Ten Reasons I will Never do the Color Run Again

Update: I’m sorry (too) that this post comes up so high in the search engine. I wrote this post in 2013. This was the first Colour Run in the Netherlands. I’m sure you’ll have a great time at YOUR Colour Run, whichever one you choose to do. You don’t need to take my experience to heart, it’s simply MY experience. As it’s also MY blog I reserve the right to have a not-so-popular opinion about this event. I’m closing the comments because I think that people are getting their panties in a bunch because I wrote about it and I didn’t like it. Read further if you must.

Before you want to slam me with your opinion, maybe read this:

For the Love of Orlando

No really, it was fun, but it’s not for me.

I think the color run is a great idea to get people doing something together, for fun, for your health and fitness, maybe even for a first race. My stepdaughter has been running for a few months now and we thought it would be a great idea to do this together, along with my running buddy Patricia.

I was very excited for my stepdaughter, for sure. Yesterday we finally bought her running shoes so she doesn’t have to wear my old shoes anymore. In fact, she shouldn’t be running on my old shoes because I have the pronation correction and she doesn’t need that. Which means, she gets to wear the cooler shoes (if you need correction, the shoes just aren’t as cool, let’s face it). Not to totally deviate from the subject but I got a new pair as well. I’m that person now. The one with more than one pair of shoes for training and races. Ahem.

It wasn’t too early that we had to head out to Amsterdam, so around noonish we were on the way. Nothing too exciting about a(nother) trip to the West.

We arrived at Patricia’s to park the car, collected her, arranged our bibs, did the necessary runs to the toilet and we were on our way. Luckily P lives only about a 10 minute walk to the park where the run was being held.

The thing with the Color Run is, the festival area is off limits to anyone not participating. So if you go with someone who is just supporting you, they can’t hang out with you on the event grounds. My husband and stepson were just out of luck.

At the risk of sounding incredibly uptight, I present to you my list:

10 Reasons I won’t do the Color Run again

1) I’m *that* runner. Meaning, yes, I like to run, I like to run for fun, but seriously no one was there to be serious at all. People were drinking beer and smoking. Sorry, but no. I enjoy a beer AFTER running. Not several before. I saw people helping their friends staying upright at 3KM. Not cool.

2) The start was at 3pm and we had to go in “waves”. Every 5 minutes they let a group of runners go and in between it was like a drunken trance party. We were fairly close to the front, yet we didn’t even start until almost 3:40.

3) I couldn’t run. There were just too many people randomly walking, jumping, screaming, going on each others backs, etc.

4) It’s not timed. Now I know why.

5) I expected big color bomb explosions. It was more like people with bottles of colored powder smashing this stuff in our faces. (ok maybe not mine because when I saw what happened to Patricia I covered my face pretty well). It was too random. People were just stopping and letting the color people put the powder on them.

6) Did I mention the random walking, running, yelling? Oh. Well I’m trying to fill up 10 reasons.

7) At the finish that was it. Nothing, no explosions. We didn’t walk all the way to the festival grounds though, maybe something happened there.

8) Frankly I’m just tired of going to Amsterdam now. (that’s not the color run’s fault)

9) it’s 5K. I don’t want to run 5K’s. There is nothing, ABSOLUTELY nothing wrong with a 5K! I encourage everyone to do it! But it’s not my distance. I want to do 10K or more.

10) For me it wasn’t the Happiest 5K on the Planet or whatever they call it. I was happy to be with my stepdaugher and friend, but I can do that without all the ridiculousness.

Honestly I can see why some people love it. But I love running. I love the freedom of going my pace, through a track, listening to some good tunes and being around others who know and understand why I appreciate that THAT’S what makes me happy. I assure you I’m far from uptight and I love to have fun and have a good laugh, but the Color Run just isn’t my cup of tea.

Anyway, the obligatory Before, During and After shots

nearing the finish
nearing the finish

Patricia got the most color bombed
Patricia got the most color bombed

Next Runs:
Westervoort Midsommerrun 10K – 23 June
Arnhem Bridge to Bridge 10 EM 8 September

If I can, I’m going to also go to London for the London Pride 10K in August and run with a team of Dashing Divas! I just have to hear back from the Organisation on how I can register from out of the country.

