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Old Fart At A Fun Run - My Colour Run Experience

When it was first suggested (strongly) that I take part in a fun run to see what all the fuss is about, my first thought was that the only thing fun and run have in common is that they rhyme.

However, under serious pressure from my colleagues, I signed up. And what better cause than our local children’s hospice, Forget Me Not Children's Hospice, here in Huddersfield?

It’s a much-loved event for both organisers and participants. Everyone enjoys the whole day and it always raises a huge amount of money.

Although I had not run for a while male pride demanded I attempted the full 5k and not the shorter route. Besides, my expanding waistline gave me an added incentive to burn some calories. I dug out my running shoes and had a few training runs and despite some sore muscles at first, it actually felt quite good to be back out.

Fast forward to the day itself and I made sure I was in tip-top form by having an earlyish night and only four pints instead of my usual five on the Friday night before the run.

The morning drive over the Pennines from where I live in Sheffield was glorious in the sunshine. The team had come along to cheer me on/laugh at me, and we got there early to soak up some of the atmosphere. Upon arrival, the sun was shining and the music was already playing from the stage. A few families were already getting into the spirit, having bought some bags of brightly coloured powder and the air was full of colour, laughter and shrieks of delight from excited children, of all ages as they threw it at each other.

Next to the registration tent they were selling bags of powder and colourful fundraising accessories. Feeling quite in the mood now, I bought some powder to throw, along with a pink headband and multi-coloured tutu to be as colourful as possible. The resulting effect was debatable but at least it gave everyone a laugh.

As the start time drew nearer, the crowds swelled. Over one thousand runners plus their friends and families gathered near the stage for the warm up. Not that we needed it really as the sun was now high in the sky. The enthusiastic aerobics instructor bounced around on the stage with way too much energy and if I went at it with as much gusto as she did, I would have been shattered before the run even started.

As we all moved towards the start line, I surveyed the competition, and realised there wasn’t any. Parents, even grandparents, and toddlers were going to walk, jog or run the route. Most of them were already brightly clad and covered in powder and there was no sign of a clock or stopwatch anywhere. I was really beginning to experience the fun element of the day now and the run was merely a side show.

The start gun fired, and we set off through a cloud of colour from the colour fountains being enthusiastically sprayed by the course marshalls. Greenhead Park, already resplendent in the strong May sunshine, was now awash with colour and people of all ages moving around the course. After not very long, I could see clouds of colour up ahead as we arrived at the first station. Volunteers gleefully covered us with bright powder and shrieks of delight rang out from the younger (and some of the older) runners.

Despite the unexpected inclines on the route, I was quite enjoying myself. In what seemed like no time at all, I was back at the first colour station and on lap two of three, but this time already covered in six colours. Before I knew it, the run was over and there was not one patch of white left on my T shirt. Definitely the most enjoyable 5k I have ever run!

After a well-earned bottle of water (a beer would soon follow), I met up with the gang and we surveyed the scene as happy, colourful faces waited for the grand finale, the colour fight. The party music had been playing from the start and there was a crowd of people dancing in front of the stage. The countdown began, more colour fountains went off and it was now time for the runners to throw powder at each other and anyone else who was in range.

It was a great way to spend a Saturday and the best bit is the event raised well over £30,000. This really did put the fun into fundraising and I would recommend it to anyone thinking of organising one or just taking part.