Photo:MIXTRIBE on Flickr

A Technicolor 5K: Color Me Rad Osaka

In April Osaka hosted the popular marathon, Color Me Rad! Color Me Rad is a 5k run where marathon volunteers coat runners with orange, green, pink, and yellow powder throughout the course. At the end of the marathon, there is a big dance party complete with DJs!

It is possible to sign up in advance however one can also pay and join the day of. If you sign up earlier you will receive wristbands, sunglasses, a temporary tattoo and t-shirt in the mail about a week or so before the actual event. Signing up in advance is recommended if you want to avoid possible stress and line-ups the day of the marathon! Plus if you sign up earlier, it is less expensive!


At the station closest to where the event was being held Color Me Rad provided shuttle buses to take you the rest of the way for free! You just needed to show your wristband! It was incredibly convenient and even though it was busy, they had a lot of buses so the wait wasn’t long at all! Once the participants arrived, there was area with tables where one could get plastic bags to keep backpacks or whatever else was brought in, and a monitored storage area. Though Japan is a pretty safe country and theft isn't as common when compared to some other countries it’s recommended to take your wallet and phone and keep it with you, just to be extra careful.

Many of the Color Me Rad Osaka participants came dressed up in neon colours and temporary tattoos for the run! Some runners were dressed to the nines in group costumes! Many wore flower crowns, twin hair buns, wigs, matching shoes, and tutus! It was really cute and fun to see all the different outfits!

Example of a cute group costume

There are different starting times one can sign up for while registering for Color Me Rad. But if something happens, and you run late for your start time it isn’t difficult to join in with the next group’s start time! At the starting line there were American Color Me Rad hosts and a Japanese host to go over the route and rules and to get everyone hyped. They did a super good job! They count down from ten, and everyone was off!

Pumping everyone up!

The colours are separated, and spaced out along the 5k route. What happens in Color Me Rad is after running, jogging or walking for a bit you'll approach an inflatable tunnel. The colour of the tunnel is the colour of the powder you're about to become covered in! Inside the tunnel there are Color Me Rad representatives with squirt bottles of powder spraying everyone who enters! Many participants and their friends waited for one another with handfuls of powder ready to be thrown at faces, hair - anything was game! Each station had different music playing. Everyone was running around, throwing powder, laughing and just having a good time. It was awesome energy!

Colourful legs!
Colourful legs!

At the end of the 5k Color Me Rad volunteers handed out bottles of water, wet wipes and little packets of coloured powder. The coloured powder was for the dance party that was waiting for all participants! There were also food stalls, free energy drink tents and a trampoline! There was a station where people getting ready to leave were blasted with air from a leaf blower to help get off some of the powder! Color Me Rad once again provided shuttle buses (now with seats covered in plastic bags!) for whenever participants were ready to head home.

The stage!
This is how you’ll get "clean" for the ride home!

Color Me Rad is an unforgettable and incredibly fun time for everyone! If you are uncertain because running isn’t exactly your thing, don’t worry! It isn't a serious marathon and many people walk it to make it last longer! In fact, the majority of people at Color Me Rad Osaka walk the route. It isn't easy to run in tutus! It is just a good time with friends and you'll be able to create some unique, unforgettable, and colourful memories!

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