You never know what sort of weather to expect in upstate New York.
Friday was a spring day, with a high of 74 as the sun was shining. But by Saturday morning, we felt the chill as temps dropped to the upper 30s and hail pelted us between falling flakes.
We knew what we were getting into living in Rochester, so we headed to the Color Vibe 5K race bright and early, prepared not to let the wintry weather chill our day.
Our group, like many, donned the official race shirt for the mid-morning run. It was white and well, when else were we going to wear it? We lined up about 30 minutes before race time, huddling for warmth. Many in the corral grew bored, ripped open their color packets and started a color war.
I was technicolor before we even started moving. What fun!
Carnage of some impatient runners
Soon enough, the race was underway. Our group of seven split in half and I ran along with Charlotte, Lindsay and Deb. Less than a half-mile into the run, hail started pelting us as we ran. The whole crowd groaned.
But alas, a color station was ahead. Once we were coated in green, everything seemed more springlike!
Volunteers throw green corn starch powder on passing runners
Our race was on the local community college campus. Parking lots were aplenty, so we spent much of the run winding through lots and campus roads as we chatted. We were also pleased to see so many people out, despite the weather. We saw many kids running, some racers in costume (Batman and Superman passed us by) and several color infused strollers.
Lindsay, Deb and Charlotte
Since no mile markers were posted and most of my group skipped wearing watches for the untimed 3.1-mile race, Deb kept track of our mileage. She also shared that info with other runners who were itching to know how much further to the finish.
As we ran, high winds carried the color powder high into the air. It was quite the sight.
Then the snow returned, followed by the hail. (Ouch)
After we were doused in yellow and blue, we rounded the last turn to the finish.
Because many people stopped at the finish to toss their remaining color powder packets, we had to stop and walk about 50 or so yards into the finish line. That was a bit disappointing, as my favorite part of any race is a feeling of accomplishment as you finish.
But that said, we pummeled each other with color powder at the finish!
Here, the girls douse me in color!
From left: Sara, Charlotte, Deb, me, Lindsay, Amanda and Thea
Amanda, one brilliant runner in our group, offered up an idea to protect her iPhone from the color powder. She put her phone inside a plastic ziploc bag. Genius! Unlike my phone, which was a technicolor horror and lost 2 months off it’s life, hers was well protected through the madness.
We also loved that Color Vibe partners with a local charity for the event. In Rochester, it raised awareness for the YMCA of Greater Rochester.
Entry into the Color Vibe included a white T-shirt, one color packet, sunglasses and of course our races bibs. We were also given Boston bracelets, a thoughtful gesture by race organizers as we ran several days after Monday’s Boston Marathon bombings.
Have you ever taken part in an non-traditional race? Do you like untimed events? Please share your experiences in the comments.