There really is nothing like inhaling an unknown amount of various colored dry paint, in the formation of a cloud, that you are unable to see through, and while listening to “The Eye of the Tiger”. The Grafitti Run, has become increasingly popular in the United States, and this year there are 12 states hosting it, and some of these states offer it in several cities.
The idea of the race is very alluring! It's a fairly simple 5k course, and most any type of athlete is capable of participating in it. The only “real” competition is seeing who can ingest, inhale, and wear the most paint. This is not a place to set your “personal best” goals, mainly because in this race people are walking slower than they do in the grocery store aisles, and because these grown adults are rolling and crawling around on the ground, in these paint clouds, to get more paint on themselves, while slowing traffic. You're lucky to run at all!
This is not to say I didn't have fun, because I did. I am now able to say I did it, and I will most likely never do it again. I think it's a fun concept, that as adults, we have the excuse to act juvenile again, with or without children. For example, after the race, you had dry paint packets that you could open, and splatter on people. It was entertaining, for people of all ages, to run around in circles, while giggling, and while pelting strangers with paint, then finishing off with more screeching laughter, as we tried to pretend we were dodging their return attack. “Darn it guys, I got hit with the red paint….hee hee ha ha snort”. After all, that WAS the point!
There is a downside however. First of all, with a race of this magnitude, I think it should run relatively smoothly. They had suggested that you pick up your packet the day before, to beat the long lines on race day. I can only assume that every single participant heeded the warning, because we waited in line for over an hour and a half. It seemed like the line moved nowhere, and my anger was growing. It's not like I was winning a ticket for a discounted TV, like the people who are rewarded at the end of their line waiting, on Black Friday. I was going to win the t shirt, that I purchased, plus a sweat band, a paint packet, and a bib, with 3 safety pins!! Oh….and with the remainder of my money going toward torturing myself for 3 miles, while inhaling carcinogenics, and then drinking tap water out of small plastic glasses, at the end of the race, with paint flecks floating in every glass. This was an OUTRAGE!
I was so glad I didn't have my children, and many people did. I was about to discipline other people's children, so I can't imagine what would have happened to my own, in my growing madness. On their web page, they told you that the packet pick up was on the inside, so you didn't have to worry about the weather!!??….. Well, it took an hour and 15 minutes to weave around outdoors, before reaching the indoors, and of course, it was raining. Truthfully, I don't think anyone would have budged from the line, even with an oncoming tornado in sight. We would instead, just hope the line would get shorter.
At the end of the never ending line, they had a shop opened, hoping you would purchase their extra paint supplies. I would have never bought one thing out of that shop, after that long debacle, but luckily I had purchased an extra paint packet already, during my online registration. The thing is, I purchased the extra bag for $3.00, but after the race, they were handing these same bags out like Halloween candy, FOR FREE!
But…. Despite all these negative perceptions, I still had a wonderful time. I took my daughter with me, at the last minute, and that did my heart good, to see her enjoying hanging out with her old mom:). We all danced to music foolishly, at the main stage, while throwing more paint on each other, and at other people, who had already changed their shirts, but came back to stand in the middle of the colorful moshpit of people. Truthfully, I really enjoyed sharing this experience with my good friends, and my daughter.
Really, besides the long lines and loss of $3.00, I faired pretty well. But now I find myself wondering about my good running buddy, who I'll call “miss D”, and what her perception of the race was. She not only stood in this long line, but also forgot to bring her tennis shoes to the race, and all she had was flip flops. So… We all had to go back to her house to get her shoes, and risk being late, or missing the race entirely…. We made the race, by the skin of our teeth:), but in the middle of the race she got bombed in the face with pink paint. Because she also forgot her sunglasses and tooth gaurd, she started loosing her vision, she started hyperventilating, and she had a metallic taste in her mouth. Then, if that wasn't enough, at the end, she was frolicking with a small boy, of 7 or 8. She unfortunately declared a paint war, and hit him directly in the eye with red paint, that skewed his vision, and left his mother in extreme worry.
I guess its true what they all say…..It's all fun and games until someone looses an eye, and/or gets lung cancer due to the numerous amounts of red dye# 7, 9, 13, and 27:)….