Thursday, September 26, 2013

Bubble Run race report

An awful lot of time passed between Run For Your Lives and this event, but, hey. Nothing like a little surgery to slow you down a bit, even if it is only your finger!

Having run a "color run" earlier this year, and since this was the year of weird little fun runs, I simply couldn't resist the Bubble Run ... especially when we saw that there was an Amazon Local deal. (Or was it a Groupon?) Anyway - we got a deal on signing up, and Long-Suffering Friend Suz agreed to run in with me. I also shared the news with Reba because her daughter Meg had been wanting to do a color run, so on race day the four of us met up.

Being extra awesome, I was midway through a weird, chesty cold that made me sound "extra sexy" (a.k.a. hoarse and raspy), so I wasn't breathing all that well. Oh well -- it's an untimed fun run!

(Now may be a good time to mention the absurd Wall Street Journal article "The Slowest Generation"which argued that the reason the USA hasn't won an Olympic Marathon gold medal in forever is because young people aren't competitive enough, and cited color runs -- "which are UNTIMED" -- as the real problem. Yeah, tell Desi Davila, Kara Goucher, and Shalane Flanagan that they aren't competitive enough. Jerks.)

ANYWAY, we headed up to Everett, quickly picked up our packets -- bibs, white shirts, plastic visors that made me feel as if my skull would collapse if I wore it, temporary tattoos -- and then went back to the car to relax and stay warm. About 20 minutes before the start of the race we headed back to the start area, met up with R & M, and then hung out for a while. The mood was festive and there were more people than I expected. As an added bonus, despite weather predictions of rain (and sad warnings from the organizers that "rain and foam don't play well together"), the sky was bright if not sunny, and the day was dry. Hoorah!

Obligatory pre-race photos:
R, M, & S

Suz (LSF) & Sunny

I had learned my lesson from the Color in Motion 5K. There's absolutely no point in trying to squeeze into a corral -- we waited until the first wave was loose, then the second wave moved forward and we just slipped in. More dancing, more waving at the folks in the apartments right next to the starting chute who woke up to discover dance music pumping outside their homes at 9am on a Saturday... Our personal favorite was "shirtless man". We want to thank you for not standing up.

Suz was going to do the rest of her long run that day -- an additional 7 miles -- so we had decided to take it nice and easy... which meant we lost R & M right after the start.

Let me say this -- downtown Everett is actually really cute. Nice main drags with interesting little shops, and streets that quickly turn into pretty residential areas. I know cities welcome races in the hopes of attracting business to their towns; well, Everett, I think it worked. I would like to go back and poke around in your pretty downtown.

Anyway, off we ran through downtown Everett. Our first color station was pink. Now, I know we were told they would be deep with foam... but... they were DEEP WITH FOAM! I was surprised at just how deep they were. Lovely bubbly!

a runner entering the pink bog

We giggled our way through the pink bog and kept going. Another kilometer or so and we hit the green bog -- even deeper!

headed in to the green bog

wall o'bubbles
Suz waist-deep in bubbles

coming out the other side

looking back at the green bog
 Something slightly funny -- the bubbles didn't really cling to cloth... but they sure did cling to skin!


A little ways past that we did a funny little double out and back -- imagine tracing the outside of the top of a T -- and soon we were on the main drag coming back. Then the best bog of the day, the blue bog:

This was so foamy, so ridiculous, that we had to stop and take photos:

going in to the blue bog

going in

it's all blue...

so... my waterproof cover was covered with foam.... but that's a very blue Suz

selfie, with foam

Even better -- and possibly the image of the day in my mind -- was this foam-filled stroller. You can't really see the kid very well, but let me just say that the little "smurfette" was NOT AMUSED.


The one small disappointment was with the yellow bog -- I think they must have had some power issues? There wasn't much foam, but we did see a guy sprinting toward it with an extra cord. Oh well... we just looped around and ran through the pink bog again because it didn't have any runners in it.

Then back back back toward the start. When we picked up the packets we laughed that we had to go uphill: "Uphill? At a FUN RUN???" Well, it turned out that we had to essentially run up the other side of the hill, which made us a little sad. We turned the corner toward what we assumed was the "finish"... but on the way were handed granola bars and bottles of water. Huh? Did we miss a finish line? We hadn't even quite gone three miles???

As we hustled down the hill -- thinking we had to get to the bottom -- we found R & M. We all headed down to the bottom of the hill where the foam cannons were disgorging foam on the finish party. Fun, but weirdly wet and cold. We took a few more pictures, and then headed on our way.

foam cannons at the finish

Suz & Rebecca
Would I do another "Bubble Run" again? Probably not -- but it was pretty fun*. Though the foam was a novel touch, there was much less color than in a dry color event -- and none to throw around in the after party. (Why weren't the foam cannons at the end splooging out different colors?) The course was nice, the communications from the organizers was very helpful and thorough, and we got lucky with the weather. But at the end of the day, my shirt wasn't as crazy colored as I would have preferred.

not as colorful... but the run was indeed bubbly!
\* To be fair, I'm not planning on doing many fun runs anymore -- but it was fun to spend a summer doing them!


  1. I washed by Bubble Run t-shirt and all the color came out. :( Maybe we should get together and tie-dye ours? I have to admit that I really enjoyed this run and would consider doing it again, perhaps with Long Suffering Step-daughter.

  2. What if you just dry it (if not too icky sweaty, iron, than wash again...perhaps the colors will set?

    Debbie Villa