Saturday, May 4, 2013

Color Mania Run

In February, Groupon sends me an email advertising the Color Mania Run at a discount price.  I immediately text my girlfriend, Andrea, to see if I can convince her to join me in an adventure of color.  Without hesitation she responds a resounding, "Count me in."

We purchase our tickets with the aspiration that we will both run the entire race, together.  We both start a C25K (Couch to 5k) program. The first day I go jogging with Chubby Jones my back goes out. I am not hit with just a little pain, no it is a full on herniated disk and sciatica.  It is excruciatingly painful. 

I'm delicate with my back for one month.  It does not get better.  I baby my back for two months.  There is not sign of relief.  The third month I can barely move. Meanwhile, Andrea has become a C25K graduate. She is a daily runner and that is so very cool!

I start physical therapy.

A few days before the race I am diagnosed with bronchitis and a sinus infection. Seriously?!?

The day of the race arrives, May 4, 2013.  I can barely move from the forced squats and lunges of physical therapy and I am coughing so hard my lungs are threatening to land on the concrete. I am going to the race and I will complete it even if I have to crawl.

Andrea and I meet in Millington at the Memphis International Raceway.  The morning is unassuming.  It is cold and wet for May, especially for Memphis.  The parking lot it barricaded by a fence that directs the running participants to the registration table.  We sign up, get situated, take a few photos, and wait for the race to begin. 

The Color Mania Run volunteers are transported like illegal aliens in the back of a Uhaul van. 

Andrea and I enjoying our last few minutes being pristinely clean prior to the race. 

The bag of pink color I was handed at registration with the explicit instructions to only use it during the Color Toss after the race. I held this bad boy as I walked the entire 3.1 miles.
Andrea and I decide to go in the final heat of the run.  I am only there for the experience. Plus I love to watch people.

I must admit, even if you never plan on running in a 5k you should attend a color run.  I did not know what to expect, I dressed as I normally do for exercising and calisthenics, yoga pants, t-shirt, and running shoes.  Other participants came prepared to party.  Gaggles of grown women are wearing matching outfits that consist of homemade flourescent tutus, wildly colorful knee socks, and matching t-shirts.  They look like a kindergarten class of girls who have picked out their own outfits and dressed themselves for the first time.  I love every bit of it!

As our heat takes off I decided to test my back.  I jog along side Andrea.  Although she is a fantastic pace runner my bronchitis, sinus infection, and back are no match.  After jogging for one eighth of a mile I bow out, "I'm sorry Andrea, I can't do it.  Go on," like we were in some sort of war situation.

She says, "It's okay," and continues one foot in front of the other.  Her light blue shirt fades further and further away as I slow to a walk. I plug in my headphones and do the best I can.  Periodically I see her continuing her jog.

At one point we pass each other going opposite directions on either side of the fence.  I raise my hands above me head and yell out loud, "Go Andrea! HOORAY! You can do it!" I "Whoo!" loudly.

The woman pushing her stroller to my left glances at me and begins to push a little faster. Yeah, I probably look like the crazy person here all by myself and cheering on imaginary friends. 

After what seems like hours I finally cross the finish line to cheers of my name, "Way to go AVERILL!"

It is Andrea!  She is completely covered in colored dust, cheering wildly, and waiting to give me a high five.  How fantastic!!!  She is the one that finished the entire race running.  She should have a cheering section, but she is there to cheer on my walk. She is a great friend and that is confidently awesome!
Right after I cross the finish line Andrea and I take a colorful photo. I am a weenie, I covered my face so I would not breath in the colorful cornstarch.
We stay after the race to join the dance party.

Andrea learns an R&B line dance.

 Andrea joins in the celebration by learning the Wobble and Gets Low.  

White people and their line dances.
Andrea gets low.

At this point the crowd gathers together in front of the DJ booth.  The DJ begins counting down, "TEN! NINE! EIGHT! SEVEN!" 

I'm fumbling to open my color pouch. 


Andrea says, "Use your teeth! I had to use mine."


The corner of my color pouch rips open with my teeth. I have a mouthful of pink, flowery scented cornstarch.


The crowd goes wild as the air fills with colorful cornstarch.  

The Color Mania Run is such and enjoyable experience that we have already started planning our crew and outfits for next year, perhaps tutus.  Will you join us?

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