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Event Rewind: Color Me Run

Late Saturday afternoon a quiet suburban area in Phu My Hung, District 7 was transformed into a rainbow of colour. An astounding 6,850 (aprox.) runners descended onto the outside arena near the Saigon Exhibition and Convention Center, gearing up for a 5km run or, more fittingly, for a stroll. The runners arrived around 3pm hydrating themselves with plenty of water and Bia 333.

The sun was beating down, making the need to quench our thirst even more necessary before the trek. After standing around trying to make sense of where the “run” would actually take place, the crowd was warmed up and began to douse one another with clouds of coloured powder.

In true Vietnamese style, the run kicked off later than expected, but that didn’t matter as everyone was splashing friends and strangers alike with all the colours of the rainbow.

Eventually, we began the run. It was an amazing sight - a sea of colour snaking its way around the streets of District 7. The streets weren’t closed off but traffic was halted and passers-by snapped pictures on their mobile phones while waving us on. Some of the spectators were even unable to escape the clouds of colour which covered the runners.

In the beginning, I thought the Color Me Run was going to be an energetic sprint (sports bras on and all) but it didn’t really turn out like that. Instead of running hard, we walked the entire way like most other participants which suited us perfectly. Did I mention it was Nắng quá?

The only parts of the 5k which resembled a run was when we reached the colour stations. Here, participants were covered in sandbags full of coloured powder and bubble machines. By the end of the “race” we were covered from head to toe in an array of pink, blue, yellow, green and purple.

Around 5.30pm everyone was fuelling up on a healthy dose of Dominoes, Burger King and hot dogs. We deserved it after the strenuous walk! The “booming time” was an amazing scene; everyone gathered together and threw their last bag of colour into the air creating a technicolour cloud that covered everyone from head to toe.

The evening’s entertainment was pretty impressive and brought the event to a great close. Suboi, Vietnam’s “princess” rapper, Timomatic, one of the top three contestants from Australia’s Got Talent 2011 and the main event of the night, Kelly Rowland from Destiny’s Child, all graced the stage to give the exhausted runners a musical treat. It was like a trip back in time when Rowland sang “Bills, bills, bills”, “Soldier” and “Bootylicious.”

All in all, Vietnam’s first Color Me Run was a success and I hope it returns next year! 

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