Monday, 27 October 2014

Event review: Run or Dye Oxfordshire

When I was a tad younger, standing in a field among thousands of other hyper individuals as a DJ dropped some tunes was not associated with the healthiest of activities. But times have changed - and novelty fun runs have hit the UK big time this year. Combine this with the mild Autumn and the rather lovely country pile that is home to Lord and Lady Rotherwick - and you've got the ingredients for a great Saturday morning.

Arriving at Cornbury Park in a convoy we'd become part of as we'd left the main roads, I realised this event was no small thing. The Run or Dye phenomenon was big news - even away from the bright lights of London (where most new run events pitch up, assuming us suburbanites can hop on a train). In fact my other half and I were among about two and a half thousand runners ready and willing to become 'part of the rainbow' - aka doused in plant-based powdered dye as we ran a 5k course. 

A fun-filled goodie bag

After a quick check-in (er, there were no queues, what's that about?) we slipped off to the portaloos to change into the t-shirt provided in the pre-race goodie bad - and proceeded to apply the tattoo to our faces. We'd also been given a packet of dye - and so got our kids to start the dousing. We were in good company as run revellers were already covering each other with the complimentary colour packs - and rushing off to buy extras well before the klaxon sounded.

This colour-fest continued as the warm up event kicked off - an emcee's voice and music filled the air and yet more powder was dished out and instead of serious stretching everyone broke into dancing. With 'runners' of all ages, shapes and sizes, many wearing tutus, wigs and leg warmers, it was clear that this was a place to party and not perfect a PB. 

The run itself set off in waves from 10am, and by then most people were already multicoloured and having a ball. It quickly became obvious that many of the participants had no intention of breaking into a sweat whatsoever, but we were able to weave around them as we ran. Every kilometre had a colour station - and some of the staff had a very impressive aim (I ended up with one orange boob - nice). And at the end, it was straight off to the Finish Festival for yet more colour craziness and dancing. 

As an event, this was well organised (despite the lack of a bag check) and incredibly friendly. The lack of timing chips means that this is really a race run just for fun. It also means that the people there WANT to have fun, so egos are parked in a field along with the cars. You could go as a group with mixed abilities, or go with your kids, and still be assured of a good time. Or you could go with your husband as part of your birthday weekend celebrations (like me!). I can't guarantee you won't get messy, but I can guarantee you'll have fun.