The Happiest 5k in Europe!

Post-run fries...
Where was Bryan? Amsterdam! Between stumbling upon a Game of Thrones exhibit and searching endlessly for chocolate-covered waffles in the morning, I spent the time with my sister and her friend exploring the streets and canals during a short weekend. But our real M.O. for visiting was Europe’s first ever Color Run – an American export that’s making its way across the globe.

The idea is a simple one. Wear a white shirt, run a 5k, and get pummeled with colored powder along the way, ending in a giant color-bombing dance party. Fun, I know! Part of the proceeds goes to charity, but it’s also a way to celebrate running, health, and happiness without worrying about competing for the best time.

Runners of all abilities participate. My sister and her friend, admittedly non-runners, hopped along without a problem through Amsterdam’s Sloterpark, and we spent the first two kilometers running with two girls that each only had one leg. It was inspiring, to say the least, and we didn't complain about cramps much. Anyone can do a Color Run. Everyone should.

As the colors came flying at us at each station, Dutch volunteers were cheering us on (at least I assume they were cheering). We were just an ecstasy pill away from a rave at the end while we danced to Rihanna – a Dutch favorite – and the powder continued to fly everywhere. Everyone gets a bag at the end, and you color bomb strangers with the rainbow dust. It’s magical.

Color bombed!
The dance party...

The best part was taking the tram back to the center of Amsterdam colored in the color powder. We didn't bother washing it off as we had pizza before taking the Thalys back to Paris. You hardly feel it on you at all. The looks were priceless as we continued back from Gare du Nord to my apartment. I, in particular, looked like I stepped out of a slasher movie, with an extra few splashes of red across my face. It’s not something you do every day…

With over 600,000 people having already participated in the US since its inauguration in 2012, the event has spread to Australia, Amsterdam’s was the first one in May on the European continent, and England is gearing up for one soon as well.

France, however, hasn’t gained quite enough support via Facebook yet to launch a French event. Thousands of people participate in each event, but with just over 6000 likes on the French page, there’s a long way to go to reach the over 34,000 likes in Holland. Give it a like and let’s bring the run to Paris!

Race finished!