Don’t worry, the paint won’t be thrown in our faces’ I said, on the start line of what promised to be the happiest 5k on the planet. As we approached the first paint point, a very happy race marshal threw an entire pot of green paint in my face and for the rest of the run, I did a remarkable hulk impression. This time, with green teeth too.
I’d definitely underestimated the size of this event, with 17,000 flocking to Wembley Park to run, walk and throw powder paint on one another. Here’s a few pointers from the day, for all those colourful runners thinking wow that sounds great:
1. Wear old trainers! Anyone who heard my rant about my marathon sports bra going missing in the gym will know I’m one of those weird runners that gets sentimental and superstitious about her kit. Buying an identical pair of Brooks trainers a few weeks before the marathon (in the same colour, for good luck), I’m glad I decided to put the old ones on yesterday.
2. The paint does wash out – When I was six or seven, I was desperate to spray my long blonde hair red for Red Nose Day. My two dark haired brothers got to do it, so why couldn’t I? As always, my mum was right and after going to school with pink hair for days, I realised for blondes, wash out dye really isn’t more fun. With an awards do, an engagement party and a few important meetings this week, green hair would not be ok. Thankfully, two shampoos is all it took to remove all evidence.
3. It’s not a typo – they spell color the American way.
4. It’s not a normal race – As always, the best part is the finish, but instead of a medal and a bag of freebies you’ll never use, you’re handed a packet of the paint that’s been on your face for the last three miles, and you get the chance to throw even move over yourself should you wish.
5. You’ll feel like an idiot on your commute home. All those runners you saw on the way have vanished, and you’re the only one covered in paint on a Sunday afternoon on the northern line. Hence why I’m writing this blog on my phone – look busy!