The most colorful 5K

A couple of weekends ago Ben and I ran a fantastic 5K.

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There’s a tabloid-y newspaper that’s given out free at major train stations in Sydney called mX. In addition to sensational stories with punny titles, it contains some news of local events. Back when we first arrived in Australia and were riding on trains a lot, I happened to see an ad for a 5K. The color run!

Money was low and was going to stay low, but dude, color run. We signed up. Fast forward four months and we arrived at 830am (9am is a late starting time for most races, but I guess this isn’t a real race) at the old olympic park on our bikes.

This thing was massive. They had a loooong stretch of road cordoned off as the entry gate to the race. We were early and worked our way towards the front, but we were still only in the third wave allowed to set off.

During the long, long, hot, dripping wait to be released, we were able to observe the many people who had come dressed in fairy wings, tutus, togas, tiaras, rainbows, and boas while listening to the DJ announcer who was really really good at repeating himself and yet somehow not sounding like an idiot. Mostly. I suppose it’s an unavoidable consequence that comes along with the job, so all things considered he did a good job of saying generally the same thing for 45 minutes.

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To start the race off, a motorized chariot carried the race mascot, a white plush unicorn with rainbow dreadlocks (I so pity the human stuck inside in that heat), to the front of the line.

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And we were off!

Approximately every kilometer color zones were set up, large arches covered in balloons with appropriately themed music playing, and hordes of volunteers with access to barrels of chalky color and large squirt bottles to apply it to the runners. Everyone would dance by the volunteers, spin, and some people rolled on the ground in the quarter inch or so of color we were running through. First was blue (I’m blue da de da da), then pink (Pink, pink panther), then orange…

When we reached the end of the course, there were still hundreds of people waiting to be released from the gates. My god.

The park at the end of the run was turned into the venue for a dirty, sweaty, colorful concert. Each runner had a pack of color we’d carried through the race, and here we were welcome to throw our powder in the air, at each other, and beg to be colored by others.

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It was fun. More fun, though, was riding home, gawked at by small children, dancing as I rode.

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And this, this was the aftermath.

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Pompilidae Cryptocheilus bicolor

I was taking laundry down and heard a shout from Ben, on the patio. He’d dropped something on the ground by our door and a giant¬† wasp flew up, circling him. It flew away, but we found this:

Paralyzed Wolf Spider

Poor thing. This is a large female wolf spider, and it’s very much still alive, but paralyzed. It can very slightly move its legs, but that is all.

The wasp had stung it, and was probably in the process of dragging it to wherever the wasp’s burrow is, to seal inside as food for its larva.

I’m pretty bummed that we disturbed the spectacle and didn’t get to watch it to completion. Once stung, as far as I can find, the spider will never recover. Now two spiders will die to feed this one larva! Yes, I’m sad for a spider. But it also would have been really cool to watch.