Sunday, October 13, 2013

Color Me AmeriCorps!!!

That picture above says it all...pretty much!

The Color Run was held this past weekend at the Homestead-Miami Speedway and you better believe that I was there, participating again in full force! It was once again an amazing experience that I can't wait to do again!

Saturday, 14 of us (Tasha, Kelsey, Krystle, Sam, Chris, Cait, Andrea, Hallie, Cassie, Ryan, Jessica, Courtney, Priscille, and myself) rolled out of the parking garage at Las Ventanas at the dark hour of 5 am and made our way south to Homestead. After the "eventful" 1 1/2 hour drive, we arrived at the Homestead-Miami Speedway before the sun had even peaked over the horizon. Having to still pick up our race day packets, we headed over to the check-in tent hoping to beat any lines. Turns out that we were the very first ones to check-in for the race! Once we picked up our packets, we headed back to the car to get all tatted up and ready to go.

Since we arrived so early, we had plenty of time to kill before the first heat of the race began. We strolled around the grounds, collecting free stuff left and right (backpacks, bandannas, wrist bands, food and drinks). We made multiple trips to the car to deposit our souvenirs and then made our way to the start line. With adrenaline pumping through our veins and music pulsated through our ear drums, we took our place in the first heat of runners, anticipating the start of what promised to be an awesome experience!

The tail end of the National Anthem was eventually replaced with a thundering countdown. Once "1" was yelled, the Color Run was on! One of the really awesome things about this event is the color aspect. Every kilometer of this 5K is marked by a different color zone. Kilometer One was yellow; Kilometer Two was pink; Kilometer Three was blue; Kilometer Four was orange; and Kilometer Five was the after party! We walked/ran/skipped our way through the course, taking in all of the sights and sounds that abounded around us.

Once we hit the finish line, we were greeted with a much needed and appreciated bottle of water and many smiling, colorful faces. Being that we were in the very first heat, we were one of the first ones done, which meant front and center access to the best part of the entire experience - the after party! This mosh pit type gathering involved many free giveaways, including frisbees, socks, sweatshirts, t-shirts, and the most coveted item - packs of color. The makers of this race not only use colored powder on the race course, but they also use them after the race is done. This is where most of the "color" damage is done as every 15 minutes a color throw is executed. Color packs are opened, the powder inside is flung into the air, and mayhem ensues! The video below details what it's like inside a color throw...

After experiencing about 4 of these color throws (and swallowing/choking on our fair share of powder), we decided to head out and find some food. We cleaned up to the best of our ability at the cars, piled all of our clothes into plastic bags, and left in search of food. Naturally, we ended up at the food court of a local mall. You can imagine the looks and stares that we received. 10 20-something-year-old's caked in multiple colors in line for food at random restaurants. It was quite a trip! We finally made it home again and took a much needed nap!

This Saturday we also had the opportunity to attend a BBQ hosted by the president of the Board of Directors at the Literacy Coalition, the parent organization for our AmeriCorps program. This is the first time that any of the AmeriCorps groups have ever had the privilege of being over to Mr. Bob Patterson's house and it definitely did not disappoint. His wife and him prepared a gorgeous meal, consisting of chicken, BBQ ribs, a multitude of salads, rolls, wine, beer, soda, and numerous desserts. It was such a generous offer and was thoroughly enjoyed by all of the members! Thanks definitely does not fully express our gratitude!

This upcoming weekend features the zombie run, Grovetoberfest, and a night out in Miami! Hopefully I'm able to survive being chased by zombies to enjoy some beer samples and Miami nightlife. Wish me luck!

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