Monday, July 30, 2012

Slice of Life - The Color Run

 Slice of Life is sponsored every Tuesday by Stacey and Ruth from Two Writing Teachers.

This past weekend I experienced an event like no other, The Color Run. Some friends and I trekked to Indianapolis to participate in the happiest 5K on the planet.  Since returning home I’ve been thinking a lot about the race, expectations and what I can take away from this experience.

See, another friend had ran the same race the week before in a different city. After she ran we texted back and forth. While she enjoyed it she had been a little disappointed. She went into it thinking she was running a race – she had been training for some time and was eager to improve over her last 5K. Her city’s Color Run was so packed she didn’t run more than 30 seconds at a time until the last mile where she really tried to run the entire thing. (But came to a halt several times as people stopped to take photos on the route.) After talking to my friend I immediately messaged all of my friends running with me. I explained that maybe we should think of this as a giant party and not so much as a race. We shifted our thinking (and some of us were relieved, injuries abounded in our group). We decided to celebrate the weekend as a girls’ weekend and see what happened.

We drove the two-hour drive to Indianapolis on Friday, picking up packets and squeezing in some shopping. One of our friends met us there with her family. They were returning from a family vacation in South Carolina and drove back via Indy so she could join us. We had dinner, caught up, and talked about the race.

Saturday dawned super early. We dressed in our outfits, sparkly skirts were out in force, and made our way to the start line. I was overwhelmed by the amount of people. The race began, and ended, in a beautiful park along a river. We took photos, met other friends of mine from grad school, and made our way to the start line. 

The start of the race took forever! They let off groups at a time and while the race began at 8 am, we didn’t actually start until 8:55. Once we began I was surprised, we were running! Every “K” you went through a color station where people squirted different colors at you. They are a powder that comes out almost like a dust. (No issues with my eyes or breathing, just an FYI.) At the color stations you did slow to a walk but otherwise there was plenty of room to run.

Throughout the race route we were able to run at a normal pace until the last “K” where we went from a road to a sidewalk. There we squeezed in and really had to walk. Wanting to finish, and impressed with my time so far, we moved over to the grass and were able to run the rest of it until the finish line where we kind-of moved like a herd of cattle through the gates.

After the finish the party really began. Our group met up by the stage where the music was playing. Every 20 minutes or so would be a color “toss” and the air would be alive with more color. We took photos, danced, sang, and had a great time. Finally we were blasted by the leaf blowers to get some of the color off and walked back to our hotel for a shower. It was an amazing experience.

So what was different with my friend’s run and ours? How can I use this knowledge in my classroom? Our expectations were different for the run for sure, and mine were lower because of her experience. The group I was with was all on the same page – wanting this to be almost like a huge party. I’m not sure about her group because I didn’t get to talk about that. I think I had a lot more information going in than she did because she had been there first and shared her knowledge. How this can help my students? I need to be upfront with new experiences, make sure we are all on the same page, so that we can be successful. And maybe I’ll toss a little color at them to make learning fun. (I kid, I kid.) Overall, I highly recommend The Color Run. If you’ve ever participated in one, let me know what you thought!