I had read about Colour Runs before I even took up running and thought they were a fabulous idea. I love colour, it makes me happy, especially a particular shade of purple and today’s Colour Run did not disappoint.
The 5k run/walk/crawl took place in the glorious Lough Key Forest Park in Co. Roscommon. Forest Parks are protected, managed parklands like National Parks. Lough Key was once the estate of the grand house owned by the Rockinham Family (the house was burned to the ground). Have a look here Lough Key Forest Park to see how beautiful it is.
I have been looking forward to this run for ages and was joined by my two eldest daughters, my best friend and her 2 eldest, her sister-in-law (my neighbour, its a small town) and her sister-in-law (are you still with me?)
Registration was easy and we were given our race number, a free ticket to a local adventure centre and packets of coloured chalk. The run was being held in aid of Aware, an Irish mental health charity and was extremely well attended with over 1000 participants. Before we even started running, everyone had great fun throwing chalk at each other and it was an amazing sight.
A high-energy warm up with dancing and a call and response session followed by more chalk throwing had us all in high spirits. It rained very heavily last night and threatened to rain the whole time we were there but it managed to hold off. Released in groups of 100, there were a few serious runners at the very front but mostly it was a mix of joggers, walkers and children and just a fabulous, friendly atmosphere. It was great to see lots of children dancing and moving with great big smiles on their faces – this was definitely a score for those of us trying to get the kids up off their backsides.
I was run/walking with my middle daughter but must go back sometime to run the course as it was lovely. Gently undulating, we crossed grassy tracks, gravel tree-lined avenues, past the the lake, over a stone troll bridge and back up a grassy hill to close the loop at the finish line. Everyone was cheering people back over the finish line.
My running app tells me the route was actually only 4.5 km (short courses seems to be a theme on my last 3 organised races, if I had been running it properly, I would have been rather annoyed) but this is my only complaint.
I did the whole course with a big smile on my face. The kids loved it and it was an excellent demonstration of how exercise (and running in particular) is a great way to take care of your mental health.