and I, better known by our Color Run team name, Team Hippie Hut, arrived extra early to pick up our registration packets that we had been unable to get during the week leading up to the race. After strapping on our numbers and Color Run headbands included in our registration packets (which also contained our celebratory color packets we would open at the end of the race), we proceeded to the Color Run Village for a quick snack and some water before heading to the starting line. There we a total of about 6K runners that day and there were about 5K runners there the day before and each were broken up into different groups who would begin racing at different times so everyone wasn’t all smushed together. Being divided up into groups would also allow us the chance to really get blasted with as much color as possible and as we were there so early we were in the first group to go. As we approached the starting line in our white t-shits (the required Color Run uniform) my nervousness melted away, too distracted by the awesome crowd and energy that surrounded us, fueled by upbeat music blasting from the giant speakers, a very energetic announcer, and the totally out of this world costumes some of the runners decided to wear to the race that day.