REVIEW: Color Me Rad Vancouver 5k

Date Of Event: August 18, 2012

Price: $45.00 Proceeds going to Keep-A-Breast Canada, and 15% of my registration was donated to Going Coastal.

I was super excited for this race for 3 reasons: 1) I’ve NEVER done a 5k, I guess I felt it was appropriate to just jump straight into half marathons, typical thought process for me, 2) the race just looked so fun and dirty, how could I resist, and 3) I knew I’d be able to con my best friend, who has never done any sort of running event, into doing this…and I was right, and joining us were two of my sassy friends, Pam and Aya.


Packet Pick Up:  There was no EXPO for this race, which I’m fine with, because as you all know, I love going to EXPO’s about as much as I love going for my pap. Packet pick up was available the Thursday and Friday prior to the race and was nice and simple. I went on the Thursday and I literally walked right up to the table, grabbed my bib, chose my RAD sunglasses, my tattoo and received my shirt, which I will say is one of my favorite race shirts to date.  It’s a regular t-shirt, but the fabric is so soft, and there’s nothing I love more than a lived-in-super-soft tee.  They nailed it with the swag!

Clean As A Whistle!

Morning of: We all got dressed in our finest, whitest, whites and were on our way. The race was being held out at UBC so I was a little worried about the parking situation, but it turned out to be super easy.  We arrived at the event grounds about a half an hour prior to our wave time to enjoy the festivities and music.

Stretching like champs! (no not really)




Start Line: We were scheduled to be in the very first wave of runners, obviously because we are elite…oh wait, that’s not why at all… We chose the earliest wave just so we could get a move on.  Somehow, we ended up missing wave 1, wave 2 and possibly wave 3, likely due to the fact that we needed to do a lot of really awesome pre-race stretching. 😉

Half Way, still pretty clean!


The Race: The course was essentially a 5k out and back, although it felt much shorter to me and my teammates.  I didn’t have my Garmin on, so I really can’t say if it ran short or not, maybe we were just having so much fun that time passed quickly.  There were several color stations along the route, most of which were powdered color (colored cornstarch from my understanding) and two stations which were liquid.  The powder stations were so much fun, the volunteers would throw huge handfuls of the color at you as you ran by, it was like a color dust storm, but the liquid stations were my biggest gripe of the race.  I think if they stuck with all powder stations it would have been better, once the liquid colors were sprayed at us, it made everything a little nasty.  Yes, I know I shouldn’t be complaining about getting dirty on a run such as this, but to me the liquid didn’t make any sense.  The race had 1 water station at the half-way point, when we arrived there it was a bit of a cluster-F, if you know what I mean, but I think that’s expected when there’s only one water station and so many runners coming through.

Jumping Team Tropical Skittles!

Finish Line: As we crossed the finish line we got bombed one more time by bright purple color bombs.  The finish line was like a big party of really colorful people.  Everyone was having a good time and dancing to the awesome music being played.  The two things that I felt would have made the finish line more epic would have been beer gardens for us that are 19+, because damn, a beer would have been perfect after that run, and possibly shower trucks.

The Aftermath:  The four of us girls did our best to “clean up” after the race so we could pile into my car.  Let me tell you, the color really sticks to your skin, it was not budging at all!  So what did we do?  We proudly wore our colorful badges of honor and went and had breakfast at the local pancake house! After breakfast, the real clean up started.  I seriously SCRUBBED my skin for about an hour in the shower post-race.  I was worried that I’d have to go to work looking like a smurf-gone-wrong.  This is the downside to a race like this, expect to be scrubbing for a looooong while.

Dirty fun!

So will I do a color run again?  Likely not, and it’s not because I didn’t enjoy the crap out of it, because I did.  I just feel like these types of races are the kind of races that you do once, love it and leave it.  I thoroughly enjoyed it, loved racing with my girls, loved getting super dirty and it was nice to not worry about my pace or finish time for a change. 🙂

Have you guys done any color runs?  How about any other themed runs? Mud runs, Zombie runs or relays? Let me know in the comments below.

xoxo, MLL


  • great swag for a fairly cheap price (sunglasses, tattoo, awesome shirt)
  • volunteers were excellent, thank you rad volunteers!
  • overall it was just a really fun day
  • CHEAP race photos, these guys know how to do it right! (Flo-Foto)


  • liquid color, it just seemed like a mucky unnecessary thing
  • lack of post-race beer!

PRICE: 10/10
BONUS:  7/10 (seriously awesome tee’s)

TOTAL: 33/40

TIME: n/a (finished, no timing chips)

3 thoughts on “REVIEW: Color Me Rad Vancouver 5k

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