On June 1st, 2013 in Lima, Ohio, I ran the ColorBlaze 5K. It took place at the Allen County Fairgrounds. Overall, a fun but unchallenging race. I am glad I did it, but won’t do this one again.
Registration: I decided to run this at 7pm on the Friday (the day) before the race. Registration was through Active.com and I was able to register in plenty of time for the ‘discount’ rate of $35. There was also day of registration for $45.00.
Parking: PLENTY of parking with not much of a walk to the main area. They had guides during incoming but none during outgoing which made a MESS! It was a horrible situation trying to leave. It took about 30 minutes to get out of the log.
Check In: The race was scheduled to start at 11 and they said to get there at 8 to pick up your packet or register. They were NOT kidding. I got there at 930 and got checked in with no problem. Those that waited until the last minute had a bad day. The line was really, really long. No ID was needed (which always makes me a little wary in active.com events….everyone can see who registers if you take the public option). You signed a waiver, got your bag o’ stuff and you were good to go.
They had a zumba class going on before the race, which was a hoot!
Stuff: 100% cotton t-shirt with the company’s logo, race bib (still don’t get this one – they didn’t have professional photographers and it wasn’t timed) one bag of color powder, coupons, and small samples of drug store type items.
Bag Check: None. This wasn’t important at this race because 1) you didn’t get all nasty to the point you needed to change and 2) the car was a hop, skip and a jump away.
Restrooms: Plenty of access to the fairground facilities (no port-a-potties) but they had no paper towels, the hand driers were either broken or shut off, and they were out of TP by the end of my heat (I was about the fourth heat of about 10).
Actual Race: It was a flat track race with a brief run on a slightly muddy (due to recent rain) track. It was NOT a 5k. My GPS clocked it at about 2.5 miles and facebook posts of others confirmed that. I don’t know why, but this annoyed me beyond all belief. I wanted my 3.1 miles and I felt cheated. I also thought it was doing a BIG disservice to beginning runners. They now have a skewed sense of the 5K. Also, the end of the race was a hot mess. It just sort of stopped….I wandered around for a while, confused because I didn’t see a finish line and my GPS hadn’t hit 3 miles. I heard rumors that there was a water and snack station with fruit, but it was no where near the finish.
The fun factor was high though. There were three color stations on the course and people running around spraying you with color. That was really cool. There was one water station on the course.
Photographs: No company was there taking pictures. It was a have your family take pictures type situation.
Fitness Requirements: Flat track, no obstacles, and decent weather all meant that you needed cardio fitness (I will note that at least 75% of the people there were walking the whole thing) and zero non-running muscle strength. This was about as beginner as you can get.
Bottom Line: I am glad I did it. It was a fun experience. But, it was way to beginner for me, WAY to unorganized for me and I probably won’t be doing another ColorBlaze.