We got tickets for The Colour Run on a whim…they were on sale at Adventure HQ in JBR. Feeling guilty after yet another breakfast on the beach, my husband and I decided to practice what we preach, that is “take advantage of the great outdoors” Dubai-style – and purchased the race kits to prove a couple of points to our girls; 1. always choose a healthier lifestyle and 2. running can also be fun!
The kids loved the race kits (T-shirt, headbands, tattoos, flower necklaces and the race bib). We paid AED 165 per kit and hoped and prayed that we would have a tantrum- and fight-free 5 km run with the promise of an active morning. We were really excited about playing with dry colour (similar to our Indian festival of Holi!), wearing our cute costumes, and of course, that 6 am wake up call! Poor hubs was outnumbered with all this enthusiasm.
When we reached the venue, the VIBE was buzzing, with a sea of people in the same gear as us. We saw kids in baby carriers, push chairs, little toddlers on shoulders and lots of cool parents (like us) who took the plunge and showed up!
The 5 km run had 5 colour zones; after every 1 km run, there was a colour zone where volunteers BLITZED everyone with tubs of safe edible-grade coloured powder. Since the run was split into 5 parts, it made it doable and fun, as the kids had the color zone as an incentive to keep running and sprinting – every 100 meters away from the zone!
The kids absolutely loved the whole experience and we survived the 5 km, without a fight or tantrum or meltdown. And an incentive of the concert for my pre-teen and ice cream for the 7-year-old seemed to work!
We completed the run within an hour or so by 10:30 am and still had time and energy for the colour burst concert where all those who finished the run celebrated with music and colour bursts every 15 minutes (shower of colour in unison). It just felt like HOLI (the Indian festival of colours celebrated on the beginning of spring in March with dry colours and flowers in the community). This felt the same, but with a little bit of an international twist!
While we had a fantastic experience, there were a few things that could have been improved upon:
We were seeing all the disposable plastic water bottles being littered throughout the track! Yes, we need water on a hot sunny day, but this was a great opportunity to spread awareness amongst the public and especially the kids, of recycling and saving the environment. If the littering along the track wasn’t bad enough, the worst was close to the finish line. There must have been over 5,000 plastic bottles mixed with cardboard boxes, all piled up ready to be taken to the landfill (I assume). There were no signs whatsoever for recycling. This definitely left a bitter taste at the end of such a fun run and there was a lot of explaining to do to the kids about why they were NOT being recycled. The organizers need to sort this out for next time. Plastic recycling in large scale events should be a priority.
More volunteers are needed to keep an eye on unsupervised teenagers, and they were a lot of them! I know we were teenagers once, but there was some “eye-popping” behaviour going on, which is a no-no especially when you have vulnerable little kids around!
With a ticket price of AED 165 , I would have expected some more stuff for the families…. larger spaces, more kiddy zones, refreshments zones, baby medals for kids under 10 who completed the race, etc….
But the overall feel and vibe was fun and safe and, of course, made us super FIT!
Log into The Color Run AE for more details on their next event in 2017!