The happiest 5k on the planet sounds like an oxymoron, doesn’t it? How can an activity that most would describe as painstakingly boring and sometimes outright intimidating for a beginner, illicit feelings of happiness?

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A couple of years ago, I learned about the Color Run 5k through some friends. They raved about how much fun they had at this family-friendly event, and that was an ideal starting point for a beginning runner or for people that were willing to walk the distance.

Participating in an organized race was an item that I wanted to check off my bucket list, and for quite some time it seemed my timing was never right. I was either too busy with life to dedicate multiple evenings a week for conditioning or lacked the motivation to want to participate at that particular point in time.

Fast forward a couple of years to one morning in the netlogx office where I was chatting with a coworker and somehow the conversation became about an upcoming Color Run. She told me that she was going to participate again this year with her family. She talked about how much fun she has every year and the positive atmosphere. That conversation was the catalyst to seize the opportunity to participate in my first organized race.

The Color Run isn’t as competitive as many other organized races, so I knew I could lean on my baseline fitness to get me through the finish line. Any specific training would only contribute to a faster time and less fatigue.

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The day of the race was a beautiful Saturday morning with a mild temperature and partly cloudy skies. It was a perfect climate that only reinforced my decision to take part in the Color Run. I lightly jogged the entirety of the distance (approximately 3.1 miles). Every 1000 meters or so there was a checkpoint with people determined to cover any sight of skin that wasn’t covered by fabric with brightly colored powders.

The race started at Military Park and made its way through the IUPUI campus. The path then became more scenic as we continued along the White River on the White River Trail, eventually making our way along the canal and returning to Military Park, where the finish line was set up.

At the finish line, we were greeted with loud music as well as attendees and bystanders that were having a great time. They gave each of us a medal of completion along with some additional bags of colored powder to throw in the air once the emcee signaled the end of the race creating a huge,

colorful cloud of purple, blue, green, yellow and pink.

I was very pleased with my first experience at the Color Run and my first organized running event. I had a great time during the race and afterward with all the festivities. I even ran into some coworkers from previous jobs, and along the way, we caught up. Everyone is in good spirits before the race starts as well as at the finish line. I would definitely recommend it for anyone looking to get their feet wet with running or anyone looking for something unique and fun to do on a summer morning. It turns out that there really is such a thing as a Happy 5k!