Updated - people have been asking a lot of questions about what actually happens during the run so I've decided to update the before/during/after photos with some explanations.
Today I "ran" my fourth 5K of the year! It wasn't really running, though - there were way to many people for that. Almost 23,000 people were signed up, making it the third largest 5K in the country and the largest COLOR RUN they've had so far. I'm excited to see if there other races just keep getting bigger. A special thanks to this post from AndTopherToo, which is where I first learned of the amazingness that is The Color Run! I knew as soon as I read about it that I had to be a part of it. And it was awesome!
Before: You show up in mostly white. The people who organize The Color Run have a wonderful sense of humor about this. Take a look at these FAQs and go to the 10th (and then 11th) questions. The headbands and shirts were part of the race packet and they suggest you wear some eye protection just to be safe. It's okay if you don't though.
During: Because there were so many of us, we were sort of corralled into a general starting area and then they released us to run in groups of 1000. It wasn't timed officially and they specified that it wasn't a race so it was a great time to just hang out with your friends. Why would you want to sprint through this anyway? (And make no mistake, I cannot sprint 1k let alone 5k, I'm just saying...) So while you're running they have specific color stations that were not quite at each kilometer. A 5k is 3.1 miles for those of you who don't know. If this were an English exam, they would ask which sentence didn't fit and it would be that last one. Anyway, they have these color stations. It's not paint they throw at you but colored dust - like a colored cornstarch or maybe Wilton's Color Dust - I don't know. It doesn't have a taste but you do breath it in; it didn't make me sneeze or irritate my throat, it just was. They put it in these huge squeeze bottles which reminded me of the things you'd put grease in if you worked on a fryer. I've seen it on Triple D. So you walk through the color sections which, as you can see, are a hazy mess of color and they spray you with this colored dust and you become wonderfully colorful.
After: Once you're done, you take awesome colorful photos with your friends. They also have a color throwing party because also in the race packet is your own packet of color dust. You go to the color throwing location and throw your own color on each other and it rains down on you. It's cool too because where you sweat, the colors tend to tye-dye. Cool? Gross? Either way. Then you go home and shower off as much as you can, but I had an orange armpit for 3 days. And it took me a while to know definitely that I had a sock tan line and not a line of color that wouldn't wash off. I also blew purple snot for a day and a half. That's awesome.
I am a Color Runner!
Then you get to live in full and eternal color glory!