Have you done the Color Run? Did you like it/ hate it / not bothered? Do you want to do a Color Run?

36 thoughts on “Ten Reasons I will Never do the Color Run Again

    1. Hi Jan
      I guess I never even thought it would be like this – but I learned my lesson!

  1. My first official 5k is Saturday and is a color run. Lol. I’m not planning on running. It’s more of just a fun thing for the girls in the family. I can totally understand why you wouldn’t do another though. Hopefully the beer drinking doesn’t happen until after the race we are doing!

    1. Brooke, I’m sure you will have a good time! I think if there were a few different factors in my life I may have even done some beer drinking afterwards. However, I live 85 miles from Amsterdam and I just couldn’t even stay for the party. We had the kids and we had to get them home on time and Patricia had to study. I think if you are with a group you can probably get past the annoying bits and enjoy it more than I did!

  2. I found you on running bloggers. Like you, I’ll never do a color run, except I didn’t do one to figure that out. I just don’t want to do them because it’s more of a big event than a race or run, and the money doesn’t seem to benefit a charity or anything (and they cost A LOT here). It just doesn’t seem like it’s a race for a runner. Not that it’s a race at all, being untimed.

    Plus… you guys didn’t even get very colorful. I was expecting to see more color in the after picture from what I’ve heard about the runs. I don’t blame you not to do it again, if you want to do a 5K there are lots of other options out there.

    1. thanks for coming by Amy!
      I think ours did have a charity linked to it, Girls First, which is a Dutch charity if I’m not mistaken.

      I also expected to get WAY more colorful as well. Patricia definitely got slammed, but T and I didn’t!! Definitely going to do other races and I’m sure it will still be fun (T already signed up for two more 5K’s!)

  3. Crap! I have one coming up and now I know its gonna annoy me too. I had no idea they were like this!

    1. suppose we should have figured as much Penny! what with colored powder being blasted on everyone! maybe yours won’t be like the drunken trance party in Amsterdam!

  4. Thanks for your frank description. I’d probably agree with you to be honest. I didn’t realize it was that way!
    However, in all the pics the 3 of you do look happy & your was really special for you & your step-d. I recently ran a muddy run with my step-d, it was her first ever race & it was a blast, she’ll never do it again! Didn’t realize she had to “bathe” in mud. Was a bit much for her. It was fun though!

    1. Oh I was definitely happy about the fact that she wanted to run this – after all she only just started a few months ago! I’m super proud of her. And, well, if you know me in real life, you know I am also almost always smiling (or rather laughing). But it was fun in the sense of I was happy to be with my girl and my friend :)

  5. You know… there is going to be a color run here and tons of people I know are doing it. I have felt bad… on and off… for not going ahead and signing up. So… THANK YOU for this because I’m pretty sure all these things would have annoyed me as well. Not that I am currently able to tackle an entire 5k (but I am trying to get back into running) but the random stopping and craziness of the Hot Chocolate Run did me in.

    1. I have the feeling that I’ll be thought of as a snob, but I”m just being honest. The definition of “fun” is different for everyone. I may also be too serious!

  6. Oh gosh that would not be for me either at all! At the Nike one there were women eating chips beforehand, mental! I do also agree that it’s pointless having these ‘village’ things if your friends and family can’t hang out too! So glad you’re thinking of joining in! :) I’m looking for a decent hotel for you. Bethnal green is East London so it’s a little dodgy compared to some other parts of London. It might actually be better to stay more central and hop on the tube to the race. Let me look into it for you.

    1. ha! I have run with my work team where one of my colleagues was eating a huge sandwich and drinking a red bull beforehand. pretty sure she puked on the course!
      Oh that’s sweet of you Sian. Once I know how I can register I’ll confirm. I may also be able to stay with a friend. So all options are certainly welcome, thank you!

