How Does a Color Run Work? 10 Tips For Your 1st Color Run

Tips For Your 1st Color Run

Running around with friends and having lots of fun is great, but sometimes we just need to get away from our normal routine. A color run is perfect for that!

But how does a color run work?

What Is a Color Run?

Color runs are usually more casual community runs. The length of a color run is typically 5K (3.1 miles).

They have checkpoints where racers are covered in safe colorful pigments which stick to their clothes to signify that they have reached the checkpoint.

These events are lots of FUN whether they are just some together time with your family, an activity to do with friends, or even a fundraiser.

But because these events are so unique, they can sometimes lead to those that sign up having lots of QUESTIONS on what to do in preparation or what they can do to have the best time on the day.

And if you plan to organize a color run yourself, there are many things to consider. For example, you need to evaluate how much color powder is needed and what it will cost.

But for more general advice, read on.

This guide will highlight certain things you may have overlooked thus far on how do you do a color run.

1. What To Wear?

Since this is of course a run you will want to wear appropriate clothing for exercise.

This means lightweight breathable fabric which will not make you retain too much sweat.

But because this is a color run there is a focus on having the color on you as much as possible, so people can see that you have taken part, and you can feel like part of the celebration.

This is why it is recommended that you WEAR WHITE, so the colored pigment is as visible on you as possible.

The pigment also sticks to skin well so having exposed arms, if you are comfortable with this, will help the pigment stick.

2. Event T-Shirts / Merch

When signing up for a color run, organizers will usually offer merchandise packets that can come with specific shirts for wearing at the event.

These are usually a cheap choice, a great token and piece of memorabilia, and usually a nice light breathable choice for the day.

These events usually take place over summer, so make sure the fabric is not too heavy as well.

Also, if you are bringing your own clothes for the event, and not buying a specific shirt for the event, make sure it is not one you want to keep pristine.

While these pigments, for the most part, wash out, especially on white clothes there is a good chance that they will leave stains or just a tint on the fabric.

So if you have gotten some lovely new high-quality white clothes, steer clear of using them.

3. Keep Your Breath Protected

The pigments used during these events are always non-toxic and safe if you end up inhaling them.

However, if you have a breathing condition like asthma which requires a certain level of air quality, you may want to wear a bandana or a face mask of some kind to prevent inhaling too much pigment.

And if you have severe breathing issues it may be worth reconsidering if you want to join the run in the first place. 

4. Protect Your Eyes

The same goes for sensitive eyes. If you are worried about the pigment getting in your eyes or eyeglasses, people have come up with creative ways to avoid this.

While some people just opt to wear sunglasses or running glasses (both useful on sunnier days anyway) some people even wear swimming or skiing goggles to make sure they get full protection.

While this may seem like a strange idea, these color runs are usually used as an opportunity to dress up however you want, so goggles would hardly stand out.

Finally, since these events usually take place during summer, make sure to wear sunscreen.

While color runs are usually more accessible they still take place in areas completely exposed to the sun and staying out with skin in direct contact can be harmful, especially if you are entering with kids. 

Keep The Mess In Mind

5. Keep The Mess In Mind

As mentioned in the clothing section, these pigments are supposed to be WASHABLE.

While they do not stain skin, they can leave semi-permanent marks on the fabric. While this is fine for some clothes, keep in mind where you will be after you leave the race. 

6. Cover Your Car Seats

The most important consideration to make is the car ride after the event!

Dust off the excess powder before heading home (there might be air-blown cleaning devices at the finish line).

You won’t be fully clean, so avoid staining your car seats by using big towels to cover the seats on the way back (or big plastic rubbish bags, etc.).

If you have much younger kids it is also worth bringing baby wipes to make sure your hands are clean before getting into the car. 

If you are taking the tube, cover the seat with a poncho or something similar before you sit down.

7. Protect Your Phone

Nowadays, it is almost a necessity to bring your phone with you wherever you go.

And with an event like this, you probably want to take a lot of photos!

You need to take care that the powder doesn’t HARM your devices.

To protect your phone, keep it in a baggie at all times.

You can use a zip-lock bag with anything you want to protect from any mess (wallet, car keys, etc.). Or you can use a waterproof phone case for your phone.

8. Show Up Early

These events are usually incredibly popular and can draw in large numbers of racers.

Even if you have pre-registered online and had everything mailed to you, there is still sometimes a need to sign in or register at the event.

So to avoid having to queue or wait for too long it is best to be one of the first people there at the opening for this process.

This means you can warm up in a relaxed way or even have a chill breakfast or snack as you wait for the run to start.

9. Wash Your Running Gear ASAP

The sooner you wash dirty gear, the better. The longer you leave the color on them, the harder it will be to remove.

Just in case, use clothing that you do not mind getting stained.

Before washing with water, remove all excess powder. Wash your colored gear separately in cold water.

10. Save the Colors

If you don’t want to wash your clothes, don’t!

You might want to save the amazing colors on your clothes! That’s always something you can look back on.

The Bottom Line

These events, while a great form of exercise, are meant to be fun! You do not have to push yourself to do the best you can.

You can pace yourself on the run and enjoy the fun with all the pigments.

And you can run for a good cause too. Schools and organizations often arrange color runs as fundraisers.

Make sure to stay hydrated and to make sure you are having a good time, whether this means enjoying the run by yourself or staying with your group.

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