Beyond the traditional running attire of technical shirts and performance shorts, runners are increasingly adorning themselves in fantastical and imaginative outfits that blur the line between sport and celebration. These running costumes are more than just a nod to the whimsical; they’re a testament to the boundless enthusiasm and spirit that define the running community.
We’re fun people!! I mean type 2 fun, but still.
As if what to wear for a half marathon isn’t a big enough conundrum for me on an normal day, throw a Halloween race in to the mix and more than once I’ve found myself having a major melt down a day before when I realized I didn’t know what to wear!
Luckily for you, my chafing, ouchies and last minute issues have resulted in some great tips! A running costume needs to truly be thought out to ensure you have FUN and feel good.
I’ve seen so many folks overheating or finishing with some seriously painful red spots that I want to save you the pain, plus hopefully give you some running costume ideas that will also save time!
What Do You Wear to a Fun Run At Halloween?
The possibilities are actually pretty endless with all of the costumes on the market now. You can absolutely go with something off the shelf or put in a little more elbow grease. I’m going to give you some incredible ideas below.
But first we need to talk about NO, NO’s for your costume.
How Do You Train For a Marathon in a Costume?
If you’re planning to wear a costume that has any bulk or feels different than your normal gear for anything more than a 10K then you need some practice. Even a tutu can be suprisingly bothersome if it moves around or scratches your arms.
You literally need to run some miles in it and the best option might be on the treadmill, but you might as well turn it in to an event and get some friends to run with you and take photos at everyone who is wondering what’s going on.
8 Keys to a Good Running Costume
First of all, we need to lay down some ground rules to keep your costume in check. One it’s absolutely possible to run fast in costume!! I saw a guy in an inflatable dinosaur at the Phoenix marathon and he crushed it!
Take your potential outfit on a short run or at least run around the house to really see how it moves and shifts with you.
The gorilla suit in Miami a bad a idea…in Minnesota fine. Just because it looks fun doesn’t make it great, most costumes aren’t breathable, so while it might be ok standing around, as you start to heat up and that heat is trapped it can become pretty unbearable.
I saw this become a major issue for people during the London marathon.
Body Paint Issues
If you paint your face beware it could run or hinder sweat, resulting in overheating. I’ve seen issues with this for people who do full body paint for sure.
Keep Arms Free
I’ve seen a few outfits where folks are basically holding it up throughout the run because it’s either sliding off or they realize it hangs down by their legs and is banging away.
Ditch the masks
Breathing and seeing may be harder than you expect, test it out before you line up for the race. Or maybe just wear it for photos!
If you sweat it falls apart (where did my magic 8 ball go?!). It was in pieces by the time I hit the finish line.
Use your running gear where possible to ensure no chaffing, dry fit and comfort. You can often incorporate them in to a lot of ideas, just checkout the options below!
Ditch it All
Hey if you really want to avoid the chafing then, consider embracing the new underwear run trend! Of course you might double check your Halloween Race rules before doing it.
Let’s be honest that’s the main goal, so stop worrying about if you look silly. In fact, the farther you take it often the more well received it is!
Whether you want to go all out, cheap and easy, scary, funny or dress as your favorite Disney character, this round up of race costumes is sure to give you a few ideas to keep the crazy at bay for this coming Halloween Race Season.
Pin it for later for ideas throughout the year too! Who says costumes are only meant for trick-or-treat?
25 Running Costume Ideas
If you’re the creative (and patient!) type and love putting in a little extra effort, these DIY costume ideas are great inspiration. But also if you’re like me, don’t want to spend too much time or money coming up with a crazy Halloween costume!
Find inspiration at home or that bag of clothes you’ve been meaning to donate and recreate one of your favorite characters. Whether you need a Halloween Running Costume or perhaps a RunDisney Costume, we’ve got some ideas for you.
You’ll be impressed with what you can come up with at home.
My personal favorite is what I’ve done for a few years.
I mean nothing beats this recognizable character! Just takes a little time to either find the pieces or make your own smiley face shirt.
How to dress up like Forrest Gump?
