Portland International Raceway went from fast track to a festival of color when The Color Run made their mark in Portland on September 6th.
The first year that I ran this, I was a skeptic. It was not timed, it was not really a run, it was more of a social event. But when I ran it for the first time last year I was proven wrong, and this year they truly took the experience to the next level.
Now let me be blunt for a second. This is not a race for the serious hardcore racer. It is not timed, it is more of a party then a serious race. But this is what makes it a favorite for people who are accomplishing their first 5K as my friend Dana set out to do.
Packet pick up was at the Sports Authority at Jantzen Beach and it was flawless. I was in an out in less then 5 mins. And this year packets are head and shoulders above the year before including a sling bag for all your stuff, a headband, a rubber bracelet and your white shirt. I was also one of the earliest people to register which got me a very nice pair of knee socks (and we all know I am obsessed with knee socks) .
We left the North Portland area about 45 mins before race time which was perfect. Unlike last year, it looks like parking was considerably smoother then last year. We got to park close to the raceway entrance and walk into the starting line festival.
The race started promptly at 9:00 and groups had been released on the course in waves. Dana and I hung to the left as she was walking this for her first 5K. Unlike the experience I had last year, that actually worked really well and flowed.
Each color station is a true party. There are funny signs about the colors before each stop. There is always music blasting and the volunteers this year had a really good high energy. We started with pink, went through blue, yellow and ended with purple.
PIR is a pretty flat course though there is a small stretch of off road time because PIR is not a full 5K track itself. This does make it ideal and I know Dana was enjoying the ease of the track. Water was placed at the half way point and those volunteers seemed to have had as much fun as the color throwers.
I was really proud of Dana. She had been told several times that she was not going to finish it and she went out there and pushed herself. She was shocked with the amount of runners. But I think this is what makes this race special, the fact that people who would not normally be seen at a 5K are out there doing it.
The post race mayhem is always fun. You get the color throws every few mins at the stage. Tons of music, and tons of chances to take photos including the Shout 360 camera experience. (I still cant figure it how to get mine off my phone).
The bottom line with this race, is its a fun family friendly party. Its a event that all ages can come to, all abilities can come to and have a really good time and accomplish a 5K. The Color Run is staying true to its original purpose, to encourage families to get out, get active and have a great time.