Tell Me Tuesday: The Perfect Running Halloween Costume

Jody, a true Wonder Woman. "On race day, I was so discombobulated not having my normal running gear and focused on getting the outfit on correctly, I left the little beer chip in my bag," she says, "Found out later that that was also my timing chip!" Extra props for going strapless, WW.

Next to deciding between Kit Kats, Snickers and Reese's, the hardest decision around Halloween for a mother runner is what costume to wear for a running race. As usual, we've got you covered. Well, actually, your other mother runners have you covered. Our costumes, at the bottom of this post, are rather lame compared to what you creative ladies have come up with.

Just a few tips: think running comfort first. Even though you won't be gunning for a PR, you'll still sweat and get hot. A lion's suit isn't going to be super comfy. But ears, a tail and maybe some furry paws can get your roar across, and won't leave you whimpering. Accessories--hats, headbands, arm warmers, tails, socks, pom poms, a light saber--can portray a costume very well. (I feel Tim Gunn: "Use the accessory wall wisely.")

I'll be quiet now: let the show begin.

Gia and her pal, a.k.a. Cinderella and Belle. "She made the skirts with satin and tulle," says Gia, "Pointer: wear leggings between your legs and tulle. Tulle on skin contact while running gets ugly."


Katherine at a Warrior Dash: the Nordic family who runs together stays together. Extra points for getting hubs to buy in.


Jennifer, living it up for the Scary 5K. "Getting enough air is a challenge," she admits. Extra points for being so gutsy in show-everything suit.


Valerie as a batgirl, Sharla is Charlie Brown, Tara is a bumblebee (complete with wings) and, of course, a zombie Bob Marley thrown in for good measure. Extra points for: repurposing a bleach-stained yellow shirt for Ms. Brown.


A KISS revival: Chelese (Peter Criss); Debby (Paul Stanley); Lisa (Ace); Troy (Gene Simmons). "We even have Eric Carr (The Fox) after Peter Criss left the band in the back," says Chelese. Extra points for face paint and knowing the names of the KISS members.


Amy as Pippi Longstocking. "If you look closely, you can see my braids sticking out on either side of my head," she says. Extra points for daughter who has matching Pippi socks.


Holly and her pal as loofahs. Extra points for creative balloon bubbles and running with a bottle of soap in their hands.


Elise as Mini-Mouse. The dots on her skirt are those garage-sale stickers from Staples. Extra points for running at 28 weeks preggo.


Tinkerbell Kelly. Extra points for matching KT Tape.


Carrie as Snow White. Extra points for the spot-on princess white collar.

If you're looking for a play-by-play on how to make these princess--and other--costumes to hit the Disney races with, check out these helpful ideas from the ladies at Team Sparkle.

Cynthia and her crew. Extra points for the mascot dog, appropriately named Dash.


Kristin, looking batman sleek. Extra points for running just weeks after getting a cast off.


Jana, Yolanda, Steph: a tribe of badass Wonder Woman, and one wannabe. "We didn't know who the guy was, but he was happy to see more of his own kind," one says. Extra points for the cute socks--and for finding a guy with a bigger breastplate than any of them.


Carla, a busy motherbee. "I've been a runaway bride as well," she says, "Hard to come up with a costume that doesn't slow me down." Extra points for spreading running love to the worker bees.


Colleen (Batgirl) and her wonderful running partner. Their half-marathon was cancelled because of Hurricane Irene, "so we ran the Come On Irene 5k in costume instead," says Colleen. Extra points for making the best out of a frustrating situation.


Sarah and her rowing teammates, rowing through the Bay to Breakers back in the day. Extra points for the adult beverages. (Except where's Sarah's?)


My pal, Sylvia and I, a.k.a. Team Twelve Feet of Minnesota Nice, for a Muddy Buddy. Extra points for the wire-laced, purple and yellow braids I whipped up.

Now you tell us: what's the best Halloween costume you've seen at a running race? Or what tips do you have for a great--or not-so-great--costume? (Or, if you're so inclined, we'd love to see more on our Facebook page.)

23 responses to “Tell Me Tuesday: The Perfect Running Halloween Costume

  1. Ha!! That Greenman!! Love it.

    I tried to run as Dieter at an Oktoberfest race earlier this month and it was a minor fail. I just couldn’t stop laughing, so I didn’t look serious enough, and I actually didn’t want anyone to touch the monkey, which I had to smuggle out of the house in my purse because my son became randomly obsessed with it a few days before the race, after owning it and not caring even 1% about it for years.

  2. The best costume I’ve seen (well, the best running ability in a costume) was a man dressed in only a speedo and a pair of swim fins on his feet for a Halloween 5K. He ran the whole 5K BACKWARDS while wearing those swim fins. I was mightily impressed!

  3. My husband and I are running the Minneapolis Monster Dash and are dressing up as Juno and Polly Bleaker (her track running love interest). Although I’m not pregnant and will have to figure out how to make a fake baby bump I can run in.

  4. Ohmygosh….it was so fun to look at those pictures! I’m dressing up as Betty Rubble this year and hope she is a fast runner!

  5. I once wore all black and typed a riddle: What’s harder to catch the faster you run?. I put this on my chest. On my back I pinned the typed answer : Your breath! Then I called myself a Running Joke.

  6. great costumes!! I love Halloween, and love dressing up for races – the more the better, and of course a different costume each race. 🙂 Last year I got 2nd female OA as a ladybug – comment on fb from another (male) runner “a dang ladybug beat me”. This year so far my dgt, dog and I all dressed as Dead Heads, ya know the Grateful kind. My BRB attached the word NO all over her – a Running Nose(no’s)” So many folks didn’t get it though… We thought it was clever anyhow. Love the Loofah one, may have to borrow that idea!

  7. My sister-in-law wore a full wedding dress to a Halloween Half Marathon to be a runaway bride. I thought she was crazy. That thing had to have weighed 20 pounds! She did win second place in the costume contest though. The cat-woman costume worked well for me. Nice and comfy.

  8. I’m doing the Chicago Monster Dash half marathon on the 29th and have been trying to come up with a costume. I’m told I look like Molly Shannon’s Mary Catherine Gallagher, but, some of these costumes look like so much fun! Thanks for the inspiration!

  9. Love all the costumes! Loofah costumes are very creative and love the snow white!
    I of course am biased to my own costumes pictured… the pirates (our team name was the Dirty Booty Chasers).
    Thanks so much for all the fun ideas!

  10. Running in costume is so much fun. And you don’t have to wait for a “costume race” or give up your goal of a PR. I got my half marathon PR in that snow white costume: 1:49!! Having everyone cheering me on gave me that extra boost when I needed it.

  11. My wife and I ran the Great Urban Race this year. They had lots of people in costume. Their website has a lot of photos.

    Many people look for Halloween costume ideas, but I have put together a list of fun things to do with your Halloween costumes even after October 31st. If you have your own funny ideas I would love to hear them.

  12. Awesome costumes everyone! I’m in one of the pics and it was so much fun to run in a costume….we got lots of great comments too.

  13. Oh I’ve never ran in a costumed race – how fun! I’d love to do that some day. 🙂 I would choose whatever costume I’m wearing that year and runnify (??) it. This year I’ll be Princess Peach.

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