Color Fun Fest 5K Night Run – San Bernardino 2014

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I did the Color Fun Fest 5K this past weekend and I wanted to share my experiences just in case any of you were doing one or would like to do one in the future.

About the Run

The Color Fun Fest 5K is a basic 5K (about 3 miles) and they were offering both a day run and a night run in my area. I opted to do the night run as it’s quite hot where I live and I prefer running at night to avoid the heat and sunburns. This run was being held at a local fairground and is basically a rip off of the official Color Vibe or The Color Run which involves spraying each other and getting sprayed by colored chalk powder at various “color stations” during your run. The company advertised that the track would be lit up with blacklights and neon lighting to light up your entire run. The original price was $60 ish dollars, but I signed up last minute when they were having a discount and got my ticket for only $24. The price of admission included a t-shirt in your size, 1 color packet (of a random color), and a temporary tattoo that says “The Color Fun Fest 5K” in pink.

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My Experience

First things first – the packet pickup. This was my first red flag because we had to go and pick up our packets (the t-shirt and our running bibs with our numbers on them) the day before the run at a local Sport’s Authority (a sports store in California). The line was ridiculously long as, apparently, this was the only day anyone could pick up their packets. You could opt to pick up your packet on the day of the run for an additional $5, but I kind of thought that was a rip off so I just waited in the line. The line went by pretty quickly, but I was really surprised the price of admission included so little. The color packet I received was small and only one color. I would’ve preferred smaller color packets of different colors, but whatever. They were offering color packets, different t-shirts and other merchandise there that you could purchase at additional cost if you wanted. The whole packet pickup seemed to be ran by volunteers or maybe just students – either way it was seriously unorganized. The pick up line took a long time because the volunteers really had no idea what they were doing, in my opinion.

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{See the DJ stage on the left?}

Upon arriving at the run, I was excited, but that quickly turned to concern when I saw that 1. it looked like a glorified carnival and 2. there were very little lights and insult to injury 3. it looked like rain. Holy crap, I hope it doesn’t rain! was all I could think LOL. There were 2 sections of the run. The track and then this other area where there were food vendors that sold beer, tacos, fried potatoes on a stick, and funnel cakes. Wait, what? I was seriously confused as to why something that promotes health and fitness would also sell fried foods, junk and alcohol. Anyway, beside that, there was a stage with a DJ playing various techno and house mixes all night and where people could go and dance.

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{the best part of this 5K was the sunset we saw when we arrived}

So, we head over to the run and it was SO disorganized. The host was on a mic, but we couldn’t understand a single thing he was saying so much so that every time he would countdown to signal the start of the race, nobody went. When we finally did, it was totally random and kind of like a scary neon themed stampede as there were TONS of people and very little room. Track itself was marked off by orange cones, but that really didn’t work very well as you couldn’t see anything so you didn’t know where the cones marked, where the track was, or really much of anything. There were hardly any lights throughout the run so there were times when we literally couldn’t see the track. And by track, I mean the pot-hole infested concrete throughout the fairground on which we were running which was marked off by a few orange cones. It felt a lot more like a run for my life than a fun 5K night run.

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{This is the start line – somewhere in this area LOL}

Several “color stations” were supposed to be set up throughout the course, but by several they actually mean only 3. It’s just as well because many of the runners were complaining that their eyes hurt, they couldn’t see, etc. because they were blasted in the face with the colored chalk powder when they ran through these stations. We decided to run around them. I guess it’s one of those things that sounds good in theory, but is really terrible in reality? Also, the chalk itself made the entire surrounding air really cloudy and actually made breathing while running seriously difficult. I’ve had a scratchy throat since this event so I’m not sure if I’ve got chalk in my lungs, but I hope not!

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{Can you see the funnel cake stand in the background?}

Anyhow, so we’re running down the “track” AKA pothole filled concrete back roads of this fairground at night with very little light. There were a TON of people, including small children running or walking or riding in strollers alongside their parents, some of whom actually fell while running because it was so dark. It was literally so dark that you couldn’t tell when the track was inclining up or down or where the potholes were in order to avoid them.

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{ Fried food trucks for a healthy post workout snack anyone? }

Overall, this was a pretty horrible experience. I had fun anyway because I can laugh at bad situations so my boyfriend and I mostly jogged and occasionally walked when we couldn’t see. We made fun of the entire event while trying not to trip and die in the middle of the broken road so that was fun. You know, because we enjoy living life on the edge. Because of the broken concrete filled with potholes doesn’t kill you, the stampede of neon runners trying to jog in the dark might.


{a beautiful panorama photo my boyfriend took}

Honestly, I don’t know if I would do this again. Initially when considering a 5K night run, I wanted to do the Electric Run. It doesn’t involve any color chalk, only a night run with blacklights and neon colors, so maybe I’ll sign up for one of those next. I really like that I clocked in over 10 miles for my entire day (I went running in the morning as well), but I think that the lesson I learned from this was to do a lot more research on the venue, the company holding the run, and what the admission ticket price includes as well as what food will be there. Not that they need to have food, but you think they’d want healthier options considering it is a running event. Anyway, my advice if you want to try a 5K is to do your research and make sure it’s the kind of event you will enjoy and that the people organizing the event are making it as safe and fun as possible. I don’t want my experience to dissuade you from trying a 5K at least once because I found it enjoyable even with all the crappy things, but I would have enjoyed it a lot more had the environment been safer, better organized, and promoting health overall instead of just a run in the dark.

Good Luck ♥

Have You Tried A Night 5K Run?

What Were Your Experiences?

♥ Tianna

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