Disneyland Half Marathon Costume & Race Recap (A Few Months Delayed)

Life has been busier than ever over the last few months.  That helps to explain why this post is delayed by a little over 3 months or so.  Better late than never though, right?  One of my most successful posts to date discussed how I made my Anna from Frozen race costume.  I appreciate all of the lovely comments I have received and I hope this has helped others build race-day looks that they love.  As the hot summer months pressed on and my training mileage accrued, I turned to my next challenge – turning my Disneyland-inspired costume ideas into reality.

Rather than promising separate posts detailing each race, how-to’s on the costumes, and a detailed account of all of the fun I had visiting Disneyland with my dad on this trip, I’m just going to be realistic and combine short-form versions of this content here.

Pre-Race – The Training

While a late August race always sounds like a great way to kick off the fall season, it means training all summer.  In Florida.  In 90+ degree weather.  Lovely.  The moderate, sometimes even cool temperatures that we are experiencing in Florida in December have a magical way of erasing our memories of just how bad our summers get.  I always like to say that I know what running on the surface of the sun probably feels like when I foolishly think “It can’t be that bad if I just wait until after work to get my run in.”  Ha.

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Grabbing a random post-run picture

Since Disneyland was never supposed to really be a “goal race,” I also made having fun a priority. This meant I skipped a couple long runs here and there and added in some interesting new activities like a moonlit run during the “Super Moon” with a big group of runners on the famous 10 Mile Clay Loop (this beloved route is in jeopardy – click here to learn more about an ongoing effort to save this Central Florida treasure).  I focused more on base building than speed and figured this would be the right preparation for a solid, fun race weekend.

I also snuck in one quick 5k prior to this trip.  Each year, the Lowry Park Zoo in Tampa hosts the Zoo Run Run.  I participated in this race once before when I was new to the sport and was eager to participate again.  Not only does this race course weave through the zoo, but admission to the zoo is also included in your race entry.  That made this a no brainer for me, even meriting the hour long drive to get there.  Despite very limited speed work (a couple of tempo runs and no track workouts), I ran a fairly strong time of 23:09 and placed 2nd in the 25-29 AG.  Bonus?  Post race  llama photo FTW!

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The Costumes

This year, I participated in the Dumbo Double Dare Challenge which is a two race “challenge” consisting of a 10k on Saturday and half marathon on Sunday.  This meant opportunities for two race looks!  I came up with both ideas and waiting until I had both costumes finished before deciding which would be for which race.  It really boiled down to saving the one that seemed more run friendly for the half marathon.

10k – Vintage Disneyland Tour Guide

This source provided my costume inspiration.

Here was my basic formula for this costume:

  • Cheap red sports bra (a friend found the one I ended up using for me at a CVS or Walgreens)
  • Red plaid “skater” skirt I found on Amazon (link)
  • Red baseball/softball socks, also from Amazon (link)
  • Red fabric
  • Gold buttons
  • Gold kilt pin
  • An iron-on material to stiffen fabric
  • A laminated print out of a Disneyland D tour guide pin
  • A felt hat that I found at a “going out of business sale” at a store in South Florida while we were there for a wedding – random, I know
  • A jabot collar intended for a Halloween Costume from Amazon (link)

I also purchased a sewing machine prior to actually building these costumes which really became essential.  For this one, I was mostly sewing neat seams on the fabric and stitching the components together.  Nothing very complicated but it did make me feel extremely confident that the components would not fall apart while I was running.

The most complex part of this costume was cutting the shape of the vest and making it work sewn to the sports bra.  I can’t really provide any prescriptive advice for how to achieve this if your were trying to replicate this costume.  I laid the fabric on the sports bra and basically drew the pattern free hand.  The only snag I ran into was that they bra was a lot stretchier than the fabric.  The “vest” ended up being smaller than I originally had intended but I think it ended up looking fine anyway.

