Surviving The Colour Run: All You Need to Know

Ever wondered what it might be like to be covered head to toe in colour? Ever thought you might literally roll down a blue-powdered hill, just to get every smattering of colour on you possible?

I have. And I did.

This wish of mine probably stems from the same thing as it would to any of you who were interested enough to click on this post: Holi, the ancient Hindu spring festival; and, let’s be honest, the sheer joy that comes from acting like a child.

I don’t imagine the Colour Run (I’m sorry but I can’t bring myself to spell it the official American way) was anything like the festival, but I like to think the feel-good factor was there. This is dubbed the Happiest 5k on the Planet, after all. So happy that it’s not really a race, but more of a keep fit, have fun 5k run. And I’m totally ok with that.

It takes place around the world, but here in London it was at Wembley Park. Throughout the race there were inflatable coloured banners. Whatever colour that banner was… that was the colour volunteers were going to throw at you. After running for a stretch, seeing that banner and a puff of dusty bright cloud was exactly the motivation needed to spur you on.

And then when you get there? Make sure you get as covered as possible and revel in the fact that you’re in the midst of pure colour. All you see is yellow. Or blue. Or pink. It’s all around you, you’re engulfed in it. It is quite surreal, especially when you don’t usually have this sensory experience day to day (well, I don’t).

If you’re thinking of doing this, I will issue a few warnings…

Colour can indeed – and will indeed – be swallowed

Really. I kid you not. You are not passing through a rainbow, as I frequently and idealistically told myself like a hippie on some serious drugs. You will swallow colour. And that has some consequences like…

Your snot turning colourful.

Again, I’m not shitting you. I just don’t want you to be alarmed when you look like a unicorn’s just sneezed in your hanky.

Colour. Mess. Everywhere.

Don’t touch anyone.

This really comes down to the fact that when you’re all headed home, the unified force of colour peels off one by one… until you’re that painted weirdo on the tube and/or train. I got asked if I had been on a hen-do and attacked (that’s attacked on a hen-do, not two separate things. If getting attacked meant colour being thrown at you, I think we’d all feel a lot safer on the streets).

Still, you are on public transport and it’s sort of nice to be considerate. The person who sits on your seat next didn’t ask to be part of the Colour Run… they don’t want to be a powdery mess (why on earth not I have no idea). So if you didn’t use that poncho they give you and had it tucked away, use that as your protective seat cover. People will appreciate it, even if you do feel like you have the lurgies.

Don’t head straight to an event afterwards.

I thought it would be completely normal to go straight to my sister’s birthday BBQ. It’s not. My mum was not impressed.


Most importantly…. HAVE FUN!


Places are still available in the summer in Birmingham, Belfast and Brighton in the UK.

You definitely swallow colour if you keep your mouth open like me


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