I registered for this race at 10:00 last night. We were supposed to have thunderstorms today, so I was waiting to see what the weather was going to do. Noah was super enthusiastic about it, and I thought it would be a good way to spend time with just Noah before he goes to church camp for a week (he leaves tomorrow). The race was taking place at the Metropark that I run at frequently (nowhere near Detroit, even though it was called The Color Vibe Detroit).
Last night, at 9:30, I realized that I was totally unprepared for this race. I didn't have a white shirt, and neither did Noah, so Jerry ran to a 24-hour store to get some white t-shirts. I got up at 6:00, and since the race was so close (15 minutes away), we didn't have to leave until about 7:30 for the 9:00 starting time. I had to get there a little early so that I could pass Eli off to my dad. My dad works at the park, so he offered to take his lunch break and let Eli fish while Noah and I did the race.
First, we got our bibs. Something I thought was really great about this race is that kids are free with a registered adult. The cost is quite a bit for a 5K (especially an untimed one), but it was nice that I didn't have to pay for two registrations. The kids' registration doesn't come with a t-shirt or sunglasses, but I just planned to give Noah the ones from my registration. I forgot to bring sunglasses to keep the color powder out of my eyes, so I ended up buying a pair while we were there. I bought Noah a bandana, too. He looked so cute when he was ready!
My dad came and picked up Eli, and Noah and I headed over to the starting line area. There was a stage with a DJ, who was getting everyone pepped up--and I have to say, this DJ did a phenomenal job at that! While we waited for the race to start, he was playing music and throwing t-shirts and "color packs" into the crowd. (When I registered for the race, I had no clue what a color pack was... it's just a small bag with the color powder in it.) We only had one color pack, which came with my registration. If I'd have known ahead of time, I would have bought a couple more, because Noah really liked throwing it.
I wasn't sure what to expect with the powder throws. The DJ counted down from three, and then I felt something pelt me in the face and I couldn't breathe. I pulled off my sunglasses, and tried to clear my eyes. I went to the garbage to throw away Noah's empty pack, and realized I had dropped my sunglasses that I'd bought five minutes prior. I looked to where I'd been standing, and saw a woman pick up a pair of sunglasses, turn to the guy behind her, and ask if they were his. He shrugged and took them. I went over there and said they were mine, so he gave them back to me. (When I got home, I realized they weren't actually mine! They were green and black, not the orange and black ones that I bought. Oops!)
Noah really liked the color throws, and I was trying hard to catch one of the color packs they were giving away so that he could throw it again. The guy in front of us was pretty tall, and he caught at least three of them. The guy next to him saw that Noah and I were trying to get one, and he gave Noah a packet--which was so nice of him!
I really didn't like the powder part, but the DJ was a lot of fun, and it was really cool to see Noah step out of his comfort zone and dance a little.
Because my dad was watching Eli, I was in a time crunch. I wanted to make sure we started with the first wave at 9:00. But then they kept delaying the start, because there were still people registering. That's one of my pet peeves at races--don't delay the start to accommodate the people who weren't there on time! They finally started the race at 9:30, and the whole time, I was worried about hurrying to the finish line to get Eli from my dad.
Noah didn't have a very good race today. I didn't know this, but he didn't drink anything this morning before the race. For a race in July, starting at 9:30, and full sun, that's pretty rough! To top it off, most of the race was through grass and some dirt. Running on grass is hard, and very tiring. I could tell Noah was regretting the race, so I just kept trying to get him to focus on the next landmark. (I didn't want my Garmin to get ruined from the powder, so I didn't wear it; instead of using the cues from the Garmin, we focused on landmarks to gauge when to run and when to walk. Let's run to that cone up there; let's walk to that curve in the path; etc.)
There were four color stations set up through the run. Basically, the color stations were just volunteers throwing powder at you as you ran past, and each station had a different color. There was one water station, about halfway through, which was a relief to Noah. He took two cups and drank them both, and then I let him drink the one I took. He felt a little better after that, but he was still having a hard time.
Finally, we could hear the DJ, so I knew we were close.
We ran through the finish, and immediately got Noah some water. I felt bad for him, because he was so excited about this race, but he didn't enjoy the actual race part at all. He said, "After this race, I feel like I won't be able to do another 5K." I tried to explain to him that everybody has races, or even training runs, like that. Sometimes, an "easy three miler" feels like I'm going to keel over and die; and I've had runs where I float right through 12 miles at a fast pace. It depends on a whole bunch of factors, and today just wasn't his day. He definitely learned a lesson about properly hydrating before a race!
I'm really proud of him for finishing, because I asked him a few times in the first mile if he wanted to turn around and forget the race, but he wanted to keep going. I wish Jerry hadn't had to work today, because he probably would have loved this race!