Recently my friend Coach Dawna ran the Color Vibe 5K in my place. We were so bummed out we didn’t get to go, but so happy her and her kids got to take our place. Thanks to #TumEYummies for sponsoring our run.
I am a runner but don’t often register for official, competitive races. With the increase in the popularity of “fun runs” there seems to be an option to sign up to run for something just about every weekend. The Portland Color Vibe 5k looked like it would be a running event geared toward groups of friends, family and fun, rather than the serious runner.
The Color Vibe websiste (www.thecolorvibe.com) is well organized, allows for easy, online registration and has an excellent FAQ section so that first-time runners know what to expect. I decided from the colorful pictures and fun and friendly atmosphere shown in the photos that I’d bring my kids and prepare for a great time.
The website suggests arriving an hour before the start of the run and that proved to be great advice. The traffic line to get into the parking lot at the Washington County Fairgrounds in Hillsboro left us in a crawling traffic line for about 20 minutes. Once we entered the parking lot the attendants were making quick work of guiding cars into their spaces. When looking toward the racing area, the start and finish lines were clearly marked but the registration booth was a bit harder to spot. However, as we walked closer, it was easy enough to navigate and find what we were looking for. The on-site registration and/or check in process was quick and the volunteers were friendly. We were thrilled to be supplied with some fun items that not only included the paint packets in multiple colors but also sunglasses (eye protection is necessary), bandanas, running sleeves, t-shirts and tutus.
Tum-E Yummies had a booth you could get face paint or temporary tattoos at before, during, and after the race. They were also passing out free samples for their drinks and seat covers that you could use to protect the seats in your cars from any of the color that is on your body or clothes.
If you’re coming as a spectator you should probably plan on getting some color thrown on you whether you want it or not. There wasn’t much of anywhere to hide from the flying color packets unless you stayed out in the parking lot away from the party. PARTY is probably the best word to describe the Color Vibe 5k. With groups of friends, families and kids of all ages, the music is pumping, the color is flying and the laughter is loud. People definitely come to the Color Vibe to PARTY.
The race started on time at 9 AM but there are no timing chips or bracelets for competitive runners so if you want to be in the front of the pack (and actually run the race), you’ll want to arrive MORE THAN an hour early to be in the first wave of runners. This course really didn’t allow for freedom of movement to do much serious running. The focus of this event is definitely more on the party aspect and sneaking up on your friends to splash and layer them with powered color that gets EVERYWHERE, even before the race starts.
Despite the fact that the Washington County Fairgrounds did not make for a beautiful (or even interesting) race course, my kids and I loved this event. We laughed tons, had fun and left with smiles. I was a little disappointed that the various color stations throughout the racecourse didn’t have color cannons but rather had event volunteers throwing handfuls of color powder onto the racers when they passed through. I was expecting something more high tech, not sure why that bothered me.
The color came off clothing easily in one wash. My post race shower looked like a unicorn made of rainbows exploded onto my shower walls which made me smile and when my daughter was cleaning up at home and blew her nose, her snot was green. We both got a good laugh about that one.
Overall the Color Vibe 5k was a lot of fun, very well organized, super family friendly, and a lot of fun for the casual runner.