Avoid unnecessary chafing, portapotty blunders and more with our experts’ race-day costume tips and tricks.
Dressed To Impress
Who says dressing up is just for kids? With Halloween races just around the corner (not to mention the turkey trots and Santa runs on the way in November and December), this time of year provides plenty of opportunities to don a costume and have some fun at a race. We challenge you to trade your tech tees for something fun, funky and festive.
Join In On The Fun
“About 100 runners will attempt a Guinness World Record in costume running at the Virgin Money London Marathon [in 2019], and many more will don fancy dress just for fun. Having runners in costumes has been a part of the race since it started. It adds to the amazing atmosphere and has been an important part of the charity fundraising that takes place every year.”—Hugh Brasher, event director, Virgin Money London Marathon
Practice Makes Perfect
“Train in your outfit and make sure everything stays in place on the day. If you are going for a faster time, consider not wearing a costume with dangling bits. Although I ran in a cow costume in good spirit, a lot of the other runners found it quite amusing to pull my tail when I passed them, which did slow me up a bit. Other than that—go for it and enjoy the experience.”—Fiona Oakes, Guinness World Record holder for fastest female half marathon in an animal costume
Leave Room To Breathe
“Probably about 70 percent of people wear a costume in our race. The main issue I see is when runners wear something that covers too much of their face. They need to be able to see what’s around them, so they don’t run into another runner. They also need to be able to breathe well.” —Heather McDermott, race director, Halloween Half Marathon & Relay (Morristown, NJ)
Bring On The Smiles
“One of our favorite aspects of running in costume is the support we get from those around us. Whether it is high-fives from kids or encouraging words from fellow runners, running in costume tends to bring an extra-big smile to everyone’s face. We highly recommend using spectators’ enthusiasm to your advantage—feed off their love and go the distance!”—Elise Wallace, CFO, Sparkle Athletic
Find A Theme
“Crown Heights Running has been running in mighty banana costumes for a couple of years, and it’s a grand old time when a bunch of us suit up in the old yellow. The banana is light and aerodynamic; it also functions as a bright beacon to my teammates so we know where to bunch together. When a couple of us dress in costume, it lends a visual depiction of our camaraderie and adds light-heartedness to any pre-race jitters. Additionally, it’s without a doubt the most a-peel-ing costume if you are going for negative splits.” —Nicole Teeny, “Banana Bunch” member, Crown Heights Running Club