Without further ado, the final product:

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Half Marathon – Haunted Mansion Tightrope Girl

I have loved the Haunted Mansion for most of my life and it definitely ranks as my favorite overall Disney Parks attraction.  I have been wanting to do this costume for a while and this seemed like a perfect time for it.  I really went all out trying to make the costume as accurate as possible which meant a lot of sewing to achieve the look I wanted.  Again, I made the pattern as I went so my instruction (or lack there of) will not be so helpful if you are looking to recreate this costume but I will describe it as well as I can.

I started with the following:

  • White “skater skirt” from Amazon (link)
  • Burgundy microfiber tube top from Amazon (link)
  • Nude sports bra from Amazon (link)
  • Burgundy fabric
  • Faux fur trim
  • White fabric
  • Light pink fabric
  • An iron-on material to stiffen fabric
  • Light pink ribbon
  • A pink parasol (which I purchased at Disneyland as a last minute decision)
  • Fabric paint in pink and green

I started by attaching the burgundy tube top to the nude sports bra since I wasn’t taking any chances with clothing falling off during the race.  Adding the floral pattern to the skirt was next.  I created a stencil out of some stencil material I had from a past project so that my pattern would be uniform.  I painted the petals green and the centers pink.  While the colors were a little bit “hotter” than I would have liked, my options at Jo-Ann Fabric were limited.

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I definitely messed up the sleeves more than once and had to start over once before I got them right.  I started by sewing the pink and white fabrics together since her sleeves are half pink and half white.  Thanks to the magic of Pinterest, I was able to learn how to gather the fabric to create the puffy sleeve look I was aiming for.  It was not as complicated as I might have expected.  The “cape” started in two pieces.  First, I created a rough pattern by laying the fabric over my shoulders and free handing it.  This actually worked pretty well.  I then created the collar based on the first piece.  I ironed on the stiffening material to make it stand up.  Then I sewed the two pieces together and finished it all of by sewing on the fur trim.  The final step was attaching the sleeves to the cape so it would all stay together.

Now I wanted to keep the costume together but also make it as easy to get in and out of as possible.  To solve for this, I decided to attach a set of large snaps to each of the bra straps and the two sides of the cape.  This worked perfectly.  I added the bows as a finishing touch and the costume was pretty much ready from there.

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Believe it or not, this costume was actually extremely comfortable to run in.  Other than the fabric maybe adding a little bit of heat, everything stayed perfectly in place.  If you were wondering, I did not run with the umbrella.  I’ll get into that in a second.

The Races

Disneyland 10k – 54:42

I was aiming just to run this one easy and stop to take photos.  Well, I was pretty disappointed by the photo ops on course so while I stopped for a few blurry “selfies” with my GoPro in front of a few landmarks, I kept it moving.  I actually ran a faster pace than I was aiming for but I ran by feel.  I felt fresh going into another day at the parks and the race the following day.  Staying hydrated was really my main concern since that’s never easy in a theme park setting.

I think this was the best one in the bunch.  Hi, tiny blurry castle!

I think this was the best one in the bunch. Hi, tiny blurry castle!

Disneyland Half Marathon – 1:53:04

I had no real goals for this race and figured I would see how I felt.  I wanted to enjoy my whole experience, including the parks before and after the races so I did not want to push myself to the limit and not enjoy this race.  This meant I ended up about 6 minutes slower than my PR but still well under 2 hours so no real complaints here!  I also usually take at least one rest day prior to a race so I take that into consideration as well.  Since I ran by feeling, I ended up feeling fairly great and energized the whole race.  Although the last mile always feels like a struggle to endure to the finish line, I had enough energy to do this:

The Vacation

My dad got to be the lucky one to join me on this trip and we had tons of fun!  We spent pretty much every waking moment when I wasn’t running getting in every ride imaginable.  Here are a few of the highlights:

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While a few races are on the horizon now (namely the Celebration Half Marathon and Princess Half Marathon in January and February), I am not likely to have a real PR attempt for a while.  My number one goal right now is just to enjoy the miles and really not stress.  This may not lead to the best race performance but life is all about shifting priorities as life evolves.

Until next time!

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