My fellow runners have been dressed in an array of happy outfits that included love heart sunglasses, colourful tutus and unicorn horns.
The warm-up session involved hoola hooping and dance moves at the start.
I received a unicorn medal at the finish.
Billed as the Happiest 5K on the planet, it's definitely the most fun I have ever had in any running event – ever. A dedicated Parkrunner and having completed a few 5 & 10km races over the years, I realised that many of our fellow Color Runners would probably not describe themselves as runners (actually more than 50% of participants are running their first-ever 5K) yet here we all were, out on the 5km course on a Sunday morning. What a great way to encourage fitness for the diverse range of people taking part. We ran with families, some pushing prams, others encouraging little ones who were most likely doing their first-ever run. There were couples and groups of friends running together. There were many students and older people too. I wish I had captured on camera the group of tutu sporting Grannies with their angel halos.
So what's the format of this unique event? Participants line up in batches at the start and head off onto the course in waves. The setting for the Gold Coast event is Broadwater Parklands and the course follows the path along the edge of the beach. Colour stations are positioned each kilometre along the route and these are your chance to literally get covered in colour. Colour fills the air, covers your white event t-shirt and lands on your hair, face and body. As you progress around the course, your colours build, resulting in a rainbow effect by the finish.
Music at the colour stations booms out and the magic part is seeing all the smiles on everyone's faces. If you are looking for a feel-good event – if you want to banish the blues – then this is the event for you. It is Happiness Therapy in action. I have to say, the spirit of this event took me by surprise. It was so much fun. I loved the inspirational quote boards along the way, the colourful spectacle and the amount of fun that was being shared. The foam zone was super cool too. Survival point – keep your mouth closed, foam does not taste good!
The fun just kept coming to the party zone after the finish. The runners were treated to not only fruit and healthy snacks but also great coffee and fresh delicious doughnuts and colourful slurpees. A big thanks needs to go out to 7 Eleven for that as one of the sponsors. Photo opportunities are also fun. There was a chill-out tented area with giant beanbags, for those who had had their fill of fun and were happy to park off and for the party diehards – a main stage with music, dancing and final colour throws which were just an awesome end to the whole event.
The best outcome of all, after a day of fun of such magnitude, was learning that the Color Run gives back. "In 2019, The Color Run Australia is continuing to join forces with the Starlight Children's Foundation as our Official Charity Partner, who are committed to bringing fun, joy and laughter to sick kids and their families. The Color Run encourages participants to raise funds and awareness for the incredible foundation with the help of volunteers and activations on-site".
So with no single winner and no race times recorded – the focus is clearly on the memories made along the way and the benefit of over $5 million that has already been donated to charity. As a run for everyone - 16 countries around the globe are definitely onto something good.
If you are a runner, do this run for the absolute fun it generates. Forget your time and enjoy the happy now. If you have never run 5km before, then this event is definitely the best first time run for you. You will never have as much fun running than you will have in the Color Run. Just join in, throw that colour and enjoy yourself.
A few points – parking we found easily in Australia Fair shopping centre car park. Sunglasses would probably be useful to keep powder out of your eyes. I saw a boy running with his swimming goggles on which seemed an innovative approach. Also, the buff is useful for pulling over your nose and mouth when the colour throws get truly hectic.
The venue of Broadwater Parklands is super child-friendly so if you have young kids, allow some time to enjoy the great activities in the playgrounds and splash rock pools. The event has a great design and has a quality feel for an event shirt. And, just so you know, those tattoos don't come off quickly so if you splash that purple HAPPY across your forehead, don't plan anything formal for the following week…