After hearing a lot of hype over The Color Run I found Color Me Rad. I was happy to see a fun not timed 5k run right near my birthday and about 10 minutes from home. Below you will find a review of both runs. Keep in mind I ran Color Me Rad twice and The Color Run only once. So to keep it a little more fair and a little more on the same playing field I will try and keep most of it to the mass races. Although my first Color Me Rad was in East Hartford, CT which I volunteered at packet pick up both days and had an opportunity to talk to many amazing people. It was that Color Me Rad that got me to sign up for the second one. Below I review the key points in what makes a race great. Oh please also keep in mind it was a cold misty day at The Color Run.
1. Packet pick up.
Both races offered packet pick up the days before the race but I was 2 hours away from Color Me Rad and 3 hours from The Color Run so I did day of packet pick up. As suggested in the e-mails I arrived about an hour and a half early. Keep in mind I do a lot of OCRS so I am use to a line at packet pick ups. Arriving early allowed for a small line at Color Me Rad which left me plenty of time to hit the porta potty and go back to my car before my friends even arrived. The Color Run on the other hand had a large line and I will get more into why later. So by far Color Me Rad packet pick up was much more smooth.
As a side note in this category. I was a volunteer at packet pick up for the Color Me Rad in East Hartford and the pre-race packet pick up also went pretty smoothly especially since you can pick up a lot of bibs at once and it is volunteers who are doing a lot of the work.
winner by far Color Me Rad
A very important part in a successful race. So Color Me Rad in Mass was held at a mall. Not being from the area it took me awhile to find the correct entrance to the mall. I found it with lots of signs to guide me. Again I arrived very early and there were not many people there yet. I was parked in a parking garage that was only a short distance away from the area to check in. Getting there early defiantly helped. I noticed a traffic back up later on. Also let it be known that Color Me Rad sent out many e-mails that said we should all be there before a certain hour. I noticed many people did not follow that. I of course was about two hours before that just to be sure. I could see some frustration in the later arrivals but it pays to be early and follow directions.
The Color Run was held at a venue I am slightly familiar with because of a previous event I ran there. You can not park at the venue sight so the park you about 15 to 20 minutes away at a greyhound track. There really was not anyone helping park cars so you kinda fended for yourself. Again we arrived pretty early knowing we had to pick up packets and wanted to run in an early wave. Once parked we hopped on a bus. that brought us to the start line which is on a random street in a random place. I was forced to wear my t-shit since I had no where to put it. I had to wear the headband as well and they handed color packets at the packet pick up so I had to hold that as well. You can not get back to your car. Not ideal especially on a rainy day. Plenty of parking but no where near the start or finish. Bus trip to the start and then bus trip from the finish back to car.
Winner Color Me Rad much more covenant and easier controlled
3. The actual run
Normally this part would consist of the obstacles and quality and fun factor. So I will review the amount of color and length of race and if I liked the course
The Color Run had a beautiful course it was run next to a lake and there was many residents out to support us including a family giving away free bagels.The course was not a full 5k. probably more around 2.5 miles. I did not garmin it so I do not know exactly just went by my time. I did time myself. Although there was 5 color stations I found I had very little color on me by the end and given the fact I was wet it should have stuck better. There was one color station where the volunteers had already dumped all the color on the ground and it was still early on. I should also include in here the amount of people per wave. I was not happy at all about the amount of people in my heat. Understanding it is not competitive run I was ok getting stuck at a slow pace but I lost my friend at one point and could not find her because of the hundreds of people around me. Also made color stations difficult to get color at. I actually had to go through one color station twice just to get that color.
Color Me Rad(MA) had a not so exciting course it was in the mall parking lot. It was not a full 5k probably closer to only 2 miles maybe a little over. The wave were pretty small allowing for more running room and also making the color stations not as crowded. I was totally covered with color by the end. One thing I liked about the course is we could hear the announcements and music throughout most of the course. The course left much to be desired from someone looking for a 5k but it was awesome for a fun non competitive full of color run.
Side note the course in CT was longer and more wider spread out and I think a better course for the runner. Also felt a lot more spread out because of the larger spread out course. I enjoyed the CT course more.
Winner depends on what you are looking for but I would go Color ME Rad because I like the more spread out less crowded feeling. Also the more color which is why you are there.
The Color Run gave you a head band and a white t-shirt. Both of which I had to wear during the run so I was not impressed. Again the color packet was handing out with the other stuff at the beginning.
Color Me Rad gives you a good quality grey t-shirt to wear at a later time to show your support for the race. They also give you some give you sun glasses which you can wear to keep color out of your eyes during the run and then wear all summer. I wore mine at The Color Run. You do receive a free color packet but it is given to you right before you cross the finish line so you are not carrying it the entire race and you can use it in the mass color bomb they do.
Winner Color Me Rad. I don't have anything from The Color Run I still have both pairs of sunglasses and both shirts from Color Me Rad.
5. After party- So I really will not review this much because I was quick to hop the bus after The Color Run because I was pretty miserable and I could see the lines for the bus growing longer and longer. I did notice that they had food vendors and such but you had to buy tickets to get that.
Color Me Rad- great finish photo booth. Great announcer organizing everyone giving us a nice spot to go to after. Did not hang out much after the one in Mass but in CT hung out a little met some awesome people.
Winner I really can't say .
My overall review. Color Me Rad is very organized and runs smaller events making it easier to keep it organized. They are extremely well run. I enjoyed both my experiences with them and will gladly go back. Keeping in mind it is mostly for fun and to get covered in color.
The Color Run was boring and there was little color. I was a very unhappy costumer at the end and will not pay for it again. They claim the happiest 5k on the planet I will tell you I have run many more 5ks where I was much happier.