Sunday, 17 March 2013

The Graffiti Run: Glorious technicolour

If you're in England right now, suffering through what feels like an endless succession of grey, cold, dark, drab days, well, firstly you have my sympathy.

Secondly, I suggest you sit yourself next to one of those sun lamp thingummys, take a look at these pictures and remind yourself of the restorative power of colour.

I honestly don't know what to say about the Graffiti Run, except that it's a very long time indeed since I had that much fun. Having that much fun while running a 5k, or in fact taking any enjoyment at all in an activity involving a 6am wake-up call? Basically a miracle.

A very colourful miracle.

Not that it started particularly promisingly. My friend and running buddy J and I made the three-hour return trip from Hollywood to Pomona, where the race was being held, to pick up registration packs the evening before the run. But we still faced an early start on race-day. Let it be stated for the record that I am Not a Morning Person.

So imagine my grumpy, half-asleep voice answering the phone to find that there was a minor impediment to our journey:

Please note the 'douche parking' graffiti. 

Luckily, a very sweet AAA guy turned up and changed the tyre super quickly (is it bad that neither of us have a clue how to do that?) and we headed east.

Exhibit A: Before the race, looking pristine, if a little puffy-eyed:

Exhibit B: Five kilometres and four different colour stations later:

Each colour station (pink, blue, green and orange) involves running through a crowd of people who tip coloured powder at you. In our case, we got a relatively light sprinkling of pink, J ended up with a very orange back, and I somehow ended up with blue and green chucked directly at my face (and in my mouth).

Yeah, I know. I really show off the best of myself on here...

The race was held in an enormous, not particularly scenic car park in the middle of nowhere. But that didn't stop thousands of entrants turning up to walk, run or skip the distance - from children on scooters to parents with buggies, groups of giggly girls in tutus and teenage boys who sprinted the course - the atmosphere was amazing.

Each runner was given a sachet of colour at the finish point, and with a DJ blaring out music - Gangnam Style on repeat, mainly - there was quite a dance party going on. It's been a while since I've seen that many sober people dancing like total loons.

Here are a just few of my favourite photos from the day.

If you're in America and there's a race coming up near you, I highly recommend it. And England definitely needs to follow suit and colour up!


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