Color Me Rad Morgantown, purple pit of color

Ahead was a plume of purple smoke. It looked ominous. The little boy with a white tank top gripped my hand tightly.
“How about we run through it? Close your eyes and I’ll lead us,” I said as I examined the obstacle ahead.
“Okay,” he said with a slight whimper.
We ran through the smoke, getting sprayed with gobs of purple cornstarch.
When it was over, we assessed the damage.
“Look at your legs! They’re purple!” He shouted excitedly.
“You have some on your shirt and leg too! Ready to get more colors?” I asked, half wondering why we were doing this.
And so that simple affirmation, my oldest son and I began our adventure in a Color Me Rad 5K.
My speedy daughter, who wore her pink and comfortable dress shoes, was already way ahead of us.
We went through two more color cornstarch stations and two liquid color stations during the run.
Unlike other 5Ks, my son wasn’t complaining about the distance, being tired, etc. He had a more philosophical discourse with me.
“Why do people cry so much at weddings?”
“What color do you get when you mix golden, yellow and black?”
“Why don’t they have blue powder?”
“Why are those people wearing tutus?”
When we got to the end, he picked a green color bomb and we raced down the hill where his siblings and father were waiting. Color bombs in hand we generously doused each other (except dad) in colored corn starch. We were a big technicolor tank-topped sweaty mess.
And we loved every minute of it.
But the day didn’t start that way.
Charleroi Great Little Race
I started the day at 4:40 a.m., about four hours after I came home from work. We had to leave home at 5:30 a.m., so we can go to my husband’s “Olympics” — Charleroi (Pa.) Great Little Race.
The 5K race of about 1,000 participants is where a lot of the top amateur athletes from the area test their legs one last time before winter closes the season.
Charleroi is a beautiful industrial town along a river. The race starts at the riverfront park and loops through downtown for 3.1 miles.
As we waited, the kids played in the playground. Several times, my oldest son asked my if Color Me Rad was a long race. I told him it was a 5k like dad’s but it has lots of stops. He didn’t want to do it.
My husband set a personal record and ended up placing second in his age group. Instead of leaving right after the race like we planned, we stayed until the awards ceremony.
Great ball of nerves
By the time we got back into the city, we had a half hour or so to get to Color Me Rad. I grabbed some white shirts at the store and we headed to the race.
As we got closer to the venue and saw the massive crowds, my son was still uneasy. But once we got started, and the color started flying, it was the greatest thing ever.
Compared to other races where the entire family has participated, this was the best race we had. It helped that the kids couldn’t dwell on the bad parts of the race — the hills, heat, etc.
Also because I was more awake than I usually am at an early morning race, I was able to focus on the positives and keep him distracted.
End results
It took two baths to get all the color off our skin and out of our hair. The shirts are perma-stained with the color and luckily didn’t affect our shoes or other clothing.
For those debating whether to do a color run, I’d say it depends on the type of runner you are.
If you’re looking to do hard core running, don’t do a color run. The event’s not timed, so there’s no point.
If you want to socialize and have fun during your workout, consider a color run. It’s also a great family event, though it is messy.
My kids’ verdict on Color Me Rad? “This was the best race ever!”
It was worth getting up early to satisfy the balance between the fun and seriousness aspects of running in one day.