Saturday, September 14, 2013

Race Report: KaleidoSCOPE Colour Run 5k

I was very excited when I stumbled upon this race.  Initially it was going to be my "warm up" for Colour Me Rad and then, when the date was moved and I was no longer able to run CMR, I was just excited about the chance to run a colour run this year.

But, I must say, from a communications standpoint, this race really dropped the ball.  First, when the date was initially postponed - there was no initial communication.  About two weeks before the race, suddenly the race moved on the Running Room website to Sept 14.  It was another few days before an email was even sent out to participants.  And the reason for the postponement rang stupid with me.  The race director had been sick so couldn't pull it together in time was the gist of it.

Didn't they have a backup person?

But I digress.   The race was still going to happen.  And now, my niece had asked when she could run another 5k with me and I told her about how fun this one sounded and asked if she would like the race entry to be her birthday prezzie from us this year, to which she enthusiastically agreed.

When I wrote to Maddy on Thursday to let her know I was picking up the "swag bags", she told me not to peek at mine.  She wanted us to be surprised together.  So sweet.  But so hard to do!   

It wasn't until Friday morning that I realized the itinerary for the day would be inside those bags and I had Hubby retrieve it for me so I could send it along to Maddy's parents.  And that was where I discovered further mis-communication.

On the running room website, for the longest time, they had listed the start time as being 9 or 9:30.  That changed to 10 not long ago.  THEN, on this itinerary it says the "Colour Party" starts at 9:30 and the 5k doesn't start until 10:40!!!  WHA?!?!?

I do understand a few things.

1) They can't throw the colour on the city pathways so need to make it spectacular at the start/finish.  No big deal.  

2) A lot of people will have this be their only race this year...possibly in their life and it WILL be a big event for them.  Not everyone gets up on a saturday and does a race like it's a normal run.  I'm weird like that.  So are my friends.

But the thing I DON'T understand is why this itinerary couldn't have been made public well in advance.  I went into this thinking it would be a run that occupied maybe an hour and a half of our morning.  Now it was shaping up to be a full morning. And I had a niece who had other family plans later in the morning and required her to shower before she could go to them.  If I'd known the schedule of events - we might have been able to avoid the conflict altogether.

But ok...getting on with things and ending my little rant...


In lieu of a tee, this race does a SWAG bag and it is quite a heavy one.  Inside was the following:
  • Bib - including attached timing chip
  • Gymsac - one of those cinch sack backpacks.  They gave a choice of colours.
  • Sunglasses - the adults got those ones that look like louvres and the kids got regular colourful shades.  The kids sunglasses were toddler sized so I gave mine to Maddy and she gave hers to the twinners
  • Voltaren Emulgel sample
  • Colour pack
  • Perfume sample (adults) mosquito repellent sample (kids)
Not bad.  Actual usable swag for the most part.

The colour packs were HUGE!

These shades were so NOT my style...

The kidlets were thrilled with the little shades.

and the Race Report

Prepping for this race was fun.   I bought myself a plain white cotton tee at Michaels for around $3.50.  I decided to cut the sleeves off of it because I really hate running in short sleeve shirts.  But then, the weather forecast came out and said that it was going to be 25*C for race day!  The mere thought of running in heat in cotton made me want to curl up and die.   Luckily, digging through my stash of tech tees, I found some plain white long sleeves I bought at Costco a while back.   A quick slice and the sleeves were history and I had an instant white tech tank.  Perfect.

Now to prep Maddy.  She had her own shirt.  My only concerns were: a) her blonde hair and b) her severe asthma.  Luckily, digging through my craft room, I found some masks that should keep the bulk of the dust out of her lungs. In the end, she brought her own that was thicker than what I had for her.  In this case, the fact that the colour was only being thrown at the start and finish was a good thing.   She would be able to run without the mask but then put it on just before the finish.  Perfect.   To cover her hair, she brought the sleeve she cut off her XL tshirt and turned it into a buff for her hair.

Since this race was chip timed, I did something strange.  For the first time in my three and a half years running - I decided to race naked.  No Garmin.  No phone.  No Nike+.  No geekery at all.  This is very strange for me, since we all know how much I love my geekery.   I just decided that I didn't want to risk getting anything damaged.  I'm not going to lie - I may have had some serious internal trouble actually doing this.  and I'm not sure I'd do it again.  I love my data.

We headed out bright and early and made it to Murdoch Park in Bridgeland super early.  Parking a couple of blocks north, I even had time to grab a latte as we walked over.  People were already getting pretty colourful, throwing colour packs at each other and getting the party good and started.

We bought some extra colour packs (1 for $3, 2 for $5 and 5 for $10).  There was plenty of colour options to choose from and all of them were very vibrant: Purple, Blue, Green, Yellow, Orange, Pink - a veritable rainbow. We then found our own little space in the park.

I was keeping an eye out for Sue, since she would be there for the 10k.  No sign of her yet though.

So we busied ourselves with the business of getting colourful.  Turns out Maddy is a pro at throwing colour.  It didn't take long for us to turn into a couple of tie-dye rainbows.

Maddy was testing if I am REALLY allergic to pink (I am!)



and then we went and got a few more colour worth spending at this kind of race.  Totally.  The more colour you have - the higher the fun factor.

