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Color Me Rad or Color Me Bad?

Recently I, along with a group of new friends in Montpellier, took part in Color Me Rad. It’s a 5km run followed by a DJ set to keep the adrenaline pumping. The main draw of Color Me Rad is that you start off pristine and clean, and end up completely covered in powdered paint of every colour. Inspired by the Indian Holi festival of colours, the franchise has latched on to the positive vibes of being caked in colour. My group and I had a lot of fun but there are definitely aspects that could be improved upon in the future. Here’s my two cents.

The good

The colour!

After a slow start in the colour department Color Me Rad lived up to it’s name. At set intervals during the 5km, probably every kilometre, we were doused with paint of a new colour. If you timed your entrance into the paint zone badly, you’d get nothing but I made sure I stopped and got covered. Go all out, eh? We were like human rainbows by the end of the course, and the paint continued to be layered on during the after party at the finish line. Paint sachets were handed out at the end which were emptied on each other whilst jumping up and down to good tunes. Reading online before the race lead me to believe that the paint would be hard to get off, however this was not the case. I even had a temporary “Rad” tattoo on my forehead that came off super easily with a bit of water.

The team!

It goes without saying that going a little crazy with paint powder wouldn’t go down so well if it were strangers you were throwing it at. On the day we had a team of 9 of us, some of whom knew each other better than others but it certainly made it more fun. Not really a plus point for the event organisers but it was one of the main reasons we all had such a good time.

Team Non-Stop post-race at Color Me Rad, Montpellier, 2016
Here’s Team Non-Stop post-race!

The included stuff!

A pair of sunglasses, a t-shirt, a temporary tattoo, a runner number (which was just for show), and a little toy from the main sponsor were included in our race kit. The sunglasses were cheap but not flimsy, and as I chose to wear my other colour sunnies on the day, I feel I have a good replacement pair in summery yellow :D. The t-shirt fit well. We chose sizes when signing up to the event. I expect t-shirts to be badly fitted and unflattering for these events, but with the focus on marketing the event they fit really well.

Color Me Rad kit: t-shirt, number, tattoo, and sunglasses
Great kit, included a good quality t-shirt

The warm-up!

An energetic warm-up was given by 3 trainers for around 20 minutes before we started the race. There were A LOT of people and they got the blood pumping well despite the lack of space on the grass. Thumbs-up for that.

The food!

I can’t write too much about this but it needs to be said that I had some kind of bun filled with chicken, mushrooms, and cheese (I think). Quite greasy but so good. Probably independent vendors selling at the event, but nonetheless a definite plus point!

Family friendly!

If you’re worried this is an event for young then have no fear, it is for the very young as well. There were plenty of families in the crowd after the run who were enjoying the music and good vibes.

The scene for the after party at the finish line, Color Me Rad, Montpellier, 2016
The scene for the after party at the finish line.

The bad

The missing paint

Along with the aforementioned included stuff we were supposed to be able to collect our included sachet of paint powder before the start of the race. This was something that we highly anticipated, a way to start the Color Me Rad day well. Unfortunately, we arrived at the venue early, looked around for signs of somewhere/someone dispensing the paint. Nowhere to be seen. Some managed to get their hands on some, but very few, as we saw some by the start light being thrown into the air by others in the crowd. Disappointing.

The bad organisation

This is a black mark for several reasons.

Missing address

On the Montpellier Color Me Rad website (I’m not going to link it because my anti-virus reports that it is infected) the address was not listed and we did not receive it until we’d bought our tickets. As a group, we needed to be able to communicate event details to the rest of the team. Thankfully the event was not too far from the city, but we had assumed it would be somewhere central.

Rad double selfie, Color Me Rad, Montpellier, 2016
Rad double selfie

Lack of information

As a group, we had to sign up each individual member of the team at once, and give many personal details for each person. Being a large group it was difficult to find a time when everyone was available to do this, and so when it came to the day to sign up, we found we were almost unable to complete the process. It required name, date of birth, email address, t-shirt size, gender and a couple more fields. These should have been included on the website before having to click “sign up”.

Lack of directions on race day

This is a minor gripe but I’d like to think that a large event that expects thousands of participants can put up large signs saying where the start line is, where to go when you arrive, what each convenience tent is, where to collect your paint etc. The organisers expected the crowd to follow each other. Everything worked out in the end but it didn’t feel like this is an established global event. However, it was the first in Montpellier as far as I know.

Post-race selfie in the sunshine, Color Me Rad, Montpellier, 2016
Post-race Color Me Rad selfie in the sunshine
Post-race selfie at home, Color Me Rad Montpellier 2016
And another back home. Got some funny looks in the street.

The cost

30€ for an individual, 26€ for an individual within a team of at least 5 people is too expensive. There were earlier waves of tickets but all the prices were too much in my opinion, for what you get for the money. The feeling is heightened by the lack of paint at the start. Oh I know I’m so bitter.

The fact that our team name was not represented

It would have felt like more value for money if for example our team name was printed on the t-shirts or at least on a card that we could attach to our t-shirts. There seemed to be not representation of our team status. This would have only increased the group mentality on the day. As it was Team Non-Stop found its own way of getting motivated!

Some of Team Non-Stop post-race, Color Me Rad, Montpellier, 2016
Some of Team Non-Stop post-race

Overall – Color Me Rad or Color Me Bad?

I have to say the fact that we were a group of 9 made it a great Sunday activity. Therefore it gets a Color Me Rad rating… just. I would do it again if the price was half what it was and the race course itself was improved. We all looked ridiculous(ly cool) with all the paint and it was a great way to have fun with new friends. The whole play on words of “rad” with “red” was lost on the non-english speakers among us, but then I reckon Color Run beat the organisers to the punch on that one.

Have you taken part in a Color Me Rad or a Color Run or any other kind of colourful fun run? What did you think? Let me know in the comments!

Published inFrance