- ABOUT US
Karlie Tipton, Editorial Assistant
Photo by JOHN JERNIGAN
By Karlie Tipton
July 26, 2012
If someone would have told me a year ago I would pay to let strangers throw colored cornstarch in my face while I ran three miles in the middle of July, I would have laughed, and laughed, and then probably kept laughing until said person finally grew bored by my laughter and walked away, shaking his or her head sadly.
Well, anonymous teller of strangely specific fortunes, I would like to formally apologize, because that’s exactly what I did on Saturday, July 14, at the Color Me Rad run in Oklahoma City, which benefited the Cystic Fibrosis Foundation. And you know what? It was rad. Well, as rad as exercise and getting pelted with cornstarch can be.
The race started off a bit chaotically. Thousands of people showed up wearing white pants and white T-shirts ready to get dirty. The first group, which my family and I were supposed to take part in, started at 9 a.m., but it’s difficult to get hundreds of people through a narrow starting gate, so we finally set off a cool—figuratively speaking, of course, since it was already about 90 degrees—40 minutes late.
Once our group embarked on our long trek around the fairgrounds, we could immediately see the colored clouds forming ahead of us. It was beautiful, until you had to run through—i.e. breathe in—the Technicolor storms. Nonetheless, I was excited about the first stop—teal town. I made it through relatively unstained, much to my chagrin, since teal is my chromatic obsession of the moment.
As I passed through the other stations—yellow, purple, green—my shirt, skin, and hair began to take on a beautiful rainbow hue. It was somewhat uncomfortable as the dyed cornstarch began to form a sweaty paste on my arms and legs, but it felt freeing at the same time. I was surrounded by thousands of people. I was gross. And no one cared. In fact, the messier you were, the better.
As the runners—OK, mostly walkers—passed the finish line, we were given one more color bomb (basically just a sealed baggie filled with the color of our choice) to use as we pleased. I grabbed teal and went to town on myself and my fiancé, seasoning us like a couple of blue-green Christmas hams about to go into the oven.
On our way home from the race where the (more or less) crystal waters of our apartment complex pool awaited, I thought about what we had just done. It’s funny how things work out.