It was a dark, cold and stormy night – you know, winter in New Hampshire.. Sitting alone, staring at my computer, and hearing my flab spread across the chair in the dead of night, I noticed a brightly colored ad for something called Color Me Rad. It’s a 5K race/walk to fight hunger, coming up in the Spring. Running. Ick. Reading further, it seems they also throw dry and liquid corn starch at you as you run and by the end, you’re covered in color. Sounds much more fun than staring out the window at 10 feet of snow on the ground. I wrinkled my brow, put my finger to my chin Grinch style, considered the event, and read on. You’re even urged to wear white to enhance the fuchsia, orange, blue, green, purple and red stuff they throw at you. Intriguing. Well, it would be great exercise. Once you start the race with 3,000 people (right, like there will be 3,000 people) there is no turning back, right?. I sat up straight from the glow of my computer and thought:
Go For It
After registering, I began to prepare for the Big Day. This consisted of going to Goodwill for inexpensive white clothing I consciously intended to destroy. White pants, white hoodie top, white tennis shoes. Check. The day before the race, I picked up my participant number and felt compelled to purchase some Color Me Rad stuff they were marketing. I bought a shirt (even though you’re given one for free for participating) white headband, a backpack and of course, Color Me Rad Elton Johnesque sunglasses. Check.
Then came the day. A beautiful, cloudless, crisp day in April. Damn! Seriously no turning back, now. As I cautiously approached Veterans Park, I heard loud music and an emcee revving up the crowd. Oh jeez, there actually were 3,000 people registered for this thing! They had to start the race in 2 shifts! There was music, an entertainment stage, and a lot of support! Nervously, I sauntered up to the starting line on a closed-off Elm Street like I owned the place. Turning behind me, I asked a young wide-eyed couple if this was their first time doing this race. Yes, they said, happy and a little nervous, too. This helped relieve some of my jitters. I’ll just sort of stay by them and it’ll be…suddenly someone shouted, ”ON YOUR MARKS!! GET SET!! GO!”. Where were my safety buddies!?
Lost in a mass shuffle of humanity already getting pummeled with yellow, pink, blue, and green corn starch from volunteers on the sidelines. The air above me was a purple, hazy mix of colors. It was utter madness! It was fun!! People cheered us on, handing us water bottles at the half way point. Full disclosure, I ran approximately 10% of the time. So did pretty much everyone else. The point is to support efforts to end hunger. This is how you “win”. However, I also won because I ran/walked 3.2 miles or 5K. I was tired at the end but I felt good! As the participants emptied back into the park, there were sort of rad raves going near the stage. They gave you plastic packets of corn starch and at the count of 3 the crowd ripped open the bags and threw them into the air, yelling wooohooo!!! further enhancing the overall bedlam. Swept up in the scene and feeling my “runners high” I, of course, had to do this too. You gotta. It’s part of the whole rad thing, man…
I would highly encourage anyone who can, to participate in the Color Me Rad run or other exercise-related charity events in New Hampshire. Most are not too expensive, you don’t have to be a seasoned athlete and in the case of Color Me Rad, you get to do something certifiably crazy in broad daylight with the city’s blessing. Beauty, eh? Next year I’m wearin’ a tutu…
Check out the Color Me Rad website for more information.
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Check out upcoming forced exercise, I mean run/walk charity events in New Hampshire