On Monday, I celebrated my 36th birthday. Actually, the celebrations started earlier than that, and they lasted for 3 days! And the celebrations are not over yet, because the family and I are going to a restaurant this coming Saturday for a birthday dinner. I love birthdays that last for ages!
Last year, I heard that The Color Run was coming to New Zealand. I was very excited and knew I definitely wanted to do it! But the Auckland event was a) on a long weekend when we were away camping) and b) being held in a kinda dull place (Pukekohe Raceway). I saw that the Wellington event was going to be a) the day before my birthday and b) in a really nice setting (Trentham Park in Upper Hutt). My friend Mandy wanted to do it, so a plan was hatched for me to fly down for the weekend and do the run with her. After booking my flights, it was a matter of waiting … and waiting … until last weekend.
I arrived on Friday evening, and Mandy picked me up from the airport. The next morning, we headed up to Trentham Park to collect our race packs.
We also met up with Kelly, who was doing the run as well. Mandy had planned to take me on an old-fashioned picnic on Saturday, but sadly the weather wasn’t kind to us. It was cloudy, windy and COLD, with spits of rain every so often. The picnic was such a lovely idea, but we had to change our plans. We ate lunch at the mall and browsed around our favourite shops: Typo and Kikki K. That evening, we enjoyed a delicious meal at Ichiban Teppanyaki. I love teppanyaki. Japanese food is a favourite, and it’s always neat watching your meal being cooked right in front of you. Trying to catch raw eggs and bowls of rice (or in my case, NOT catching them) just adds to the fun.
Sunday morning was race day, so we were up early! Another scrapbooking friend, Natalie, lives right next to Trentham Park so we were able to park in her driveway. She and her hubby and 3 kids were all doing the run too, so we walked over to the park with them. The atmosphere was awesome, with heaps of fun stalls and activities, and Zumba on the big stage before the race began. Everyone was decked out in their white Color Run T-shirts and white sweatbands. Lots of people had fun costume pieces like wigs, hats, fairy wings, tutus, crazy socks and headbands. I had a white tutu and Mandy had white butterfly wings, and we both had white flowers in our hair. :-)
The race itself was a total blast! There were 4 different colour stations along the way … yellow, pink, green and blue. At each one, there were crazy/loud/energetic volunteers armed with bottles (and buckets!) of coloured paint powder. Sometimes they aimed low, and sometimes they didn’t! I got a big ball of blue powder right in the face! Was grateful for my sunglasses. Some overly eager and enthusiastic runners even stopped to roll around in the powder. People were scooping up powder from the ground to throw on themselves and other people. It was crazy! But so much fun.
At the end of the race, we all received a sealed packet of paint powder, and headed over to the big stage for one of the colour tosses that were happening every 15 minutes. After a big hyped up countdown, everyone opened their packets and threw their powder into the air. It was a huge crazy mess of colour and powder and laughter and fun. The packets had different colours to the ones we had been through on the race: purple, orange, red, etc, so by the end of it all, we really were multicoloured!
The Color Run was such a fun experience. I definitely want to do it again! It would be great to go back to Wellington for it, but finances will probably dictate that I do the Auckland one next year instead. I’m sure it will be just as good. Although I think it would be hard to beat the beautiful scenery we enjoyed during our race. The course ran alongside the river, around the park and through the bush, and it was just gorgeous (despite the lack of sunshine).
By the time we got home and showered to get all the colour off us, it was nearly 2pm and we were STARVING. So we headed out to a lovely cafe called Thyme. I enjoyed my delicious late lunch of Eggs Benedict, and I bought Mandy & I a piece of chocolate cake to take home for afternoon tea. After all, it was (nearly) my birthday!
My flight left at 6.30pm and arrived in Auckland at 7.30pm. Rob, Ethan & Tyler came to the airport to pick me up. They were excited to hear all about the Color Run, and to tell me about their weekend as well. Rob had been to an all-day Scripture Union Conference, Tyler had been to his hip hop class, and both boys had been to Nana & Grandad’s for a sleepover and to the Soap Box Derby with Grandad. They’d also been snorkelling and enjoyed lots of ‘treat’ food … pizza, hotdogs, chips, burgers, lollies, donuts, sherbet, etc! Definitely not our usual weekend fare but I guess when the cat’s away …
The next morning, Rob and the boys gave me my birthday presents. The boys got me a DVD (the Silver Linings Playbook) and a big block of Whittakers Strawberry Chocolate. Rob got me a recipe book, a new top and 2 new charms for my bracelet. I had to go into the office for work, which was actually quite nice because I got to commute to/from work with my sister, have a birthday lunch with Leah & Annelie, and enjoy iced chocolates and macaroons for afternoon tea with some of my work colleagues. That evening, we had a family dinner at my parents’ place. Mum cooked tea and made me a yummy chocolate marble cake. We all watched “The Middle” together and it was lovely. Just a really nice day.
So far I’m pretty happy with how 36 is treating me. I’m closer to 40 than 30, which feels a bit odd, but at least I’ll always be younger than Rob! ;-)