Since my first runDisney race, I knew I wanted to run in costume. It was just my husband and I. Fast forward a few years, and I’ve added a lot of BRFs. That means group costumes! That’s why I love my friends. They’re up for anything, and they know how to rock a runDisney group costume. We’ve had a lot of practice.
Find a Group
It doesn’t have to be a large one. Like I said, it was just my husband and I for my first runDisney half marathon. We dressed as Mr. and Mrs. Incredible. And we had a ball! Funny enough, I found my first group of BRFs on the internet. Some people met through the DISboards, others through Twitter, and our first big meet-up was Disney Wine & Dine Half Marathon in 2013. One of my very favorite costumes. It was epic. We represented different countries in World Showcase. If you’re running solo, ask on one of the many runDisney Facebook groups if anyone wants to do a theme together and then meet up at the race to take a pic. Be smart about meeting strangers though.
Choose a Theme
Most of the time my friends and I like to go against the race theme. So if it’s Princess Half Marathon, we might do a villains theme. We just like to think outside of the box. There’s nothing wrong with going with the race theme though, especially if you’re going to kill the group costume. Some people are so talented, it doesn’t matter what they are, because their costumes always rock. For Tower of Terror 10-Miler, we chose a Ghostbusters theme, because it was the Ghostbusters 30th Anniversary. For Tinker Bell Half Marathon, a couple of us did Star Wars and found some friends along the course to go with our theme. Pick a favorite character, a favorite film, a favorite accessory, anything you want!
Choose Your Materials
For my first half marathon, I wanted a very simple, tech-friendly costume, because I was nervous about my first half marathon. As I’ve become a more experienced runner, anything goes now. For a half marathon, I will always have a base layer of tech clothes. Remember, cotton is rotten for running. For a 10K or a 5K, it doesn’t matter. My personal favorite was when I was a Sister Suffragette when my group did a Mary Poppins theme. I had a whole lot of clothes on, and it was hot! But I had a base layer just in case I ever got too hot, I could shed some layers. I’ve run in a sombrero and a wig for 13.1 miles, too.
You can add little details to really make a costume your own. Fabric glue and hemming tape are my friends. Also craft foam sheets are awesome for details on visors. I made a seagull hat from Finding Nemo with craft foam. My friend, Amy, always shops at Goodwill to find pieces for her costumes. I usually wear my favorite running shorts and then put a Sparkle Athletic skirt over it since they’re reasonably priced and come in the colors I need. Then I add compression sleeves to match.
Add props if you want, too! I’ve run with Hulk Fists on my hands, carried a lightsaber, even a fake pistol when I was Panchito Pistoles from The Three Caballeros. Our Mary Poppins chimney sweeps ran with brooms. Be sure to check the costume guidelines though, because runDisney has become more strict.
Rock your costume and work it. Be proud of your work! I like to get into character and stay in character. It entertains me. Just have fun out there. You can PR in a costume! Do as much or as little as you want. When you have a group though, the theme really stands out more. You don’t all have to run together. We had a gaggle of ostriches from Fantasia and split off into many groups but found each other at the end.
Find fun photo opportunities. After we were the Dapper Dans one race, we went straight to the Magic Kingdom and fangirled the real Dapper Dans! Swoon. It was such an awesome moment! Another time, our Nemo group took a photo in Epcot in front of The Seas with Nemo & Friends. As villains, we went into Epcot to ride some attractions and have Cruella De Vil photo ops at Test Track.
I like to commit. It’s half the fun. Bonus is that I can reuse these running costumes as Halloween costumes, too. Better yet, I can wear them to Mickey’s Not-So-Scary Halloween Party!