Monday, August 19, 2013

::Color, color, color::

Running this messy, crazy 5k in Montreal was even more fun than I'd anticipated. It could have been a strategical nightmare. Between us we had a dozen kids to organize while we were away. The smallest, and perhaps most vocal came with us. We were crammed into a tiny wedge-shaped hotel room with a cot and a crib. Frankly, we were all exhausted before we even set foot in the city. And sorting out the construction detours and Metro lines may have been reduced us to  tears.
But that's not how it went down. It all just worked. We scooped up our Color Packets at the hotel, complete with t-shirt, sweatband, tattoos, bib number & extra dye packets. We WALKED and walked the city all afternoon. Tried to ignore how many glares were directed at baby Declan, whose mere presence seemed to offend the twenty-somethings on St. Catharine street. Recharged on Juliette & Chocolate, {with it's angry little waitress}. Then patched together "bathing suits" out of clothes we'd brought and swam in the hotel pool before bed.
Yes, morning came WAY too early. But we navigated the Metro system with ease. At one point we were walking through a tunnel to catch the next train, when we reached an intersection. Masses of Color runners in white t-shirts came pouring out of every nook and cranny, converging in one big blob. It felt like a music video. There should have been a soundtrack.
We hadn't expected to be dancing a Zumba workout as our pre-race warm-up But there we were, shaking our booties and kicking our feet while in hysterics. And then, we were herded into a long narrow gate headed for the Start line. Race shirts and sunglasses were rained down on us. Beach balls were being batted around. Color dye was being sprinkled in clouds of pink, orange, yellow and blue. They counted us down in groups of about a hundred. We were the third batch to go.
A few things we learned as we ran:
1. Country girls had an advantage-- the track was mostly gravel with pot holes here and there. I was thinking; Huh. Just like home.
2. We  have got to get ourselves some tutus. Boys. Girls. Babies. Everyone had tutus.
3. Apparently it's possible to run 5k in flip flops. . .
4. Don't smile while running through a Color station. Blue teeth ain't pretty.
5. Nix the tutus. Thirty year-olds shouldn't wear tutus.
6. Hats probably saved us hours worth of showering.
7. Passing on the left is a concept no one adheres to. It's more like dodge, duck n' weave.
8. This was a run for people who don't take themselves too seriously. In other words, it was a perfect place for the likes of us.