Running in Costume

I was excited to wake up this morning to find this comment on my recent post:



Caroline at I ❤ Running was kind enough to include me as one of her 2013 Top Ten Best Dressed Walt Disney World Runners.  I am so honored!  I am certainly in good company with some other lovely ladies who have some really impressive costumes.  I have to say that Karla’s Cinderella in rags costume has to be one of the most cute, unique, and well executed costumes I’ve seen in my vast runDisney experience.  Having the freedom to dress in a crazy outfit and really be celebrated is one of the things that makes runDisney so wonderful.  Plus as far as I’m concerned, the better you look, the better you’ll feel.

To Costume or Not To Costume…

As I have mentioned before, this was the first race I really had the confidence to even attempt a costume.  When I started training for my first race, I wasn’t even sure if I could pull off 13.1 miles successfully let alone with distractions of a costume.  Plus, having never been to a runDisney race before, I don’t think I had any idea just how decked out people get.

The idea of running in costume has been appealing for a long time but I had some crazy notion that I would look foolish putting so much focus on the way I looked when I wasn’t yet a great runner.  In hind sight, that’s a silly reason and I would encourage runners fast or slow to give it a go.  I was probably wise, however, to stick with clothes that I knew would work well for me.  As I have gained more experience, I have learned what chafes, what will be annoying, what doesn’t matter, etc.  It might have been a disaster had I attempted it earlier in my running experience.


So…above is the progression of my Princess race day looks over the years.  Here’s the quick summary:

2010 – I didn’t know anything about running but knew I wanted to wear pink.  I picked up a duo dry top and those pink mesh shorts a couple of weeks before the race at the champion outlet.  I hadn’t figured out yet that shorts for me at that distance = major chafing.  It wasn’t my worst race-day chafe (that year was really cool out so that probably helped) but I made no attempt to use body glide/vaseline or anything else.  Those shorts weren’t even intended for running.  I also didn’t have a watch or running belt at this point.  You can kind of see it in the picture but I stuffed a ziplock with shot bloks in my cleavage.  Oh, so young and naive.

2011 – After two more chafe-filled half marathons, I finally figured out that I needed to race in capris before the 2011 event.  I stuck with the pink theme but really started to wise up with my race-day gear, adding an iFitness belt etc.  I evolved to keeping my shot bloks in my belt for this year.  I was really starting to feel legit.

2012 – I started to let my hair down a little bit (so to speak) with the addition of a sparkle skirt!  This was my first step towards costume-dom.  I still kept the good-ole capris and actually repeated my year one shirt since it matched perfectly with the skirt.

Which Brings Us to 2013



I wouldn’t break with the pink theme now so Princess Aurora was the natural choice.  I started with a  running skirt from Running Skirts.  I absolutely love the design of their skirts because they place a nice roomy pocket on each hip with a velcro closure which is perfect for holding toilet paper in one (in case the port-a-potties are out) and my shot bloks in the other.  I found that unzipping and zipping a running belt was too annoying so this system makes them easy to access and put the extras away.

I made a commitment to the sports bra mentally pretty early but once I saw the projected forecast, I knew I was making the right decision.  I had some idea of how I was going to make the lovely white shrug piece but needed to see what I had to work with after stopping at Jo Anne Fabrics.  I dragged my mom with me to gather supplies.  I have seen a lot of photos of running costumes online but one thing that no one seemed to capture was the fact that this white collar piece needed to come to points at the shoulders.  It’s a signature of both the Animated and live in-park Princess Aurora and I was adamant that if I was going to do this, it was going to be right.

I ended up buying flexible plastic mesh sheets (I think they are used for needle point or something like that – who knows.  I’m not a craft person generally) and created a paper pattern free hand to determine their proper size and shape.  I bought a white spandex-type fabric and covered each of these “points” in the fabric to provide a second layer of coverage, obscuring a view of the mesh.  I followed a similar plan to create the rest of the collar (a paper pattern before cutting the fabric) and sewed everything together.  To avoid things falling apart while I ran, I ended up sewing the collar onto the sports bra.

Would I Do It Again?

Absolutely.  The costume turned out exactly how I imagined and I had so much fun wearing it.  I was a bit afraid that it would rub my arms so I created little arm bands that I secured in place with fashion tape.  Who knows if I would have chafed without them but they seemed to work wonders.  I was 100% comfortable.  The necklace (purchased at Tren-D and actually worn backwards since the front was black snake print pleather but the shape was perfect) and the Aurora tiara (purchased at World of Disney) also worked quite well.  The Tiara didn’t bounce at all and, although I used fashion tape to secure the necklace to my chest, it did bounce loose around mile 2.  Luckily, it re-stuck to my sweaty chest pretty well and wasn’t much of an annoyance.

I am already beginning to dream up my costume for Tower of Terror.  I may not dress up for every Disney race but I can almost guarantee that this won’t be the last lovely costume you see me run in…

Have you ever run in costume?  What did you choose and did the costume hold up?


4 thoughts on “Running in Costume

    • whyhellodolly says:

      Thank you! I definitely lucked out on the sports bra front. To be honest, I was a bit self-conscious about racing with my midriff bare but I’m glad I took the risk. Your Merida costume was fabulous! Maybe worth being hot for? Bonus points for taking on 13.1 with a bow in tow. Work it girl!

      Thanks for reading!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s