The 5K race to which the group has been building was on Saturday, The Color Run: Austin. The race's premise is based on the Hindu religious festival of Holi, although all that remains in the Americanized, non-religious version is people throwing colored powders onto participants and into their faces as they complete a 5K course.
Everyone to whom I described the race that would run 5K for time had the same response: "the last thing I want while running a race is to have someone throw colored dust at me." Everyone to whom I described the race that has never run a 5k had the same response: "cool." My group was very excited.
It was actually cold in the morning before the start, 48 degrees when I left the house, so I led them in a short warm-up before they joined the tremendous number of racers.
Everyone wears a white shirt and passes through four powder color stations - yellow, blue, pink, and orange - in addition to crossing paths with roaming race officials carrying insecticide sprayers full of liquid paint in turquoise, green, and other vivid colors.
I rode around the course on my bike, taking pictures and trying to stay up-wind from the paint powder. You can see how far the pink plume spread.
Some people go on their merry way, albeit while wearing a tutu, and are decorated with whatever colors come their way.
Others embrace a basting.
Still others may have emerald hair for a few days.
There is color and color-lovers everywhere. I told my group that it was by far the most colorful pre-race area I had ever seen. Most triathlons are just a sea of black, white, red, and blue, with the occasional pink highlight. Not many tutus in triathlon either, which is a shame.
Again, these are all pictures of people I did not train. Those I cannot share, but I finally can share my employer. Disney. I was contracted by Active.com (familiar to triathletes as the IM race registration website, but they have a whole different section for training athletes) to train local Disney employees. So I guess all of the color at their goal race makes sense, right?
I thought I successfully avoided any major coloring incidents. Then I blew my nose when I got home and it was blue and orange.