The first weekend in August brought a bit of a change of pace in the form of Colour the Coast, a 4km colour run in my home town of Hastings which I was running with a group of my friends and my Mum in aid of local charity St Michaels Hospice.
If you have not heard of a colour run before, the basic concept is that you start off nice and clean at the start line, then get pelted with paint powder at different stations throughout the race, getting more and more messy. A few of us had run the Color Run in Brighton the year before and so we knew more or less what to expect.
We all met up near the starting point in our new fresh white t-shirts added some decoration to our faces with some brightly coloured face paint brought along by Mel, took the obligatory team “before” picture and then headed over to do the Zumba warm up.
We were towards the back of the warm up area, and this coupled with the placement of one of the speakers, meant we couldn’t really see what was going on, but we did our best to copy the people in front of us.
After the warm up, the made us wait around for about 15-20 mins before they let the first people set off, which defeated the object a little, but eventually they were calling us over to the starting flags.
The race marshals set us off in bursts of about 50 people and we ended up in the third group to set off. I had been made to promise not to “race” and we set off at a fairly slow but comfortable jog.
The route took us along the seafront of Hastings, with detours onto the beach for each of the four colour stations. A few of us naturally pulled ahead as we ran, but with plenty of room on the beach, we could wait while everyone caught up again before heading through the first colour station and getting pelted with orange paint powder.
Off the beach and back onto the pavement for a longer stretch of running, which again split us up, the second colour station was not until the turning point at the 2km mark. This was also where the water station was, so after getting our second pelting of coloured powder we grabbed some water and waited to re-group.
On the way back down to the start I joined my mum for the jog down to the third colour station, I have to say how proud I am of her, it was really hot and she has never run much other than on a treadmill in the cool basement of her house, and she did brilliantly.
The last two colour stations were relatively close together, we took our peltings, and also stopped to pose for some of the photographers, and a few of us decided to have a bit of a sprint to the finish after the last station – something that would have been easier to do without all the pedestrians. The course was not at all closed off and this did mean you had to navigate spectators, walkers, day trippers and bikes during the run.
After Race Party
After the race you went to a stall set up to one side of where the DJ booth was busting out some quality cheese, to collect packets of paint powder. These would be used in the colour clouds later.
We gathered for the first of these colour clouds, where everyone gets in close together then you are counted down and then you throw your paint powder on command. A cloud of different colour powders rises up – it looks spectacular when you are on the outside of it – we stayed out of the third one to watch – and in the middle, you are enveloped into a colourful fog, and you can’t see anything until it has cleared and you are even more covered in colourful powder than you were before.
It was a really fun atmosphere after the run, people were chucking paint everywhere, and even the spectators weren’t safe, ending up almost as covered in paint as the rest of us – and anyone looking too clean got a big messy hug!
This run was really good fun, it was suitable for families, you could even take a pushchair if you wanted, and it was for a really good cause, it’s worth a go if you are in the area next year, I know we will all be there again – any excuse to get messy!
I now have a weekend off, and then it’s on to my first weekend of back to back races – Things are about to get tough.