A RAD New Orlando Tradition
From the moment you visit the website, you know Orlando's inaugural Color Me Rad 5K is different — radically different in a really radical way. Fun, informal, funny, personable AND charitable — that's Color Me Rad Orlando!
A huge hit all across the U.S., Color Me Rad finally made its way to the home of the NBA’s Orlando Magic (ugh. this season was a rough one), Walt Disney World Resort (Food & Wine Festival, anyone?), and Universal Orlando Resort (Harry Potter! Hello!). Other than feet moving along a 3.2 mile course, there's nothing traditional about this 5K. It's unlike any other race The City Beautiful has to offer. The noncompetitive 5K isn't timed; there are no trophies at the end; and hey, if you miss your start time, no worries! Just join the next wave of runners/walkers/skippers/joggers. This is about having an awesome day and getting covered head to toe in dyed cornstarch! (Don't worry - they give you instructions on how to clean it out of every nook and cranny.)
Hundreds upon hundreds of Orlando and Central Florida residents participated in this inaugural event, which took place at the Central Florida Fairgrounds on West Colonial Drive. The registration fee was comparable to any other 5K, and runners received a surprisingly soft T-shirt (with different styles and sizes for men and women to give the best possible fit!), radically neon sunglasses, a temporary RAD tattoo, and the option to purchase additional color bombs and Color Me Rad Orlando swag. All-white attire is encouraged to get the best results from the plethora of dyed cornstarch that's detonated on race day. As color run first-timers, my team and I decided to opt for the surprisingly inexpensive $15 white Color Me Rad Orlando tanks and T-shirts that are available at packet pickup (us and 99% of the Orlando runners). Oh - and by any chance did you want Color Me Rad bracelets, knee-high socks or other goodies? Because that's all there, as well! Hungry? Perfect! The house party-themed packet pickup event also offered stacks and stacks of pizza from a popular Orlando pizzeria. Gotta carb load, right?
The day of the race is radically insane! The hundreds of runners that are divided into waves from 9-9:45 a.m. seem more like thousands of people! As if the 5K portion of this radical event wasn't enough, there was additional entertainment everywhere and cornstarch color bombs exploding around every corner. No, I didn't record a personal-best 5K time, but that's OK! Totally not what this event is really about. It’s about having an awesome day, and giving back to the Orlando and Central Florida community.
Before the color bombs and radical website and laugh-out-loud emails, what really drew me to this event was that it benefitted Ronald McDonald House Charities of Central Florida Inc., a cause near and dear to my heart. Orlando is home to two Ronald McDonald Houses, which provide a home away from home for families of children who are undergoing treatment at an Orlando medical facility — usually Arnold Palmer Hospital for Children. Oftentimes, these families live a great distance from the hospital, making travel for parents and siblings very difficult. Ronald McDonald Houses keep the family together and close to the child receiving treatment (at zero to minimal cost), making a terrible situation a tiny bit easier for that family. Now that's rad.
At the risk of droning on and on about this amazing, unique and just downright awesomely fun Orlando event, allow me to conclude with this gem of good news — I received confirmation from multiple sources that the inaugural Color Me Rad Orlando 5K is just the beginning for our fair city. Oh yes, friends — this will be an annual event! Which is pretty radical, since, while it was a first for Orlando, it's definitely a favorite for me.