There are many races out there which anyone can participate in. From the basic 3 mile park run, the more demanding Boston Marathon to obstacle racing such as the various Spartan Races or the daunting Tough Mudder race. But what if prolonged running and crawling through mud under barbed wire or climbing over military style obstacles aren’t what you had in mind? What if you are just looking for a race which doesn’t pit you against a clock or intense super athletes that a person of any fitness level can participate in with their coworkers or their families? Than Run or Dye could be the exact thing that you are looking for.
Don’t let the name fool you, ‘Run’ is optional and ‘Dye’ isn’t meant as an acronym for something In this case it literally means colour dye. Billing itself as ‘The world’s most colourful race’ Run or Dye is a low intensity 3 mile, (5 kilometer) course, that as you progress through people will throw coloured cornstarch powder in the air that you pass through at marked intervals.
Registration is done online and the earlier you register the more money you can save, there are also discounts for groups tha register as a team. The dye is a hypoallergenic, environmentally safe colouring agent that easily washes off your skin. When you sign up for the race you are provided with a bag that contains a white T-shirt with the Run or Dye logo on it that you wear during the race, so the dye stations you run through leave you with a multi coloured souvenir of the race. Also included in the race bag is a small packet of the dye that is used throughout the race that you are encouraged to throw in the air while waiting with the rest of the crowd for the race to start.
The day before the race you’ll go to the race location to pick up your race swag. This includes a nylon bag with the race logo, a T-shirt to wear during for the race, a temporary tattoo, a wrist band, bag of dye, and your running number. The back of the number has your name written on it and if you wish to get photo’s of yourself running the race you can order them using your race number through the race’s website.
On race day you’ll show up in your T-shirt, (white tutu’s are also available and people are encouraged to wear costumes) line up with the other race participants to wait for your time to begin, as the crowd lines up and throws dye into the air. A dj plays music, throws free stuff into the crowd and gets people pumped and excited to run the race. When your turn comes to run you’ll go off with a number of other participants however you wish to, run, walk or pushing a stroller.
The course follows a simple level path that is no challenge to walk, stroll or jog as the course is laid out over fairly flat terrain. At regular intervals you’ll pass through stations that have volunteers encouraging you and throwing dye in the air for you to run through.
At the finish line volunteers pass out bottles of water and a stage with a dj is set up for people who want to dance and have some more fun after the race. Almost everyone begins the race running, with many stopping to walk the rest of the way shortly after the start line. The crowd is comprised of people of all ages, workplace teams and families. Some people pushed strollers and other walked with their children. The bulk of the crowd are friends who enjoy the stroll and talk as they go.
Although the track is covered with the dye a single rainfall washes it all away, leaving only your Tshirt as any evidence of the bright colours that volunteers threw in the air. Any dye that gets on your skin is usually gone after a shower, with any that doesn’t get washed away showering off in a day or two. While many had a change of clothing in their cars, it is advisable that you pack some garbage bags or something to cover your seats with fore after the race.
Not only is the race simple, fun and leaves no damage to the grounds, but Run or Dye partners with charities in the area and some of the proceeds go back into the community. So if you are looking for a fun activity that won’t leave you in agony the next day, that you can tell your friends you participated in a race and helps the local community then look for a Run or Dye race in your area.
Next I’ll be showing you the polar opposite of Run or Dye as I run a Tough Mudder race.
John Goodale is the author of ‘Johnny Gora’ (available on amazon.com) as well as the monthly column ‘Indy Comic Spotlight’ and numerous articles for TMRZoo.com