Last weekend we had the most amazing opportunity to be involved in the first ever Colour Run in Saudi Arabia!
I have never done a Colour Run before and decided to take Arthur and Eirlys with me so they could be part of the fun too. There was a load of other people we knew who also signed up to go as well and we were so excited!
The registration process was a bit wonky and we used word of mouth a bit to find out all the details. Saudi is known for it’s “Insha’allah” attitude to organisation: official meaning “if God wills it”, also meaning “it will probably turn out ok in the end”. The Colour Run was no exception to this rule and the only negative to the event was the set up at the start. We had a loooong wait to get going and the kids got tired. Eirlys even fell asleep in one of our friends’ arms at one point (thank you Sana!). But then we finally made it to the start!
And the rest of the race was fantastic. We were pelted with colour, enjoyed the sea breeze and spotted people we knew all along the way! What was especially wonderful was the free, fun atmosphere. I’m sure this is how it feels at every Colour Run, but it is a big deal in Saudi. Not that long ago it was impossible for large groups of single men and women to be out in public together. Lots of restaurants are still split into Singles (men only) and Families. Women have always been required to wear abayas or be very modestly dressed. But recently things have been changing. So, for the run at least half of the women had also chosen to wear the official long sleeved t-shirt with long leggings. Everyone was still being respectful of local customs, no shorts or exposed arms but no awkward abayas, unless as a choice. Groups of young men were singing, women were dancing, families were walking along together and there was colour everywhere. It was something I never expected to see or be a part of in Saudi. I am so glad to have had to the chance to add it to my memories of the country.