Costumes are the crowning touch on race weekends!

There’s a lot to do to get ready for a runDisney weekend…first you have to secure a spot, you actually have to train (easy to forget about that in the excitement surrounding registration), make travel arrangements, park reservations and that’s it, right? Wrongo!!! The most important question might be WHAT are you going to wear??? Now there’s nothing saying you have to wear a costume to run, but come on, you’re running in the happiest place on earth and the costumes are a big part of the show!

Running costumes can be a bit tricky, because you want to have fun, of course, but you do actually have to be able to move in your costume. You never know what you’re going to get for weather at 5 a.m. in Central Florida. Probably TMI, but my first marathon (January, of course) I was in the median of the highway vomiting with heat exhaustion. The next marathon, wishing I’d selected ski pants and a parka instead of leggings and a t-shirt.

Checking out everyone’s costumes is a huge part of the fun for the Disney races. The level of creativity is usually off the charts. Costumes can be simple, but some of them are extravagant. But whatever you choose, rest assured you’re probably making someone’s day while showing off your Disney side.

There are a few guidelines on the runDisney site. Most of them are for safety purposes, with the biggie being that no masks are allowed.

My own efforts are underway. Please don’t laugh.

You know you’re in trouble when you start planning costumes for non-Disney races! This number makes its debut next weekend at the Hartford Half Marathon.

I am in love with the idea of costumes, but I definitely have a handicap. I can’t sew – not one stitch. Now if it invovles a stapler, a hot glue gun, or fusible bonding web, I might have a chance, but the results are usually questionable. I’ve always been a fan of putting stuff together from thrift store finds. It can be quite satisfying, but I’m realizing that with all the “extras” that I need to finish a costume this way, I’ve probably spent just as much as I would have if I’d purchased a professional costume, and the results are often well, clearly handmade (I think the bougie description is “folk art”). There is still a statisfaction in creating your own “something” out of a pile of thrifted rags, so if nothing else, there is that.

The skirt on the left was a thrifted maxi-skirt. I cut it short and stuck some ribbons and remnants on there to make it look like Luisa’s skirt from Encanto. The black fabric for the dumbbells was a big mistake. If I were to do it over again, I’d use felt. Also, this skirt will need a slit. There’s no running in a pencil skirt, no matter what the fabric!

On the right is a bunch of stuff from another thrift store run that I will attempt to turn into Namaari from Raya and the Last Dragon. Whether or not this will be successful remains to be seen. Stay tuned, Dear Readers!

Thankfully there are a number of people who specialize in making beautiful and functional running costumes that are perfect for the occasion and don’t look amateur like my meager efforts.

Here are some of my faves:


Every race has it’s own theme, and thankfully, WeRunForFun has thought of everything! This Etsy shop has something for all the upcoming race icons and heroes! Prices range from around $39-$65, depending on the item. You can find printed dresses, skirts, shirts, leggings – even sports bras, perfectly themed for the upcoming runs. I’m a little bit obsessed with the 90s themed skirt for the marathon – it would go perfectly with Pleasure Island shirt I’ll be rocking that weekend!

Tutu Factory

If you’re looking for something with that extra special kick (i.e. bling) knocks it out of the park (Into the Parks??) Prices vary depending on the size ordered and the complexity of the costume. These are handmade beauties (the kind that don’t look like folk art). Custom orders may also be available. You can choose just the tutu, just the top, or full costumes. You might need to add some accessories to complete the look.

Sunday Morning Active

Sunday Morning Active goes deep into the vault when to comes to characters and themes, and you are likely to find some obscure wins when you’re shopping here! Expect to spend between $49-$69 on these classic yet innovative looks. The items are printed and are spot-on in every way. And please don’t tell my daughter about the Queen of Hearts options. Just don’t.

Any way you look at it, costumes are so much fun. I’d love to see what you’re wearing! Find me on Instagram and show me your best looks!! @disneyparkrunner

Keeping your assets in gear: cutting (to the) chafe

In my previous Getting in Gear post, I discussed shoes, watches music and headphones. Today we’ll tackle some other “must-have” and “nice-to-have” items, particularly those that help prevent that foe to those with fast feet: chafing. And just to be clear, this blog is not sponsored at this time. I do not receive any compensation from brands mentioned here. I just like this stuff based on my own purchases and experimentation.

