08 July, 2014

Manchester Colour Run 2014 and 'Saying Yes!'

The happiest 5k on the planet, that's how they describe it. A couple of months back I heard via work colleagues that the colour run was coming to Manchester for the second year. It had been on my list of things to do for a while now and with great excitement I signed up. People throwing powder over you so you look like a rainbow, sign me up people!

After the Great Manchester 10K run in May I literally stopped running. On that particular day I ran in very humid heat and despite constantly drinking water and picking more up along the route, I felt very ill about 20 minutes after the event. In short I was dehydrated and needed to be put to bed. It put me off running for a bit if I'm honest. However, even though I physically was not prepared to run an awesome 5K, I wasn't going to let it stop me. The colour run isn't timed and turns out isn't the most competitive of runs either. It's a cheery event, a bit of fun, an alternative way to spend your Saturday if you wish.

In the run up to the event, scrolling through Instagram I noticed that Dannii from Hungry Healthy Happy instagrammed a pic of her race number. With that, I commented saying that I was taking part also. Despite Dannii's huge following (she's kind of a big deal in the inter-web folks!), she commented back asking would I be interested in meeting up. I of course, dropped her an email jokingly warning her of my lack of fitness and with that we agreed to run together.

10,000 people flooded the entrance to the Ethiad Stadium and somehow, despite a sea of white tea shirts, colourful tutus, rainbow socks and all manner of crazy head gear, we found each other. I was relived as I was slightly worried we wouldn't find each other and I would let her down by having to run alone. My worries needed have bothered me. 

We found a spot in the queue of runners / walkers lining up and about 20 minutes later we were off, waving and shouting to passers by and exchanging high fives with random colour runners. Dannii, being the pro blogger brought a camera along the route. Not phased by colourful chalk getting into every nook and crevice of her camera she took photos at every opportunity and kindly some of me too! We had a great chat getting to know each other along the route, getting pelted by pink, blue, yellow and orange chalks and even taking to rolling in it. Yes, rolling in it! Rolling in a carpet of yellow, rolling with other colour runners, rolling in it so I resembled something like a yellow wand!

Within no time the run was over and Dannii and I crossed the finish line in spectacular fashion with her lovely husband taking a photo of the two of us. Despite not recording an Olympic breaking time, it didn't matter. What mattered to me was getting off my back side and running again, saying yes and accepting an invitation from someone I hadn't personally met and having fun, engaging in a new event and feeling happy. If anything, the colour run gave me the kick up the backside to get moving again, to get out there and meet people and not assume it will all happen by sitting on the couch. 

I'm nearly 10 months living in Manchester and what surprises me over and over again is the fantastic welcoming and friendly community that is the blogging scene. Since writing this post in November, I've quickly realised that you have to be willing to put the work in too. New experiences and friendships won't just arrive on your doorstep, you've got to reach out, respond to invites, even chance your arm a little asking "Can I come along too?"

As a result, I've met, tweeted, emailed, chatted to, received advice and now ran with a whole heap of Manchester / north west based bloggers and all because I've said yes. I've attended events alone, put myself out there and stepped outside my comfort zone to the point were it now feels normal. Thanks Manchester bloggers, you're all fan-tabulous and a big thank you to Dannii for documenting our day of running, walking and colour!


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