This week for my daughter’s 8th birthday we ran the Color Me Rad race together as a family! I am a runner and my husband does as well (when his schedule allows it). Our oldest daughter loves being active as well and ran her first one-mile kids run this past summer. When the opportunity arose to do this race, I KNEW she’s love it…it was my younger two I was worried about! We have a 6 and three year old that tire very easily so I wanted to be prepared. I have run a few of these color runs and no matter what company puts on the race, they are essentially the same- a 5k (which is 3.3 miles) long course with different color “stations” where you get colored cornstarch thrown at you. It’s fun and an easy run. It’s also ideal for kids because the different station give them something to look forward to, instead of just a straight run. Also, most of these races have kids under a certain age running for free so it’s a fun and healthy family activity that won’t break the bank. After doing these with my kids, I have complied 5 quick and easy tips for running them WITH children!
1. What to wear: Wearing white is essential for these races!! Most of the colors won’t show up well on any other color, so wearing white shirts is the best! I put my kids in normal shorts and an older pair of sneakers. It’s harder to get the color out of the shoes than it is the clothes (more on that below). Make sure you apply sunblock quite a bit before the race, you don’t want wet skin when you start. Most importantly, have them (and you) wear SUNGLASSES! The powder goes everywhere, which is part of the fun but you don’t want it in their eyes. Don’t wear anything you love because sometimes the color won’t come out later.
2. Before the race: Use the potty and have the kids stretch some. A 5k isn’t very long, but it still is a longer distance than most kids are used to running/jogging/walking in one sitting so getting in a few stretches with the whole family is an important part! Most of these shorter races won’t have potties along the course, so be sure to go BEFORE!
3. During the race: Bring a stroller if you have younger ones. Our youngest is almost 4 and I knew she’d want to run and walk so we opted to go without it. She did end up riding on my husband’s shoulders most of the walk. I brought a waist back that could hold a few smaller water bottles for the kids to sip on and also plastic baggies for our phones. These races are typically non-competitive so they are ideal for the whole family. At each station, people will be tossing out color on the side of the road, if you don’t want as much, you can stay to the side, but if you want a lot, like my kids did, you can get right in front of them! My kids don’t have any breathing issues, but if yours did, you may want to tell them to hold their breath when they run through.
This particular race had two “wet” stations where they spray you with a liquid form of the colored powder. This is the challenging part for clean up, but have no fear, I have a trick for getting it off later!
4. Clean up, part one: When the race is done and you are finished celebrating your victory it’s time for cleaning up part one! You may wish to stay in your colorful gear for the ride home and if you do, I’d advice bringing towels for the car seats. We chose to change so I brought an outfit for everyone and a large trash bag for all the yucky stuff- shoes and all. Also, bring a big package of wipes! Most of the powdered color will come off with no trouble, but if you have any “wet” stations like we did, that stuff will NOT want to wipe away easily. You will have to get if off in the tub.
5. Clean up, part two: At home, you can wash all of your colorful clothes together, you may want to bleach anything white. For the shoes, a warm wet cloth will get most of the stuff off. For your bodies, you will want to mix of a batch of this magic cleaner: in a bowl, mix equal parts of baking soda and dish soap and scrub your bodies with a warm wash cloth. It will come off like magic! When we finished our race, the only color that wouldn’t come off was the green- we all looked like green aliens. After using this cleaner, we were good as new!
Our kids had a BLAST doing this and even our 6 year old ran/walked the whole thing! It’s such a great way to promote family fitness. We are already looking for our next family race.
Here’s some of our before and after pics!
Have you ever done one of these before? Share any additional tips for moms or dads below!