  7. I felt the same way about my run. It was fun to do with friends, but I would never pay for one! (I bandited because I’m a bad person…)

  8. What a shame you didn’t enjoy it as much as you’d expected. Shame they couldn’t have different sections for people who actually want to run and those who just want to muck about. You know I’ve wanted to do a colour run ever since I heard about it – from you, of course. In fact, I think that’s one of the reasons I wanted to start running so I could join in the fun! But I thought the one in Amsterdam was a) too far away, b) way too expensive, c) I didn’t think I’d be ready (thinking you had to actually *run* and d) it was sold out straight away and had all sorts of trouble with the registration system. Turns out there are several others round the Netherlands this year, but the travelling was the main issue for me. And then I saw the local Colour Bootcamp is on this weekend, so I’m going to combine two things I’ve never done before, and what’s more, it’s free. I intend to get my T-shirt as colourful as possible – not so fussed about my face.

  9. So now I’ve done the Colour Bootcamp and we had such good fun. The difference was, they never pitched it as a real sporting event. The idea was come along, join in to get a feel of the lessons, and have some fun with coloured powder. Bring your own white T-shirt. It was completely free, they were handing out bottles of water, and at the end we got a small goodie bag including a bidon, some free tea and “healthy” biscuits, free apples. Even though we got to do some exercise, it was all very relaxed and fun, and it was small-scale so they were just running around throwing powder from the bags it came in, not shooting it at you or throwing it in your face. Not until the very end when they gave us each a bag of powder to throw in the air. There was a cloud of powder for 20 seconds and then it was gone. Oh, and they were handing out free sunglasses too if you’d forgotten to bring them. Not only was it free, but I won a free month of bootcamp! I’d definitely do it again, but I think they should emphasise it’s a fun run / event, or get their act together and have a separate section for people who are also there for the sport.

    1. oh Sarah! I’m so glad you had a good time! It sounds like it was much better than what I experienced and how cool that you won a month of bootcamp!!!! When do you start?

      1. Well, I can already start in June because they had a special offer – the whole month for € 10 instead of € 35. After that it gets complicated because of our summer holiday, so I’m hoping I can take half the prize before we go and half when we get back. But before any of that can start, I’m walking the Avondvierdaagse this week: four evenings of 12.5 km each. I’m shattered!

  10. If it weren’t for your crappy attitude, maybe you could of had a little fun. Oh we’ll, too bad for you.

    1. Hi Kelli
      Please read my post again. Maybe read a few other posts that I’ve done. Then come back and tell me that I have a crappy attitude.

  11. I’m sorry this comes up so high in search results for the color run. It sounds like you set out not to enjoy it and fulfilled that expectation. It is made very clear it is a 5km fun event and not a serious sporting event, so if you don’t want to run 5kms why do it and then moan because its a 5km and not a 10km?! The color run does support both local and international charities. The only point you made which I found to be reasonable was about people drinking and smoking, which having seen the run in four cities now I have never witnessed anyone behaving like that, and have to think that this was peculiar to this event. Likewise with the lack of colour or “explosions” at the end that is unusual every other one I’ve seen everyone is covered in colour unless they have tried to avoid it and has had a blast at the end. If you want to do serious long runs then please by all means do them instead of short fun runs, but to discourage other people from taking part and working towards the exercise that allows them to do it is not only mean spirited but irresponsible. From the responses posted I doubt this one will see the light of day, but please think about the event you are going to before discouraging others from doing something.

    1. Hi Violet
      My experience that I wrote about is all after the race happened. I did not set out to not enjoy it. Quite the contrary. I was excited to do this with my stepdaughter, and she was excited. I never even gave her any impression that I was anything but excited and enjoying it.

      I didn’t realise that I didn’t want to do 5K’s until after I “ran” the race. I wasn’t moaning about it. I was stating that I now know I’d rather do more than 5K’s.

      I didn’t discourage anyone at any point to NOT participate. I don’t think you read my post the way it was intended. I also am fairly certain you read nothing else that I wrote in the 4 years + I’ve been blogging. I’m not mean-spirited or discouraging. You are judging me based on one post that is simply my honest opinion and honest experience. If you like participating in these events that is great. I don’t. I now know that. This is my blog and i have the right to post my opinion. In fact thank G-d someone out there has a different opinion or we wouldn’t have people like you tearing me apart from one post out of however many hundred I have made since I’ve been blogging.

