As powder races such as The Color Run and Color Me Rad have gained wild popularity over the past year and a half, a new race joined the ranks this past weekend offering a unique twist on the tried and true, and ridiculously fun, event style.
The Flavor Run took the enchanting idea of covering participants with colored powder, and added a fresh take by adding fruit flavoring to the typically bland and chalky corn starch mixture. Each color was associated with a specific fruit flavor, and as participants were dusted with the powder, the senses came alive as you experienced the taste, smell, and visual splendor of a fruity fantasy. The fruit theme also paid tribute to one of the event’s main focuses, which is that of supporting local fruit farmers and small businesses. Fresh fruit was served all morning, and Mason was especially pleased to partake in a pre-race snack of juicy watermelon.
The race itself did have some moments where it was a bit rough around the edges, but that’s almost to be expected from a first time event. And I don’t believe any of these small glitches deterred participants from enjoying their experience. Registration lines ran longer than hoped, the first wave ran late as we waited for the course setup to be completed, volunteers were lacking at a couple of color stations, and there was little control over wave sizes which lead to most racers running the first wave. Despite that, Flavor Run staffers handled their slight hiccups well and managed to keep the waiting crowd happy and entertained. They hosted a “Flavor Wave” (think the wave at a sporting event, with the added thrill of throwing colors), ran through the crowd discharging fire extinguishers filled with powder, threw out complimentary color packets, and kept energy high while we waited to be sent on our way. Most participants started their color fun prior to the event start, breaking into their color packets and beginning their celebration while in queue. We were no different, playfully covering ourselves with puffs of color. Kids 5 and under ran free, so Mason joined in on the fun, gleefully tossing color about as he excitedly waited to run.
The Flavor Run introduced some unique new features to their event that i believe will aid in setting them apart from other similarly themed races. Most noticeable was the fruity taste and smell that was added to each different color. The smell of blueberry, strawberry, watermelon, and banana filled the air, giving racers the sensation of running through a giant fruity pixie stick. Other notable innovations were the introduction of the Flavor Forest, filled with frolicking Flavor Fairies (say that five time fast!). Other powder runs simply host a series of color stations, with sections of non-color areas as you traverse from one station to the next, but the Flavor Forest created a free space of constant color bombs, and made up a generous section of the course mid-race. The forest was filled with volunteers donning colorful tutus and fairy wings, running wistfully about and sprinkling color on runners from sand pails full of powder. So instead of a specific color zone, this portion of the course gave runners the opportunity to get blasted with color throughout the entire forest. I think this is a really great, and super cute, idea! I had actually signed up to run and then participate as a Flavor Fairy after, but unfortunately by the time we finished our run the final wave had already been sent on their way. Nevertheless, I did receive my wings and played with Mason in the sprinklers post race instead.
Flavor Run is also the first event of its kind to provide a medal! With a colorful, spinning center, and a quality ribbon and design, it was a great reward upon crossing the finish line. Bib, medal, and shirts (female fitted shirts mind you! Not the typical non-gender, shapeless shirts you receive at most races!) were all great quality and very cute!
Altogether powder runs are a lot of fun, and a great, non-competitive event for first time 5Kers, families with young children, and those looking to have a happy-go-lucky time shared with close friends and family. Although the after party was most likely not what event coordinators hoped for (many people had left before the band had even begun its set), I’m sure that future events will see a larger turnout and a greater post-event participation. Hopefully they will take into account the few areas that did not run quite so smoothly, tweak them to perfection, and continue to grow an innovative, and very fun event! As they say, practice makes perfect!
All-in-all, Flavor Run was a lot of fun! It was great to experience a fresh take on an already successful race style. They had a lot of great new ideas, and I hope to see this event grow and blossom.
Next race takes me up to Ohio and back into the mud! From fairy dust to mud and muck.. man I sure do love what I do. 🙂