I love a good race costume! Running in costume is SO much fun and really adds a lot to a race experience. Disney races are full of runners dressed in costume, most of them are Disney related of course! I love checking out others costumes while running by – it definitely helps pass the long stretch of miles when not in a theme park!
In full costume, I’ve run:
- 2010 Jazz Half as an All American Girls Professional Baseball League player (this race was on Halloween weekend)
- 2012 Princess Half as Rapunzel post-haircut :0)
- 2013 Disneyland Half as a Mousketeer
None of the above costumes were easy to think up and create, especially the first one (logos were scarce at the time). Don’t let me scare you away, though….with a little time and creativity, you can make anything happen!
Here’s my tips on creating a race costume that will leave you with memories to last a lifetime:
- Decide what you want to be – think of the theme of the race, your favorite character, the location you are running, the time of year, is it a holiday? Take all factors into consideration and jot down your ideas. For the Princess Half, I knew I wanted to be a Princess, so that narrowed down my decision a lot. The Disneyland 10K was full of runners dressed in Alice in Wonderland costumes since it was a Neverland Theme. You definitely don’t have to dress like a certain character because of a race theme, those are just ideas to help get you started.
- Gather your supplies. Decide how involved you want the costume to be. Do you want a tutu? Arm sleeves? Any accessories? Picture your idea in your mind (this might/will change and grow as you develop the costume itself).
- Look for items on clearance. My shirt for the Jazz Half was on the sales rack at Academy…developing a costume does not have to be expensive! If you have to order online, make sure you ship the item with enough time to arrive before leaving for your race experience.
- Are you ironing things onto your costume? I’ve seen fluff, sparkles, logos, duct tape, you name it! Need ideas? Google runDisney costumes and SO many ideas will pop up on the screen. Same with Pinterest!
- Once your supplies are gathered, get to work! Craft stores offer items to make costume creating easier such as fabric glue, Heat ‘n Bond, tulle, elastic, iron-ons, paint…you name it, they’ve got it (well, almost)!
- After your costume is complete, show it off! Post your work of art on Facebook, Pinterest, Twitter, your blog – we want to see your creation!!
- Test out your costume….go for a test-run. You don’t want any surprises on race day. Seriously, this is very important!
- If packing your costume for a race-cation, make sure items will fold well into your suitcase.
- Finally, run your race, have a great time, take a ton of pictures, and enjoy every moment! (Once you’re back home, we also want to see race pictures!)
Below, you’ll find a step by step process of how I created my Mousketeer Costume for the Disneyland Half Marathon.
For the Disneyland Half, I decided on Mousketeer Karen. After a little research, I discovered that their skirts were blue and their hats were worn on the back of their heads (never realized this before….a very important detail)!
In order to make the costume itself, I needed several items – a shirt, a skirt, shorts, and ears.
I purchased the ears at WDW in January, before this costume idea was even born (definitely worked out for me)! The shirt was purchased at Wal-Mart, Danskin brand – somewhere around $5.00. I purchased a Sparkle Skirt to give a little pizazz to the outfit. The biking shorts came from Target and I already had them at home.
Yes, it IS possible to iron designs onto a “dry fit” shirt!
I purchased iron-ons to print my name on the front of the shirt and the logo on the sleeve. There are two types of iron-ons available – one for “Dark” and one for “Light”. Personally, I prefer the dark transfers because the colors are much brighter on them.
Dark Transfers – everything you see when you print the picture will look exactly the same when ironed onto your shirt, including the white of the transfer. When ironing “dark” transfers onto colored shirts, be sure to trim as close to the design as possible (this can be tricky)
Light Transfers – everything seen as white on a “light” transfer will take on the color of the shirt once it’s ironed on. Therefore, if you do not want everything that’s white on your light transfer to be the same as the color of your shirt, use dark transfers instead.
Here’s an example of the logo I used for my mom and I’s shirts during the Royal Family 5K. The logo was printed onto a dark transfer, then ironed onto a bright pink shirt. In hindsight, I should have trimmed away all of the white around the Mickey ears because that showed up on our shirts. Ah well, lesson learned.
After ironing on the Mousketeer logos, my costume was pretty much complete!
I really enjoyed running the Disneyland Half Marathon in costume! I especially enjoyed seeing the creative costumes others created! Overall, running in costume really added to the race experience – with my name on the front of my shirt, I received a ton of shout outs from spectators as I ran by. In the toughest moments of the last few miles, those shout outs really made a difference and helped push me through to the end.
Have you ever run a race in costume? If not, do you have a favorite costume…maybe one you’ve seen while running a race?