Saturday, September 27, 2014

Fun with the Color Run

Several months back Daryl saw an advertisement for something called "The Color Run" that was coming to Gainesville.  He thought it would a great opportunity to take the boys running again and so we signed up. The nice thing about the race for families like ours is that it is not timed, so you could run or walk if you wanted and that anyone under 5 was free and could ride in a stroller without any issues. This was our Color Run weekend. It started yesterday afternoon as we drove up to Gainesville and checked in at this local running store for our bib #s and goodie bags.


We ended up making a side trip past the Scout Shop for Wesley's Tiger Cub uniform and then heading to dinner at Red Robin at the mall next door. Then it was time to head to our hotel. The race itself started at stopped at Bo Diddley Community Plaza in downtown Gainesville and I had made reservations at the Hampton Inn right across the street. Hampton gave us an upgrade to a suite and our room location could not have been better - corner room on the third floor, right above the Hampton Inn sign. We could see and hear things going on in the Plaza right from our windows. Plus our room was over the breakfast area on the second floor so we didn't have to worry so much about little feet running around and disturbing people at night. 

We dropped off our stuff and took the time to wander around downtown. In Ocala, our downtown Artwalk is the first Friday of the month; in Gainesville, it's the last Friday. So all the shops were open and artists had booths set up along the plaza. Plus there is a free concert series on Fridays and there was a wonderful Latino band playing music on the plaza.

Before we headed to bed, we got organized for the morning with everyone's gear. 

The view from the Hampton front doors this morning for the race. There were people everywhere!

They bill this as "The World's Happiest 5K" and we certainly smiled a lot at some of the creative outfits people were wearing. 

The Allen Family getting ready to run (Davis rode in the stroller!) 

Tattoos came in the goodie bags and Wesley wanted to be all decked out for the run.

There were four color stations throughout the race where people threw the colored powder on you. Each one of them was marked out well with the banners and flags and had music blasting. First pink, then blue, then orange (it is Gainesville after all) and finally purple! 

We did a run/walk for the race and ended up finishing in about 50 minutes. It was a really neat course laid out through several of the historic neighborhoods just north of downtown. Quite a few families were sitting on their front porches and waving as we went by. Here's what we looked like when we finished. 

We stayed for some of the after party in the plaza following the race. They had a DJ with music and a dance competition. They also handed bags of colored powder and had a few countdowns for people to throw more powder in the air. We joined in and got completely covered then. It was lots and lots of fun! 

One the sides of the plaza, they had these cleanup stations sponsored by Shout where people with leaf blowers blew as much of the excess powder off of you that they could before you got back in your car to leave. We ran through that before heading back into our hotel room - Hampton was nice enough to give us a late checkout so that we could get showers and put on clean clothes before heading out. We finished up our happy weekend in Gainesville with lunch at Chuy's for Mexican. The boys love their bottomless chips and salsa and they were thrilled when we got seated in the room with all the old hubcabs on the ceiling.

It was a really fun weekend with the boys. Davis' comment as soon as we were done with the race was that he wanted to do it again, a sentiment that his big brothers definitely echoed. We'll keep our eyes out for more run races as a family. 

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