I took part in London Wembley’s Color Run during July 2013, and my review that followed stated: “The £30 entry fee was excessive for a 5K and included just a t-shirt and headband, no chip timing or medal. The race start was delayed (no reason for this was announced) and all runners were crammed into the start when it was about 30 degrees – surely quite dangerous and not very enjoyable.”
So when I saw Facebook adverts for the Brighton Color Obstacle Rush 5K, I was dubious to say the least. But then I saw that this event is run by a separate company, seems to have clear, set timing waves (running in half-hour time slots from 10am – 15:30), and includes medals. Bonus! Brighton is also closer to me and therefore quicker to get to than London. The entry fee seemed excessive at £35 but I signed up, interested to see how this event would compare. After all, colour-based runs are always fun, and this one has obstacles!
I was booked into the 13:30 wave and set off on Saturday 30th April at 11am, driving the hour and fifteen minutes to Brighton and arriving at exactly 12:15pm. The event location was easy to find and the car park at Brighton Racecourse is free, which was welcome news, with plenty of free spaces and a very short walk to the event village.
I had visited Primark the week prior to pick up a £3 pair of white plimsoles and a £2.50 pair of white shorts, which were borderline indecent but fitted the clothing guidelines of wearing as much white as possible, so that the colour shows up! I did wear black lycra shorts underneath, and the entry fee included an event t-shirt which I picked up on arrival. The queues for this were long but moved fairly quickly and seemed quite organised; I handed over a required signed ‘waiver’, proof of entry registration and photo ID, and received a coloured wristband relating to my start wave time, and the t-shirt. Overall the event seemed well organised, with lively warm-up dance routines, a motivating MC, well-managed starting waves, and a ‘colour festival’ for finishers with free colour packets, which was so much fun. I didn’t use the portaloos or baggage drop but there were no queues for either of these at the time of passing. There were no timing chips or race numbers but this event isn’t about that; it’s not competitive, it’s literally just for fun!
The obstacles included giant inflatable slides and balls, space hoppers, hurdles and tunnels, all very manageable, with volunteers pouring coloured powder over you as you passed.
There are just two areas which could be improved, the first one being the water station on the course. There was a queue of participants about half-way round, waiting to be served by a lone volunteer who was manually pumping water out of a large cooler into individual cups. I felt sorry for the man and this could easily be solved with either more volunteers at this point, or pre-poured cups of water ready and waiting. Secondly, the course itself was very confusing at points, with no signage, pointers or marshalls, and it kept looping back on itself. I went the wrong way quite a few times and actually got a bit lost. I had no idea where to go sometimes, and I wasn’t the only one. I didn’t feel as though I had run 5K and I’m sure I missed some of the route. Again, more volunteers or some signage would have been beneficial here.
The medal was bespoke albeit slightly cheap and basic, but better than nothing, and overall the event was a fantastic experience. The weather was warm and dry, ideal conditions, and I left the festival feeling really upbeat. This is the sort of event that I’d recommend to everyone; it’s suitable for all shapes and abilities, and is a great laugh.