[Editor’s note: We sent Shanghaiist writer Patrick Lozada to the Beijing Color Run
because he needed the exercise for journalism. In this Shanghaiist Review, Patrick and his friend Colin discuss the event.]
Patrick: So it’s the day after the Color Run. How are you feeling?
Colin: I’m feeling like most people will probably think I have a lot of strange rashes.
Patrick: Yeah, a good chunk of me is/was blood red from the dye people kept throwing at us. But stains aside I had a good time?
Colin: Yeah, I had a blast, definitely the most fun I had at a 5k in a while. Well, I mean, after the…let’s say ‘difficult’ beginning.
Patrick: Yeah, what the hell happened there?
Colin: Well I think the whole ordeal spoke volumes about the seriousness of the run. My friend Carmen and I spent 45 minutes just trying to find the start line, and we failed even at that. Carmen and I talked to some people that told us to follow a big group of people walking so we did. We came around a corner, and saw the first color station but at that point we didn’t know what the color stations looked like so we weren’t even sure that it wasn’t the finish line.
Patrick: Then you, Carmen, and I played one of my favorite games: two people trying to find each other by describing generic things around them. I’m near a pole…near a corner…
Colin: …under a bridge.
Patrick: It ties narrowly with one of my other favorite things. Someone wanting to meet up with me who doesn’t have a firm location. Like oh, I’ll walk this way, and you’ll walk that way, and we’ll totally run into each other. It never ever works.
Patrick: I feel like this is a problem all events in China have. I had the same experience at ChinaJoy — no signs anywhere and people just sort of wandering around lost. You definitely weren’t alone — I was at the start line when things began, with only maybe 150 of the thousands who ran the race. There was no announcement that the race was going to start, and no directions to the start. You were just supposed to find it…somehow…magically.
Colin: Yeah, well we ended up wandering to the one kilometer mark at a color station before we actually found a place where we could start.
Colin: I also think that the word ‘race’ is a drastic overstatement. People just sort of ambled along taking selfies.
Patrick: Yeah, it definitely felt more like five kilometer endurance selfie competition than a race.
Colin: Can you imagine if people took that many selfies during a normal 5k in the US?
Patrick: The selfie thing is big in China. I’ve been away from the US for a while, is it huge there too?
Colin: Kind of. Mostly with the 12-17 yo demographic and the people that still act like they are 12-17 years old.
Patrick: Which seems to be most women in China. I will edit that out for misogny/racism. But it’s true.
Colin: Real talk.
Colin: Also, what was up with that one girl?!
Patrick: Oh, the one who kept throwing paint in my mouth? I still hate her.
Colin: Haha, yeah. I think she might have been a sociopath.
Patrick: She really was spending the whole race doing that though. Did she get you in the mouth too?
Colin: She threw a wad of color into my mouth and while I was sitting it out she got me in the face again. The worst part was her complete lack of remorse. She just kept bouncing on down the course…taking selfies.
Patrick: If I can find a picture, I’m going to put one in the article. With a text box that reads The Worst Person Ever [Ed.: he couldn’t].
Patrick: What was your favorite part of the run?
Colin: I liked how amiable everyone was throughout. It felt like a snowball fight. Even the playground bully who pelted everyone in the face was a ridiculously attractive (Scandinavian?) woman. There’s just something about the act of throwing things at other people without consequence that brings people together.
Patrick: That’s why I love stonings.
Patrick: Well on that note…
[Image credit: Patrick Lozada for Shanghaiist]