Yesterday, I took part in the Toronto Colour Run, Color Me Rad 2015. I’ve never done a race before, but I know that calling this event a race is really only possible in the most general of terms. There is no timing of the event, no ranking, and no competition at all. The entire point of this event is to get as covered in colour as possible.
Every 0.5K there was a colour station, where volunteers threw handfuls of colourful chalk or sprayed water guns filled with coloured water at the ‘racers’. The atmosphere was closer to a festival than a race, with finishers gathering in front of a big stage to take part in ‘colour throws’.
It was a blast.
The weather was blisteringly hot, 29C with no shade, and a thunderstorm rolled in just as everybody was finishing. But the mood was ecstatic, and the crowds were good humoured. And crowds there were. Apparently 14 000 people registered for this year’s colour run, and while the shuttles from the subway were frequent, traffic was bad, and lineups were long. The starting chute was lengthy, with people waiting up to half an hour to get to the front and start the race. Of course, many many people walked the entire course, but everything slowed to a crawl at each colour station as each participant attempted to get as much colour coverage as possible. I saw people lying down and rolling in the accumulated colour on the ground, while standing directly in front of the volunteer was de rigour.
All I could think about while I ran though was how this event would mark the park in the coming days.
Color Me Rad is held at Downsview park in Toronto, and while I’m sure all the garbage would be picked up and carried out, I would really like to know how long the park would look ‘colourful’. Some of the colour stations had plastic sheeting down on the ground in order to make clean up easier, but many of them didn’t.
As people finished the race, they got a ‘colour bomb’ to throw at each other. This took place all over the place, and everything slowly got covered in colour.
Then, I took the subway home.
Close to the event, public transit was overrun with Colour Runners, but as I got closer to home, the effect was diluted until I was the only colourful/dirty one in eyeshot. And I got eyeshot a lot. I felt really conspicuous, but also really great.
I don’t think I’ll ever find out what sort of traces something like this leaves on the park, but I know I’m still washing blue out of my ears today