Tuesday, June 30, 2015

Race Recap: Colour Me Rad 5K

I'm skipping this week's Training Tuesday since I haven't officially started Marathon Training yet. 

Saturday morning I drove to Calgary with my friends Danielle, Melissa and June for the Colour Me Rad 5K. I've done this event the last two years (race recaps here and here) and had a blast! We were planning to meet a big group of Alberta bloggers around 9:30 so we left at 6:50 to give us plenty of time to make the two hour drive and park. My friends were not very excited about the early morning wakeup on a Saturday!

Jen had given us the heads up there was construction in the area so we were prepared for that; however, we were not prepared for the traffic congestion to get to Canada Olympic Park. I had decided to spend the 11 bucks and purchase VIP parking since I had London with me. They gave us an address for parking which we entered into our GPS and followed the instructions. It took us 42 minutes to get from the start of the construction to the top of COP where we were then told by a not-so-nice construction lady that there was absolutely no parking and we would have to turn around! Needless to say, we were not impressed!!! 

We were already 30 minutes late to meet our friends and family and Melissa really had to use a washroom. We ended up stopping at a gas station and then making the 20 minute drive back the way we came to circle around to get to the top of the hill another way. Needless to say, we were all a little frustrated by the time we got there.

I wish the parking would have come with instructions. We would have saved ourselves at least an hour! They also could have been turning people around at the bottom of COP to save people at least half an hour! I also heard the shuttles were a mess with up to an hour and a half wait. The shuttles were also being re-directed. It was a mess and the most unorganized of all the three years. Thankfully, London was a rockstar for 3.5 hours in the car!!

All of the girls were nice enough to wait for us to arrive (we were an hour late!) I showed up a bit grouchy, and frustrated, but seeing all of them cheered me up and got me excited to run! We quickly picked up our packages (no sunglasses this year but sweet socks!) and gathered for a few pre-race photos.

We decided to run the race as two groups. Melis, Danielle and June stuck together and I (mostly) walked/jogged with the blogger group. I don't see these ladies very much and it was great to catch up. I wish we would have had more time. I also wish we all lived in the same city because I know we would all be great friends! I feel like I know so much about them just reading their blogs every day and our group text/facebook/instagram chats!

The course was different this year. Apparently, they received a lot of complaints about the big hill so they kept it mostly flat. Honestly, it was a horrible course. At one point, we ran by the finish line (kind of confusing) and then ran around a parking lot (which we ended up skipping out early on.) I think race organizers had the opportunity to highlight a beautiful part of Calgary and having racers lap around a parking lot, for a portion, is embarrassing. 

Parking Lot Laps
I WAS impressed with the amount of colour stations. In the past years, they only had one colour station per colour (about 5 I believe.) This year, there were about three times that amount! Plus, they even shot gel-colour out of a gun which was surprisingly cold and refreshing! I was definitely very colourful by the end. I have no idea what our time was but I'm guessing about 35 minutes.

I heard most colour stations were out of colour by 11:30 which makes me sad. That's the whole point of doing a colour run. I read a lot of bad reviews and complaints on the event FB page and Colour Me Rad did address most of them asking how they could make it up to people. I think organizers realize they majorly dropped the ball in a number of key areas.

Although, I had a mixed experience I do love this race. I love that the organizers really focus on making it one big party. They had food trucks, a stage pumping good music and a beer garden. I think, with a few improvements, this could be a really great race again! I will be back next year but only if they can guarantee I'm not doing loops of a parking lot and my shirt doesn't stay white!!

1. Have you ever done a Colour Run before?
2. Have you ever been disappointed by a race or a race course?

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