Bubba Gump Hat from the restaurant
Yellow Shirt with Smiley Face
Longer Red Shorts
A Bunch of Grapes
These two went the creative route and pinned balloons on to their existing race attire. Not only is using balloons a cheap costume idea but you know they aren’t going to chafe too.
Bonus points for going the extra mile with the bottle of wine in their stroller!
Princess Leia and R2-D2
A fun way to get the entire family involved in the race is by dressing the kids up in Halloween costumes too. If the kids aren’t old enough to run alongside you, then deck out their stroller in a creative costume like this one.
We’re all kids at heart, aren’t we? Pay tribute to your favorite Disney princess or character with these fairly easy DIY race costumes. Not only are they fun to put together, but the lightweight fabrics make them easy costumes to run in.
This is a great way to stay warm and find something you can easily do with all your friends.
Dani’s amazing Toy Story inspired costume required a little extra effort, but the result paid off!
Cut up an old sweatshirt and iron on your favorite Care Bear character. Add some fun flair with colorful headbands and face paint!
These minion costumes are actually pretty easy to put together. Grab a pair of jean shorts and dress them up with a yellow shirt and pair of tights. Add some suspenders and a yellow hat and your costume will be a hit (and keep you warm!).
I mean we’ve all seen someone in this at a race by now right? There are whole races dedicated to running in these outfits, so it had to be on the list.
Your Favorite Band
Turn your normal threads into a full on costume with just a little bit of flair. Grab your favorite band t-shirt and accessorize it accordingly!
Face paint is always encouraged. Unless in Miami, I can tell you that ended up looking pretty scary.
80’s Workout Instructors
Chances are you have a leotard and leg warmers tucked away somewhere. Don’t forget the added benefit of those being perfect for running!
Use that old white t-shirt in the bottom of your drawer and turn it into the face of an iPod. Sometimes you don’t need much to show off your costume! I mean some of the younger folks may have NO IDEA what you are, but lots of us will be like YES love that throwback.
And it’s nice and lightweight.
Cut up an old sheet or use extra material to form the Pac Man ghosts with some friends. These costumes are lightweight and make it easy to run in.
Take a quick trip to Wal-Mart and find striped shirt, hat and fake glasses and you’ve got a costume. Best part is that people can make a fun game out of trying to spot you in the crowd of runners!
Boy Scout Troop
All you need is a khaki shirt and bandana to put this costume together. It’s also a great way to keep warm if it’s cold out!
If you’re really stumped on a idea, then buy an already-made costume like this one. Add a headband or some colorful socks to stand out in the race. I’ll say while this wasn’t my most creative outfit, another friend also picked one up and feeling like a pair made it more fun.
Plus it was light, easy and I had a feel good race.
Dress like your favorite superhero! An easy way to do this is just simply buying a shirt with the symbol/logo on it. If you want to spruce it up you can add some props that won’t get in the way during the race.
I wanted to find a couples costume for my husband and I during a RunDisney race, but also knew it was going to be 80 degrees and neither of us wanted to deal with a lot.
So guess what, cute matching shirts and a tutu. Voila, done, and easy to pack!
Those famous photos at the top of the steps are really just a grey sweatsuit with a read headband right?? Stay tuned for this photo soon :)
Sometimes it’s best to not overthink the costume ideas!
Whether you’re a dedicated DIY enthusiast or prefer the convenience of store-bought costumes, there’s no wrong way to dress up for your run. What truly matters is that you enjoy the experience and, in the process, inspire others to join in the fun.
Safety is paramount when running in costume, and you must remain visible and ensure that your costume doesn’t interfere with your hydration and nutrition needs. By taking these precautions, you can keep the joy of running in costume alive and well.
Remember to have fun with it and always enjoy the race.
- Tips to Avoid Chafing while Running
- How to Deal with Running Blisters
- Avoiding Jogger’s Nipple
- Couch to 5K Training Plan
Other ways to connect with Amanda
Instagram Daily Fun: RunToTheFinish
Facebook Community Chatter: RunToTheFinish
Get more running tips: Pinterest