making of a rundisney costume

In my utterly humble opinion, one of the best parts of a runDisney race is the whole “running in costume” thing! I love dressing up and having fun with it.

I’ve ‘dressed up’ for every runDisney race that I’ve done, even if the ‘dressing up’ was just a tiara (like for the Happy Haunted Trail 5K). I tried out a tutu for the Tower of Terror 10 Miler, and it wasn’t the worst thing ever. For Princess weekend 2015 I wore Sparkle Athletic skirts, which are definitely sparkly, but I didn’t really like the shorts that I wore under them.

The longer I kept running, the more brands of running clothes I was introduced to. Eventually, I caved and bought a Sparkle Skirt. Total(!) game(!) changer!!

Dopey Challenge Costumes

  • 5K: Mrs. Incredible
  • 10K: Minnie Mouse
  • Half Marathon: Donald Duck
  • Marathon: Princess Aurora

Making a Running Costume:

  1. Decide what your costume will be! This is always the most difficult step for me. Really! Not even kidding at all.
  2. Take stock of what you already have on hand that you can use. I’ve always had at least some of my costume pieces… like for Dopey, I had the entire Mrs. Incredible outfit already, and the Minnie outfit (although maybe I shouldn’t count that, since I bought it for marathon weekend 2017 and my half was canceled), and the blue shirt for the half marathon, and the pink tank top and arm sleeves for my marathon costume.
  3. Figure out what items you’ll need to buy or make to complete the costume. I knew that I would need a pink skirt for Aurora, and a white skirt & yellow tights for Donald. And accessories!
  4. Practice running in your costume before race day! I can’t stress this enough: practice running in your costume before race day! Ain’t nobody got time for an outfit that slips, slides, chafes, or doesn’t fit right. There’s a runners battlecry of “nothing new on race day” and that totally applies to running costumes. (of course, full disclosure: I do new stuff on race day all the time, including costumes and fuel, but hey, learn from my mistakes!)

So… I’m gonna break down a couple different costumes for you. Different levels, if you will!

Maleficent {basic}


For my Maleficent costume, worn in the 2013 Tower of Terror 10 miler, I started with my usual running attire, just in all black. I had the black tank top and black capris anyway, so why not? Pinterest introduced me to the world of running in tutus, so I ordered a basic purple, green, and black one from Etsy. I had this really awesome Maleficent Halloween costume that Heather got me, it came with horns on a headband. I hated the headband, but the horns were removable, and it turned out they stayed on just fine with a couple of bobby pins… and just that easily, my Maleficent costume was done!

Sleeping Beauty {intermediate}

full maleficent

Like usual, I had at least some pieces that could be used for this costume. Seeing as pink is my favorite color, I had rather a collection of pink tops that could be used. What I didn’t have yet was a pink skirt, but I knew I was going to have to order a Sparkle Skirt no matter what… I can’t imagine doing a marathon in anything else, since the multiple pockets are perfect for all the fuel and stuff I carry on long runs. I had pink arm sleeves (back to that whole favorite color thing) already, and I actually had pink compression socks, although I couldn’t find them before we left for Disney (actually, I still can’t find them… but I have them! Somewhere!). So, that covers the basic clothes, what else could this costume need?! Of course Sleeping Beauty needs her tiara! I ordered mine from Etsy.

The 2018 marathon was actually the second time I ran as Sleeping Beauty. Both times I had great intentions of also adding the white shoulder decoration to my top, and both times I never got around to it. But this kind of detailing can really kick your costume up a notch, and is definitely one of those details that you want to test out before race day.

This is a picture I found on Pinterest. It’s from This Mama Makes Stuff, although her blog seems to be temporarily down, but she had instructions on how to add the trim. One day I’ll even do it!

Vanellope von Schweetz {detailed}


I ran as Vanellope for the 2015 Princess half marathon. I already had a couple of tops that were close to the right color for her hoodie, but that was it. I had seen the Sparkle Athletic skirts at various expos so decided to try one of those. These are not the Sparkle Skirts that I wear now, with the attached compression shorts and pockets (oh, wonderful pockets!), but they are fun and sparkly skirts. If you use a Sparkle Athletic skirt you do need separate shorts underneath, but that’s okay, I had some already! Boom.

I was a little bit stumped for the hair decorations because I couldn’t find any candy hair clips and wasn’t about to make my own… but I found some bright clips that I figured would work well enough. That just left her iconic tights… and I decided to get crafty. Frankly, that was somewhat a mistake, since I’m really not crafty at all. But I found some plain white knee socks and headed to Michael’s (the craft store, not my husband) for fabric paint. I wound up with markers, but meh, it worked. It took forever to color them though! The hunt for hair decoration and having to do the socks bump this up to the most effort I’ve ever put into a costume, but it still wasn’t too hard! And look how cute I was! Believe it or not, that was my first runDisney character picture, ever.

Running in costume doesn’t have to be uncomfortable! And you don’t have to be crafty or go all out or spend a fortune on Etsy to have a cute costume. But it is definitely worth it to put forth just a little bit of effort… especially at a runDisney race!

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