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Brighton Color Run

21 September 2016 | London Calling

Claimed to be the happiest 5k on the planet, the Color Run started over five years ago and takes place all over the country from Glasgow to Manchester, Birmingham to London, and finishing off in Brighton. This year we decided it was the year to take part and Culture Calling’s Julia went to Brighton to get involved…

The Color Run takes inspiration from the Hindu festival, Holi, taking place in India and Nepal, every Spring. Also known as the festival of colours or the festival of sharing love, revellers at this two-day festival play, chase and colour each other with dry powder and coloured water. The Brighton Color Run finished this year’s tour and the finale didn’t disappoint.
 
In preparing for the 5k run, I was resigned to the fact that it would be foolish not to do some training beforehand. On a late hot summer’s eve, four days before the big day, I decided to taste the waters and try a 3k. With highs of 28 degrees, I didn’t give the most energetic, enthusiastic performance.
 
After this very poor performance earlier in the week, the nerves were setting in on the morning of the run. Travelling by train, I arrived in Brighton and was met by hundreds of runners donning colourful stripy socks, sparkly butterfly wings, shocking pink wigs and neon pink tutus, and this didn’t just apply to the female runners. Spirits were high! I followed the crowd along the seafront towards the start. After what felt like we’d already walked 10k, I arrived at the start line. To get our hearts racing and our limbs supple, a group of very enthusiastic fitness instructors from Virgin Active led a mass warm-up which featured side-steps, v-steps, box-steps and turn-steps. With the music turned up, the buzz started to build.
 
The run kicked off at 11am sharp, since there were thousands of runners to get over the start line, runners were divided into waves, and as I was a bit tardy, I had a nervous half an hour wait before I got to the front. However, there were many distractions to keep the waiting runners entertained. Our sunglasses were on, our blue bandana on show and our running legs nicely warmed up. The MC counted down from 10…5, 4, 3, 2, we were off!
Start line at Brighton Color Run
 
I started off with a gentle pace along the route. The Color Run is sold as a fun run and not timed, therefore runners have freedom to finish the route in whatever way they wish; walking, dancing or even attempting the three-legged race. Along the route, there are ‘Color zones’ every 1k. Enthusiastic volunteers at these ‘Color Zones’ douse the runners with magical colour dust. I’ve heard on the grapevine that this magical dust is actually edible cornflour coloured with natural colour dyes. The colour zones were Red, Blue, Yellow, Orange and new for 2016, Tropicolor. Volunteers were appropriately dressed in their zone colours and by this point completely covered head-to-toe in colour powder.
 
Half-way round, runners were greeted by a drumming band to keep everyone energised. At 2.5k, I was feeling surprisingly ok. With 50m remaining and quite a bit of fuel left in the tank, I did a sprint finish, crossing the finish line, I was rewarded with a bottle of water and a packet of coloured powder. I caught my breath and headed to the Skittles tent. The Color Run is presented by Skittles (a very fitting partnership), and I got my hands on some much-needed sugary sweets. All the runners congregated at the same place where the morning’s warm-up took place. Simply entitled ‘The Finish Festival’, the run culminates in a mass ‘colour throw’ taking place every 15 minutes, and massive cannons fire out even more colour to create a cloud of rainbows in the sky. The Capital FM DJs pumped out tunes to keep everyone dancing and eager runners threw their colour powder before the countdown had begun. Unfortunately, the fun and excitement had to end, as the afternoon wave of runners started to arrive.
 
Culture Calling had a thoroughly colourful day in Brighton, who knows, maybe we’ll see even more colour in 2017.


Before & After shot of Culture Calling's Julia
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