The Color Run is the largest event series in the United States and has hosted more than 170 events in over 30 countries in 2013. In 2014, The Color Run announced its inaugural “Happiest 5k on the Planet” for Japan, with its first race held at Country Farm Tokyo German Village in Chiba prefecture on March 15, 2014. Officially sponsored by New Balance, the next race will be held at Sagami Lake Pleasure Forest in Kanagawa prefecture on April 12, 2014.
There are two simple rules: Wear white at the starting line & finish plastered in color!
Entry to the event was quite the challenge for us since we cannot read Japanese. Even with the assistance of online translations, the site limits the registration process to a 30-minute maximum. Therefore, it is highly recommended you ask a Japanese friend for help. Once you are successful with online entry and payment, expect to receive a nice participant package in the mail. It will include a white t-shirt with the Color Run logo, a white headband with “Color Runner” printed on it, a New Balance wristband, two temporary tattoos, a running bib and a sturdy plastic bag to label & use on race day to safe keep your belongings.
Ready for race day! Unfortunately, another challenge was getting to the race location. From Yokosuka to Country Farm Tokyo German Village in Chiba, we decided to take the 45-mile northeast drive. Since we registered late, parking passes for German Village were completely sold out. So, we had to improvise and eventually decided on parking at Sodegaura bus terminal. From there, we took the event shuttle bus, which dropped us off at the closest bus station. Total commute time was approximately two and a half hours.
Country Farm Tokyo German Village is a theme park, which features a vast field of 910,000 square meters, depicting the countryside of Germany. Upon arrival, you’ll immediately find the designated areas for information, participant giveaway bags, storage, and dressing rooms. Prepare yourselves to get colorful.
On your mark, get set, go! We gathered at the start line among hundreds of other smiling runners for the 11:40am time slot. With excitement in the air and adrenaline pumping through our veins, it was time to make our way through the 5K course. If you are planning to finish in 1st place with an official time, this is not the run for you. With a few narrow paths and hundreds of runners of all types and ages, your goal should be to have fun and be happy!
The Official Sponsor for the color powder is Lush Japan. Made from natural, raw materials and never tested on animals, its main ingredient is cornstarch. Environmentally friendly and completely washable, expect to be doused with Lush color powder at each kilometer. At this venue, we ran through blue, yellow, green and pink stations. Volunteers were more than happy to saturate you with color from head to toe. At the finish line, be sure to pick up your complimentary pint of color to use at the after party located at the main stage.
Even though there were a couple of obstacles before and during race day, The Color Run was definitely worth the experience to be had with great friends in Japan.
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Originally from San Diego, California, I lived in Japan for 4-1/2 years and now I am currently based out of Honolulu, Hawaii. In December 2010, I arrived in Yokosuka with a new outlook on my future. Mainly, to refocus on family and let my curiosities take us to places we’ve only dreamt of. Along the way, we’d hopefully develop new friendships and simply collect memories to last a lifetime. Then, there was the Tōhoku earthquake and tsunami on March 11, 2011. I will never forget that experience and the devastating effects it had on the entire country. I asked the community, “What can I do to help?” Collecting, sorting, and packing donations, was the least I could do. I also ended up going back to California for one month, raised a small monetary donation for Red Cross, and secured a few phone interviews to help spread the word on how others from the United States could assist. I was determined to show my family, friends, and folks across the world that it would be okay to return to Japan. After all, I wanted them to know that all of the little things that make up this beautiful country still existed. What better way than to use a platform such as JapanTravel.com to share photos and stories full of life, history, and culture. It is a pleasure to say I have contributed more than 150 articles to a database that now collectively holds more than 15,000! This journey has not only allowed me to realize my initial goals, but I’d like to think that it has somehow played a role in sparking an interest locally and across the globe for others to experience all that is published here and more. I invite you to also share your wonderful stories, offer comments, and ask questions right here on JapanTravel. Feel free to contact me at email@example.com. Safe travels! ٩( ๑╹ ꇴ╹)۶