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Confession: When I first heard of all of these “color runs” I thought they sounded pretty lame.
Perhaps I had temporarily gotten too big for my crazy racing britches with all of these hardcore mud runs. (Sometimes I can unintentionally be a jerk.) I don’t know, but initially the idea of running through the streets while people throw colored powder at your clean white t-shirt sounded, well, ridiculous. Give me barbed wire, give me dirty, disgusting, thick mud and leech filled mud ponds. Give me heavy cement blocks tied to chains that tear at my hands. Not…rainbows.
|Andrea (@ajbgillespie) and friends|
But soon I started seeing pictures posted on facebook of various color runs. Both avid athletes and people I would never have imagined to participate in such an event, never mind run a 5k, were beaming at me from the computer screen beneath their rainbow dyed skin. And I had one of those “Ah-ha” moments. When it comes to fitness, I’m a *FIRM* believer in doing WHATEVER it is that gets you moving. Running. Cycling. Zumba. Heck, pole dancing, I don’t care (it’s apparently a fitness craze these days!), just MOVE.
Let’s face it; the majority of the human population hates to run. Unnecessarily, of course, because these people have yet to discover the runners high, the running community, and how running can change your LIFE. But if I’ve heard it once, I’ve heard it a thousand times from clients and gym members: “I want to ______ (lose weight, get in shape, get healthy, lower my blood pressure, etc)… but I hate to run.” I usually smile, nod, and reassure them that there are many alternative exercises they can do. But I often wonder, how much of that “hatred” for running is actually fear, or discomfort?
The thought of running a road race 5k for someone who is brand new to exercise or running can be downright terrifying. Boring, even. And as much of an obstacle course race lover as I am, I’ll be the first to admit that if you’ve never done one, army crawling through rocks under barbed wire is not only intimidating, but probably simply laughable…completely out of the question in the minds of most.
So how do we get people moving? How do we invite them into our amazing running community? How do we make the running-hater actually have FUN while running? Enter: the wonderful world of these crazy color runs.
Thursday night I had the pleasure of speaking with some of the staff and the director of the “RUN or DYE” race series. I’ve politely turned down requests to work with other similar races before, because as I mentioned above, I didn’t quite understand them. But merely the name of this race totally caught my interest, and literally made me laugh out loud. (And matches my INKnBURNshorts that I simply adore!) so we scheduled a phone meeting.
|Ash & Diz from www.ashanddiz.com|
Simply put, I loved their outlook: get people MOVING in a fun, non-competitive, out of the ordinary way that doesn’t have to take you TOO far out of your comfort zone.
It makes me happy beyond words to know that there are people out there working tirelessly to help end this inactivity and obesity trend in our Nation.
Run or Dye is the new kid on the block when it comes to color runs, but they already have almost 30 different race locations for 2013. I totally support what they are doing, and am honored to help spread the word for their new series. I plan to attend a race this spring, and drag along some friends who might otherwise not be down for the typical “5k” scene. I’m not too cool for color afterall 😉
Question of the day: Have you ever participated in a color run? Tell us about your experience (or link to your race review!) If you haven’t run one, do you plan to?