That stroller behind me was COVERED in
colour when we saw it later...
click it to enlarge - a panorama of the park

There were a few people around who had yet to get colourful so, if we spotted one, we would make a loud comment about it being a shame that they were so darn white...and then we'd toss some colour on them.  So fun.   There was one couple standing around all white and we started tossing some good-natured colour their way and then the guy said "I think she follows your blog" and she asked "Are you Cori?"

That may be the first time I've had someone ask me that.  It was cool to be recognized...and a little unnerving...but a big shoutout to Sandra!  It was awesome to meet you!  (I so should have taken a photo...having my old point and shoot was throwing me off my game)

Soon, the radio station who was emceeing started to gather everyone near the stage for the warmup and startline "paint party"  Here, the volunteers were tossing colour packs into the crowd and still other volunteers walking around with buckets of colour, tossing them on everyone.

we even met a pup getting in on the action

No worries - the colour is just corn starch so pretty safe for kids and pups

and as we were walking around - I finally found Sue!

I may or may not have tried to photobomb a pic of her and her hubby by pouring colour on their heads...though I think I failed.

They were having as much fun as we were and shared some of the comparisons to Color Me Rad, which was interesting.  Apparently the colour packs at CMR were like a sixth the size of the ones we had here.  She also said there were far more colour options here.

Soon, the 10k people were on their way and Maddy and I were milling about waiting for the 5k to start.  Luckily it didn't take too long.

They counted us down and then we were was a walking start and took us through a chute of colour...and water hoses.  Lucky for you, I filmed the whole thing...

It took a little bit for us to get going.  There were a lot of walkers and we had to dive and dart around them.  It was all very stop/start.

Another colourful pup

By the time we hit the pathways, the crowd had thinned out enough that we could run.  The course ran west along the river pathway to Langevin Bridge - crossed over to the south and then immediately back (to work around that washed out path section) and continued west to just past Centre Street.  I had feared it would be too hot, but the river breezes kept the temperature quite perfect.

My naggy knee was groaning a fair bit.   Not too badly, but bad enough to make me revamp any time goal I have for that half tomorrow.  I guess we'll see.

Maddy and I just had fun running and walking and thanking the awesome volunteers.   That is one thing that really set this race apart from others - these volunteers were incredible.  Super encouraging.  Great cheering.  Happy.  These guys should train the volunteers for all races.

We were bopping along and, when we hit the last km, Maddy put on her mask again and we decided to speed to the finish.   Maddy has come so far since we ran Santa Shuffle together last year.  She has been training for cross country at school and has some speed to her.  We were neck and neck for a bit there, but I still managed to pull ahead and finished just seconds ahead of her.  We had to run back through the chute with more colour and water before crossing the finish line and claiming our medals.

Chip time was 38:51  Slower than our Santa Shuffle time, but we dawdled a lot.  I was surprised when I asked someone for the time after we finished and he said 11:15.  I thought it felt like slower than 35 mins while we were out there, but I didn't know for sure until chip time came in because of my gadgetlessness.

Finish line food was awesome with spolumbo sausages, potato chips, orange slices, juice, granola bars, grilled bananas.  A+ for feeding the runners. Those orange slices were awesome for getting the cornstarch grit off my teeth and tongue,

Despite those early communication hiccups - this race totally redeemed itself for me.  It was incredibly fun and I loved how everyone played together in the pre-race colouring.  It was nice to do a smaller colour run since everything about Colour Me Rad screamed "too many people" to me.   That would have upped my social anxiety and probably would  have left me far too overstimulated.  This was about perfect.

Murdoch Park was an ideal location for this - lots of greenspace, a playground for the kidlets, plenty of room for start/finish and nice and close to the river pathways.

Maddy and I had so much fun and we really can't wait to do it again next year.  We figure it should be a family affair next time and we plan to drag everyone out.

Now for the after effects...

I managed to get all of the colour out in one shower, though I did fear for a bit that I might have green armpits forever...scrubbing took care of that.  I didn't get hit in the nose so that was all clear, but my ears took on alot of colour so qtips were my best friend.

I figured my shirt would be stained for sure so didn't take much care to try to lock the colour in...

But, a quick trip through the washer made it almost white again. Same with my hat, despite Maddy dumping a half a colour pack on it. I can save them for next year :P  My socks were completely stained, though.  The colour didn't come out at all.  I've yet to wash my shoes...


  1. Awesome to see you today! Start line was crazy, couldn't see or breathe. And those hoses?! Very slow day for me but Kev was 3rd overall. Still super excited about the blue dye :) Oh, and my toenails all stayed on - yay! (huge concern pre-race)

    1. It was so great to see you too! And who takes third so soon after a marathon? My congrats to Kevin! I THOUGHT he was done awfully fast to be back around the same time we crossed! Yay about the toenails. After I washed all the powder off, I discovered a bruise at the base of my left "ring" toe doesn't hurt so I have no clue if it was from today lol.maybe I'll luck out and it will be a stain!

  2. Poor communication aside it sounds like a fun race! That's so great that your niece loves to race with you. I hope that my niece will be the same as she gets older.

    Crazy that your shirt washed so well!

  3. I heard it was a great race, way better than CMR. I'll definitely sign up for it next year I think. That's too bad the communication was so poor- hopefully they learned from their mistakes and will do a much better job in the future.

    Did the colour come out of Maddy's hair ok? That was my concern when I was going to do CMR.

  4. So fun! Even with them all being the premise, each colour run sounds so different! Glad you guys enjoyed it, love that yours was chip timed and everything. Ours wasn't and I'm pretty sure it wasn't even close to 5k but we had a blast anyways!


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