      Have a nice day, Violet!

  12. So I have been reading blog posts/reviews of the color run, as I am participating in my first this July. I have to say a common complaint is the “people didnt run/its not timed” umm..you can find that out in the damn descriptions on the website..if you’re a competitie person/runner this isnt the event for you and you shouldnt have even signed up…

    1. Hi Jana, did you actually read my post?

      by the way this is my blog and this was my experience. this was the first time the event was ever held in the Netherlands. There was no “damn description” as you nicely put it. I did it for my stepdaughter, to give her the motivation to want to do races. I talked about MY experience and MY feelings on MY blog.

      I hope you have fun. I will never do it again. It’s not my thing. I wish people like you, who just have to say SOMETHING about MY experience on MY blog would just piss off. Honestly what is the point of your response to MY own personal opinion?

  13. I just did my first (and last) color run today and I came across your blog and I am dying laughing… I 100% agree!! It was quite honestly a joke…. I expected so much more from this “race” and was highly disappointed!

  14. Hi there! I just did my first 5K which was The Color Run in Asheville, NC. As a non-runner, I enjoyed it quite a lot. :) It sounds like I had a very different experience from yours – there wasn’t any drinking, we waited 30 minutes before our wave started, and finished the run in 30 minutes. My mother-in-law was with us and did not run but she was very much welcome at the event grounds. We didn’t go to any of the before or after-parties so I don’t know what that was like.

    It would be nice to think that perhaps the organisers have learned from previous experience (e.g. no drinking but I don’t know if that was a rule or people just didn’t do it, supporters welcome at grounds, etc). The big thing I did not like was the crowds! I am a person who needs a lot of personal space and while I did plan on alternating running and walking, I found that I was running to get away from people more than anything else. There are a few parts that I wish was more organised but overall, I was happy and I think I would do it again.

    From how you described your experience and how you are as a runner, I understand why you would not do one again. I wish you luck on your next runs and hope they will be a much better experience for you!

  15. Well. My friend just asked me to sign up for a Color Run with her and I said yes without thinking…then, I decided to google whether it was really fun and I came across your blog…I’m glad they don’t take paypal because I had to wait until I get home and get our “online purchases” credit card…if they had taken paypal, I would have been financial committed. Since I had to wait until I go home to find the credit card, I wasn’t able to complete the registration…and now that I’ve read your blog…I won’t! I was kind of bummed when I read that they don’t time the race because on each of my 5k’s I try to get a personal best and the timing chip helps me keep track. I figured I could get over that since it’s supposed to just be for fun. It seems like it could be, if you don’t want to take it seriously. As hard as I train for 5ks, I take them all seriously! Thanks for your post!!!

  16. My family and friends participate in Fund raising events for Multiple Sclerosis to support me in my fight. It’s a big deal, all funds go to help people, and you get snacks, drinks, goodie bags, sometimes a medal when u cross the finish line, and everyone yells and applauds you when you finish. It’s really fun. The National MS Society has MS walks, MS runs, MS biking events, MS mud runs (which you should Google, it looks awesome) and many other event put on by people like me on their own accord. I sell tickets, have a huge party with drawings, prizes & food. And we raise a good amount of money! It feels good and everyone leaves happy!

  17. I appreciate your post, but I am sad it came up in the color run google search, I just did my first Color Run today and I kept turning to my friend saying ” I understand why this is the happiest 5k on earth I can’t stop smiling.” You can tell the organizers work hard to make it a good time and so do the volunteers. I didn’t set out to qualify for the Boston Marathon, I set out to have a good time and to try something new and different! I thank the organizers for bringing the fun to Ohio! :) I do plenty of timed events this wasn’t the one oh well! Another life experience to talk about!:)

    1. that’s the case with many races. so I think I’m already doing my fair share plus I occasionally run for specific charities myself.

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