When I participated in the Color Run here in Italy last summer I had extra fun because one of my friends was a color station volunteer. I thought it be fun to have a peek ‘behind the scenes’ of this crazy event and find out what it’s like to hurl rainbows at people… and ask how best to get that darn color off afterwards?
Let me introduce you to my dear friend Lucy Solzi, a marathon runner from Milan and official Color Douser!
How did you start volunteering as a Color douser?
I’d seen the race on the web and really hoped it would come to Italy; it looked like so much fun. When they confirmed the Italian dates the non-profit running club I belong to, Podisti da Marte (Runners From Mars), was contacted and asked if they were interested in being volunteers at the race. I jumped at the chance, so I was actually a Color douser before I ran the race myself.
How many dousers are there at each station? More importantly, do you get to choose your color?
There are four stations: yellow, orange, deep blue and fuchsia. For a race with 3000 people there’s 50 dousers, so that’s about about 12 volunteers for each station. We just did the Color Run in Rome and we had to double the dousers. We don’t get to choose our stations but I always hope to get fuchsia because it looks great with my hair! But each colour has it’s own energy so it’s good to rotate between them.
Describe what you see as the race unfolds…
There’s always the first runners that come by thinking that they’ve come to a “real” race. Yes, it’s 5K but there’s no chip timing or classification, it’s a fun run. Fortunately, it’s just a few of them and once they’ve passed it’s time for us to get to work. There are lots of families with kids and groups of friends coming with the expectation of having a great time. Our instructions are to put the color on people’s clothes, not on their face. But they invite us to put it everywhere, even getting on the ground and rolling in the color dust.
When I ran The Color Run it took me a few days to get the dye completely off my skin. At the finish line I saw a girl that had done an Avatar number on herself, completely covering her face blue. I imagined her going to work the next day! Is there a secret to getting the color off?
Before you start the race put a thin layer of oil on your skin, like almond oil. When you’ve finished the race the color will come off easier along with soap and a loofah brush. As a last touch for those hard to get spots use makeup remover wipes. That should do it!
Fancy doing a Color Run? Our Fall 5K Course is coming up… we’ll get you fighting fit so you’ll be first in line for a dousing!
Today’s question comes from Donalda in Germany…
“How many pairs of running shoes should you have if running regularly? I hear folk saying you must have two and alternate? I’ve heard of others saying that because running shoes are changing all the time, if they find a pair that are good they buy several pairs of them before they change for the next season?”
I’d break this down by mileage and the race distance you’re training for…
If you’re in our Up & Moving or 5K Course or have a weekly running volume of about thirteen miles per week, one pair of shoes should be enough. The biggest mistake I see is people digging out ancient shoes from the back of their closets. They might actually be running shoes that haven’t had much use, but plastics such as polyurethane foam or EVA break down with heat and humidity even while sitting in a closet. Be careful where you store your shoes!
The 10K runner may be able to squeak by with one pair of shoes, but a second pair may be a good thing to have as a standby. The runners in our 10K course work out three days a week and their weekly volume is about sixteen miles (26km). Adding in a second pair gives that midsole time to recover after being pounded down and the shoe has a chance to air out and dry from those hardworking sweaty feet.
Definitely have two pairs of running shoes in your wardrobe. One pair can be used for regular training and one lighter pair for drills and intervals. If you’re training for a marathon consider having two basic pairs plus the lighter pair. The base pairs can be alternated so they each have time to dry out and the foam can recover and expand again.
As for buying several pairs of shoes at a time, it’s true that shoe manufacturers change their models constantly. You get used to one fit then poof, they’ve modified the fit or no longer make them. I don’t see any problem with buying several pairs at once. Just make sure that you store them properly and use them within a few years.
If you want to show off where you walk or run, tag your pics #upandrunningonline and/or #runaroundtheworld. We’re @runningonline and always on the lookout for new Instagram pals. Thank youeveryone who entered!
I have this thing about making my own food. I know that the package version probably exists but when you use fresh ingredients everything tastes so much better. You can control the textures and experiment with adding in more of this and less of that. As an athlete I also find that I function better on nutritionally sound foods. My digestion improves and I fill up on less. All this adds up to a faster run.
With all the training I’ve been doing this year for Ironman Zurich I haven’t had as much time to spend in the kitchen labouring over new recipes. So I fall back on the old standards, which in Italy are pretty awesome. I shop for the fresh ingredients but make sure that nothing needs more than a few minutes of preparation.
Pesto is a perfect example of a “fast food” dish. Easy to make and usually a family pleaser. I can serve it to my ten year old son who is picky about everything these days.
The ingredients you’ll need:
A true Italian recipe would have you mash this all up with a mortar and pestle. To quicken the process you can use a food processor. The only adjustment you’ll have to do is to place the blades in the freezer ahead of time since the heat created by the constant whirling can blacken the basil. You’ll end up with a darker pesto rather than a bright green hue.
You can use it on pasta or rice or as an accent to a meat dish. It keeps in the fridge in a glass jar for up to a week. I like to make it ahead of time so that I can give instructions to the family to “make” dinner while I go out on a run before we eat. Win-win!
Pictured above is 100 grams of organic whole wheat pasta (weighed dry) and 1 tablespoon of homemade pesto; the perfect dish for my afternoon workout. How about yours?