  • Running Shoes
  • GPS watch
  • Music
  • Headphones
  • Anti-chafing cream
  • Socks
  • Sports bra
  • Anti-chafing shorts or leggings
  • Hydration belt or vest
  • Fuel for long runs
  • Sunscreen
  • Sunglasses

First, a few words about chafing. It’s kind of awful and happens to runners of all sizes. While it’s a bigger issue for runners in bodies with larger dimensions, it can leave anyone smarting for days, and it’s avoidable. As a newbie runner, nobody warned me about this. I didn’t even realize it was a thing until after my first half-marathon when I climbed into the shower and suddenly felt a ring of fire around my waist, where my leggings had chafed a ring around my entire middle. Ouch. Many mistakes later I’ve learned when and where I need to use chafing cream. (Hint: a lot of not very glamorous places.)

Anti-chafing cream: You can buy lubricant / anti-chafing products at any running or sporting goods store. One of the biggest brands is Glide, but I have to say I’m not a fan. It comes in a tube that looks like deodorant. It’s kind of waxy and hard to apply, and I don’t care for the smell.

May 24, 2023 Update: The previous version of this post, I was extolling the virtues of a cream called Chafex. Unfortunately I have just learned that they have gone out of business. I haven’t found an acceptable replacement yet, but I plan on trying them all, and I’ll share my results with you soon!

Socks: Good running socks fit snugly and are your first line of defense against blisters. Stay away from mostly-cotton socks by all means and stick to purpose-designed running socks. I like the Hidden Comfort socks by Balega because they are: A. really cute, and B. have lots of cushioning. My daughter recently borrowed a pair and said “Oooh, they’re like walking on a cloud!”

Wall of Socks!

Sports Bra: (Guys, feel free to skip to the end of this section where I mention nipple covers. Ladies, strap in.) A good sports bra is a necessity, and sadly they are not cheap. This is one of those times when more “endowed” runners will need to invest in high impact bras. Lots of bouncing is uncomfortable, distracting, and for sure can bring on that nemesis, chafing. I have some high impact bras from Fabletics. They’re cute, but to be honest I don’t love love them. There is no way to adjust them, and they end up having gaps in funny places. I do hear women raving about Shefit bras, although I don’t own one. This is another company that focuses on just one product, so they are very motivated to get it right. Shefit bras are fully adjustable and have an extra layer with a zipper in the front for more stability. Just be prepared for some sticker shock though, because they do start around $65.

May, 24, 2023 Update: So I did invest in some Shefit bras. I bought the most supportive “Ultimate” bras, and wore them for some of the Marathon Weekend races this year. They did an outstanding job of keeping the girls strapped down, but alas, I ended up with chafing in bad places. I really need to find me a better anti-chafing cream!

Nipple covers. OK… I didn’t know these were a thing until I started running. For men with prominent nipples, it’s not uncommon to get chafing caused by all the friction of a running shirt bouncing up and down over the course of a long run. I once saw a man at the end of a race with streams of blood running down his shirt. It looked incredibly painful. So… you can buy inexpensive nipple covers at your local running store, but I bet some strategically placed Band-aids would do the job just as well.

Shorts or Leggings: Again I will stick with our anti-chafing theme here. Unless you’re a naturally wiry person with a non-photoshopped thigh gap (I’ll try not to hate on you), this is for you. I generally look for tight-fitting shorts or leggings that won’t slide down during my run. The worst thing that could happen to you is allowing your thighs to rub together. It always ends badly. Look for shorts with lots and lots of spandex. I also like high-waisted shorts that keep my belly in place. Maybe it’s just personal preference but I look for every opportunity to reduce the jiggle.

We still have a few more categories to cover on the running gear rundown, but since the announcement of Springtime Surprise races is imminent, you might have to hold your breath for a minute before we get to hydration, fueling and sun protection!