Monday 21 July 2014

Wembley Color Run

If you have had a look at my list of desirable lifetime achievements, you know that partaking in a Color Run was one of them. Ever since I first started seeing photos of happy runners covered in technicolor dust on American blogs, I had been wanting to take part in one myself. I am happy to report that I can now put a tick behind that one! 

I started running jogging slogging (slow-jogging, natch) again last fall, after a hiatus of about 8 years of hardly doing any type of cardio at all. I used to be really good at running in my late twenties, going out every other day or so, running several kilometres at a stretch. I really enjoyed it, then I stopped. I gained a lot of weight. And now it is SO HARD to get back into it.

Fortunately, Marco is volunteering to be my running buddy, and it helps to have somebody else by your side to stay motivated. He is being lovely by keeping to my snail pace, but also tries to push me those last few minutes after I have gasped my first Must... Stop...

We both signed up for the London Color. I think it was the second year that it was being organized here. I thought that what without being timed and the added rainbow, this race would be a good motivator. I have been using the 10K Runner phone app to get me up to speed and pace, and it works really well to keep me on track with its timings. I hit a bit of a low when I also started to use Endomondo to record my actual running distance, because that is when I found out that my speed was a lot slower than what 10K Runner expected, and I was quite a ways away from my 5K goal a couple of weeks before the Color Run. And in true Annika-fashion, I beat myself up over that and stopped training altogether. I nearly did not even go through with the actual Color Run. Silly!

In the end, I gave myself a good talking-to. Surely I was going to be even more disgusted with my slow-moving self if I did not even try. So I tried. I did not run the whole 5K. There are colour throwing stations every 1000 metres, and I ran all the way to the first one, up a hill and in the hot, hot sun. Then I took a walking break, but started running again through the next shade of dust. Walked. Ran again. I made it to the end, and even had a glorious final sprint when I could see the finish. And I wasn't disgusted with myself at all. I was happy I had taken part. Of course, there were really athletic people who were already nearly done when I was still trying to make it around the first few bends. There were little kids that ran a lot faster than I. But there were also slim people who walked the whole distance. And I was not the fattest person there.

I am still slogging now. It is a struggle to stick with it. I don't do it as regularly as I should. I still haven't even reached the full elusive 5K-distance. But I am determined to get my mojo back and to be able to proudly call myself a runner again. Because it is something I enjoy, even at the moment, when all I do is I sweat and pant and spit and swear. And if I stopped, I would be depriving myself of this enjoyment. In a weird way, I have to get over myself to be myself. If that makes sense. 

Anyway, here are the pictures Marco and I took when we were at The Color Run. From clean to rainbow in 5 kilometres.

The before. We did well in arriving early and being in the first group to start. It was such a hot day and the waiting area was not covered. With nearly 18,000 participants, some people had to wait a few hours in the sun.

The after. For every kilometre you pass, you get doused in a new colour. The colour stations where like psychedelic sandstorms. Wearing sunglasses is a good call, and also keeping your phone or camera in a ziploc bag. I pretty much just tried to make it through without eating too much pink and red and yellow (incentive to keep running!), but some people stopped and literally rolled in it.

Behold my space dust body parts. The colour stuck particularly well to the sweaty bits, I was still rinsing off the pink a couple of days after the event!

If you like, you can have your souvenir picture taken, to be printed and taken home immediately. Whatever that means... In our case, we waited nearly 90 minutes for our print-out. But we were compensated with a whole free bag of Haribo chews. The best way to appease Marco and me is with candy. Are you aware of how candy always tastes even better after exercise, too?

After the run, you get given a small package with colour dust. There's a stage with a DJ who plays funky bass-heavy tunes, and everybody throws they're colour in the air at the same time. Way to make use of your happy adrenaline and stay pumped a bit longer!

© Text & Photos - Annika - All The Live Long Day (unless otherwise stated).


  1. Well done, so proud of you! If it wasn't for you encouraging me to come for a run with you around the lake near your apartment in Cologne all those years ago, I would have never tried jogging/running in the first place. It's not the speed that counts but the commitment to get up and moving (at least that's what I tell myself when I am being constantly overtaken by runners who make it look so easy, by kids or even runners in their 70s).

  2. Haha, this looks like fun. I've never heard of a colour run before. Good for you for doing it and for getting back into running in general. I've recently gotten back into my excise of choice as well, that used to be a regular habit, but which I stopped doing along the way, like you with running. That is aerobics. I love learning the routines, and get a good workout at the same time! 'Cause clearly that is important for a good life.

  3. That is so fab! Good for you too, you've inspired me to get back on my bike for some much needed exercise x

  4. I am so proud of you! I love how honest you are about your struggles also. Yesterday I rode my bike for only the third time this year (which is nowhere near where I want to be physically) and my butt, legs, stomach, and knees hurt....but I never gave up. I climbed every hill. I took a few breaks for water, but I was still able to do it. A week prior I was only able to do half the distance. Don't give up!!! We all have different paces that our bodies will allow. At least you were out there and it sounds like you did awesome!!! I'm so happy for you.


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