The London Color Run: Hints, Tips and Advice for the Happiest 5k on the Planet!

You know that advert where there’s some kind of amazing festival with everyone throwing coloured dye on each other, and it’s supposed to make you want to buy a car or a camera or something, but actually it just makes you want to run outside in a spray of yellow, purple and red, dancing around like a toddler hopped up on too much Haribo? Of course you do – how could you forget? Well, if you’re anything like me, once you have a dream in mind, you set about to find a way to make it happen. And, funnily enough, where there’s a dream, there’s usually someone ready to make that dream come true if you give them some money. To cut a long story short, earlier this month I went on the Color Run in Wembley, London. That’s basically what I’m trying to tell you.


The Color Run is a US company (guess how to spot that fact?) who have set up a series of 5k runs in the UK where you can do exactly what you always dreamed – run through a series of coloured powders and end up looking like an explosion in a rainbow factory. You start off wearing white and end up wearing a coat of many colours, just like Joesph but without the traumatic life story.


There were literally thousands of runners for the event, and each group set off in a wave of a few hundred, meaning that the last group had to wait *quite a long time* to start. Luckily, I was only waiting for about twenty minutes or so, but considering how near we were to the start, this was still quite along time…


Luckily I was able to distract myself by taking photos of my shoes, because that’s what I do.

At regular intervals, you approach colour stations, where the lovely folks there chuck coloured powder all over you as you run through the area.


If you’re awesome like me, you will literally get this everywhere, including in your mouth. If you’d like a tip to avoid this, I would suggest not running with your mouth agape like some kind of village idiot, astounded by the modern world and all its trappings, as I obviously do.


Also, a tip from me to you – wear sunglasses. If you don’t, it will go in your eyes – unless you run with your eyes closed, which I’m sure your parents have told you repeatedly not to do. If it does go in your eyes, nothing bad will really happen, it’ s just one of those things that I recommend you don’t do during a Color Run. Top tip: try not to eat the dye or get it in your eyes. But, if you do, it’s totally safe, you’re just a bit silly because you don’t listen to perfectly good advice.


As you progress around the course you will get more and more colourful – and also, pretty thirsty. That’s why it’s excellent that the Color Run provides you with drinking water halfway through and at the end. Thanks, chaps!


When you pass the finish line, you are rewarded with even more powder – this time, it’s a finishing festival, where you jump up and down to music and throw your own powder on each other. This is where you’ll get coated in the most amount of colour, so if you have other stuff to do that day, like a business meeting or tea with the Queen, you should probably duck out of this part and go and clean up…


It’s actually not that hard to clean up afterwards if you have a mind to. First of all, avail yourself of the air blasting machines they have set up, where a guy or gal will accost you with a giant leaf blower and blow away most of the excess powder. Then, using the baby wipes that you thoughtfully brought along, wipe away the powder until it’s alllllll gone.


If you remembered to bring a pair of disembodied arms with you, this process is much easier, otherwise you’ll have to actually do it yourself. You will need a lot of baby wipes for this. A whole pack is probably enough for one person, because the dye is pretty hardy. But, honestly, in the end, it does come off…


The temporary tattoo is another thing all together…

So, in summary, here is my advice for a fun Color Run:

  • Arrive early to get a place near the start – if this is important to you. If it’s not, let others go first and enjoy the awesome atmosphere and relax before your race with your buddies.
  • Please make sure you wear sunscreen – it might even help you get your dye off easier, as it’ll create a layer of lotion between the dye and your skin.
  • Hydrate before, during and after the race.
  • Wear sunglasses to protect your eyes!
  • Wear your white T-shirt in your pack, and also think about bringing cool accessories like tutus, Hawaiian flower leis, and your sweatband from your pack – which can also protect your hair.
  • Get into the spirit with bold lipstick, nail varnish and eyeliner. However, the dye will end up making your eyelashes go weird. Just an FYI there – mankind has not yet invented a way around this, but I’ve got a team of scientists working on it right now, I promise.
  • If you want to go somewhere after the race or are worried about the dye, avoid the festival at the end (sad, I know), bring baby wipes and wipe yourself down *right away*.
  • Don’t worry about being an ‘athlete’ or running all the way. If you can walk 5k, you can do the Color Run. No one is watching you, or timing you. Take your time and enjoy yourself!
  • Don’t bring anything with you that you don’t want to get dye on. This sounds like common sense, but not judging by the people I saw toting expensive leather bags and accessories!
  • Take loads of pictures – and if you’re worried about your camera, cover it with a clear plastic sandwich bag!


Find out more about The Color Run UK on their site, Entry costs £25, plus a £4.99 postage fee for each entrant.

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3 thoughts on “The London Color Run: Hints, Tips and Advice for the Happiest 5k on the Planet!

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