Last Monday’s homecoming event was the TU Color Run, a repeat event from 2014. I attended the original TU Color Run as a freshman and really enjoyed it, so I was pleased to see that the event would be returning as part of the #ReignCane throwback theme this year. Besides a slight delay in the start of the race and a shortage of homecoming t-shirts, I wasn’t disappointed.
When I arrived at 6:30 pm, the check-in starting time, the line of students stretched across Harwell and was beginning to sprawl towards sorority row. Unfortunately, the line took much longer than expected to get through. My friends and I stood in line for about half an hour before we were anywhere close to the front. Around 7:05 pm, the process was greatly sped up by SA members making their way down the line to scan people in (rather than trying to scan students in at the front table).
This resulted in the race, already scheduled close to sunset, beginning 15 or 20 minutes after the intended starting time. While this wasn’t a huge deal in terms of time commitment, it did mean that we finished the race in the dark. A lot of the fun of Color Run is getting to take cute, colorful pictures with friends after the event, and this was hindered by the fact that the ending point, Harwell Field, had its usual dim lighting. If the Color Run returns in the future (and I hope it does), I think it would be more effective to hold it a little earlier in the evening during daylight hours, as it was in 2014.
Speaking of which, here’s a quick #ReignCane throwback to my freshman year: Although the color portion of the race was a lot of fun, I decided to run despite having not participated in cross country or worked out in nearly a year, and the result was that I nearly choked to death on colored powder as I gasped my way through the short course. This year I was lucky enough to participate with some like-minded friends who wanted to turn the Color Run into a nice Color Stroll. This greatly improved the experience for me. However, throughout the course of the race we were lapped by many Color Runners who were obviously more invested in the competitive outcome of the race than we were. I liked that the race was accessible to everyone regardless of athletic ability, seeing these more competitive runners alongside those who were happy to walk the race with friends.
Though I was one of the first 200 students to register, meaning that I received a TU Color Run t-shirt, I heard some people express disappointment that they weren’t able to get a t-shirt despite having registered fairly early. With the popularity of the Color Run and the amount of students that ultimately showed up, I can understand that it would be difficult to hand them out to more than a couple hundred students. The shirts (which mimicked the design of official Color Run shirts) were well designed and I was excited to have gotten one. Less exciting was the fact that I waited in the homecoming shirt line for quite a while only to find that there were no smalls, mediums or larges left (an issue which repeated itself at a few other homecoming events I attended).
Despite minor issues with execution, TU Color Run was one of my favorite homecoming events this year, as it was when I was a freshman. It’s a classic, fun event — everyone can get behind walking or running through rainbow clouds and then getting to pelt their friends with colors at the end of the race. As I mentioned before, I hope the Color Run is repeated at future homecomings. If not homecoming, I feel as though it could fit well with other campus events and festivals like Springfest. It’s universally fun, uplifting and all-around a great way to let loose for an hourboost school spirit.