I’ve never done the Color Run in the States, so I don’t really have much to compare the one in Santiago to, but I finally got to participate in one! My friend Amanda, who is also from Texas and has been living in Santiago for over a year and a half now, told me she signed up for this race a few weeks ago. I haven’t really run much in South America, but I was like, count me in!!
The first thing that surprised me was just the sheer number of people involved. I have to take two metro lines to get from my apartment to the area where the race was being held, which altogether can take about 30 minutes. When I walked out of my apartment building Saturday morning, I immediately saw about 5 people across the street from me leaving another apartment building and dressed in the same Color Run shirt. Before getting to the metro 2 blocks away, that number escalated to about 20. At the event, it was impossible to see just how many people were participating. Runners kept coming in waves. I just looked it up and the news reported the number to be around 20,000 people!
I had left my phone at home because of my new-found paranoia of it getting stolen, and I wasn’t sure what to expect at a crowded, messy event. I was just praying that I would be able to meet my friends in the location spot we had predetermined so that I would have some company to enjoy the fun with. Here we are before the color – Amanda, Andres, and I:
Pumped up and ready for the 5k! My face was already getting red at 9:00 in the morning! Maybe it was the excitement?
There was a giant stage set up right next to Costanera Center, which – fun fact – is the tallest building in Latin America! There was a party going on with upbeat music, energetic people, and some that were too eager with their color packets. I’ll admit, we were part of that group.
This was still before the race started, and I got a lot of blue on one side of my face, thanks to the way Amanda threw her color.
The guy on stage was instructing people not to use their color packets yet, but it was too late for our side of the crowd. We were growing anxious with biding the time trapped in a sea of people, so we eventually snaked our way closer to the starting point and waited for the race to start. It seemed to take ages, but most people were enjoying the party going on by the stage.
Finally, the moment came. We counted backwards from ten in Spanish…y tres, dos, uno, vamos!! As with any big race, the start is really awkward with everybody shuffling forward. You don’t have much space yet, and even as the crowd started to spread out, it became very clear that the majority of participants were not planning on running. This turned into a zigzag type of jogging for the three of us. Again, I haven’t really run much at all since I’ve been in South America (which has been over three months now), so I was surprised that I was able to keep up the whole time! We ran each stretch between the color stations, stopping for a moment to collect some new color and maybe play in the excess powder a bit. I somehow received most colors straight to the face without trying to. I never seemed to turn my head the right way.
Once we completed the race and I realized I was able to run the whole time (besides the color stations), I decided to attribute that ability to my different lifestyle here. I walk long distances all the time, and quite often I’m speed walking. Maybe this helped with my endurance? I know, I know, a 5k is not necessarily all that impressive, but it’s an accomplishment for me!
Here are some shots after the finish line:
A lot of the color grew dull or must have been shaken off throughout the run, because I promise our shirts were much more decorated than shown above!
There was then a giant color party where powder was released into the air everywhere all at once, and while it looks really cool initially:
It eventually turns into a dark, glittery, purplish brown cloud surrounding you:
And then you don’t want to let it in your eyes, mouth, or lungs. I actually got a little terrified for a moment thinking I wouldn’t be able to breathe! You heard various people coughing and spitting, so I think being in the middle of that crowd might be a little overwhelming. At least we were on the fringe and had an easy way out.
Here’s a cool pic with the building in the background. This must have been close to the yellow station (note the powder on the ground):
What better post race food than a Chilean Completo!
Seriously, much more creative and tasty than American hot dogs!
We also felt we deserved some ice cream, but since Andres and Amanda didn’t have their Bip! cards (cards for public transportation), we decided to walk for about 45 minutes or so to Emporio La Rosa, one of the top 25 ice cream parlors in the world! It was very, very tasty.
Coming all that way already, once we parted ways I decided I might as well walk home too. This means that after the race itself, I walked about 6k total before getting back to my apartment. My legs were feeling it! I love it though. I love how I can decide to just walk home from one of the main buildings in the city. This would not have been possible in Dallas. It definitely inspires a way of living that is more physically fit, even if I’m not going jogging all the time. Running a 5k, however, has inspired me to do more. Who knows how far I may end up running?