SuperCity: Fun, fearless fitness

Sep. 18, 2013 | 0 Comments


Daytime party? Almost. Runners in the Run or Dye celebrate at the finish with a blast of color. (Image Courtesy Titus Nakagawa)

Daytime party? Almost. Runners at “Run or Dye” celebrate at the finish with a blast of color. (Courtesy Titus Nakagawa)

BY CHRISTA WITTMIER / Special to the Star-Advertiser

When I was a kid my mom used to make that airplane sound when she was feeding me her invented nutrient-rich concoction called “banana-egg.” I couldn’t have been more than 3 or 4 but I still have a vivid memory of that because I hated that meal more than anything in my young world. The consistency of the two ingredients was so slimy. It looked terrible on the spoon. Yet she tried to make it as fun as possible with those airplane sounds and waving the spoon in exaggerated circles as it headed straight to my airplane-hangar/mouth.

Whatever you could do to be healthy, I guess.

I turned out ok, and banana is still my favorite flavor or everything – just no raw eggs please.

With exercise I thought I didn’t need a lot of special effects to make it fun – the idea of having an hour to myself with my music to burn calories was enough motivation to get on the elliptical trainer. Yet I still found myself immediately signing up for “Color Vibe” as soon as I saw they will be doing the event in Honolulu in November. I’m not sure what it was exactly that looked so fun about being covered in colored powder to run a 5K, but those smiling faces and the sheer uniqueness of it definitely hooked me. I was never a social fitness person before but this just looked too good to pass up. I figured November was enough time to figure out how to run a 5k and get some friends to join a team.

Flipping through my Instagram recently I saw local bartender, sales executive and fitness guru Titus Nakagawa participated in another “color run” (there’s actually a bunch of these!) called “Run or Dye,” so I was thrilled to be able to pump him for details on the race and if it was really something worthwhile or just another banana-egg-on-the-spoon, so to speak.

CHRISTA WITTMIER: How did you hear about the race?

Titus Nakagawa (center) with his team in the Run or Dye race at Aloha Stadium  (Image Courtesy of Titus Nakagawa)

Titus Nakagawa, center, with his team at “Run or Dye” at Aloha Stadium. (Courtesy Titus Nakagawa)

TITUS NAKAGAWA: My girlfriend is really into runs and doing these 5Ks. One of her coworkers is dialed into these fun race franchises, running (no pun intended) around the nation. Naturally I checked out the website and they had some amazing GoPro shot videos of the Sacramento race. After a couple of minutes I was sold. It looked fairly easy and being that I’m bouncing back from ACL surgery I was confident I could finish the race. We did “Run or Dye” with two other couples and my son, overall it was a damn good time.

CW: What was the most challenging part of the race?

TN: Honestly, there was nothing really challenging about it. The course snaked through the parking lot and ran past the concession stands in the stadium, then ended in the 50th State Fair portion of the parking lot. I brought my 8-year-old son for the race and he didn’t have a problem wogging (walking/jog) the 5K.

CW: What were the most fun/memorable moments?

TN: There were five or six different color stations where volunteers had rows of 20-gallon drums filled with the cornstarch dye. Running through these was a pure joy. The racers were forced to go through each station and at least 15 volunteers were armed with ice scoops, squeeze bottles, trays, and 60-ounce cups, dousing racers with dye (in the face at times) as they passed.

Near the end of the race the final color stations drums were at, or near empty and the volunteers/runners were scooping the surplus powder off the ground. Some of the runners were lying on the ground making dye angels, impromptu games of tag were erupting between people off all ages, young, old, out of shape, people dressed as minions, it really didn’t matter. These stations brought out all of the fun; think of a water balloon fight with a few thousand people and unlimited ammunition, now substitute balloons, for powder dye.

Fun Fitness for the whole family.  (Image Courtesy of Titus Nakagawa)

Fun fitness for the whole family. (Courtesy Titus Nakagawa)

Post-finish line there was a stage, in an almost concert type setting and they were giving out bags of dye. I’d say there were at least 1,000 people crowded around the stage as a hype man coordinated the mass of racers to throw their packets in the air at once, this was quite a spectacle.

CW: Were people in pretty good shape?

TN: I would say that most of the runners were in average shape. There was no specific demographic; children, college kids, up to people in their late 40’s. Some were jogging, a few running at a quick pace, but most were taking their time.

Being that the race wasn’t timed, I feel like most people didn’t give a crap about how quickly they burned through it.

CW: Would you recommend these types of events to others?
TN: 100 percent, yes. The only downside was having to take multiple showers to get rid of dye-stained skin, but that was what made this run entertaining.

This actually made me pretty excited for November. Stand by for exciting photos of the sweaty color mess of our SUPERCREW team posted on Instagram by yours truly come Nov. 10. If anyone has any pointers for people new to running, feel free to share. This will be my first race ever.

Check out these events in Hawaii to bring more fun to your fitness:

» Warrior Dash
» Run, Rock & Wine
» Spartan Race
» Wellness Sightseeing Tour

Or, keep up with Running in the USA for a great listing of all the races coming up in Hawaii.
Christa Wittmier has chronicled Honolulu nightlife since 2004. She is senior marketing director at Young’s Market Co. of Hawaii and executive director of music for POW! WOW! Hawaii, and also helps promote the popular “Bacardi Pool Party” on Oahu. Contact her via e-mail or follow her on Twitter.

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