The Casual Runner


This is the third installment of Jake’s CosRunning Series. You can check out his first feature on CosRunning & his second feature, where he showed you how he brought the characters from the Cars franchise to life.  You can also check out our picture gallery of race costumes on our Facebook page.  If you are looking for ways to add more character to your Casual Running adventures, consider running races in Costumes.  Jake will be bringing you more great features with costuming ideas – including how he creates his great looks – that are both awesome looking and runner friendly.

In this installment, I become a classic Disney princess and share some beauty secrets.


A princess selfie.

CHARACTER: Princess Ariel
EVENT: runDisney Princess 10K
DATE: February 21, 2015

There is a common misconception that runDisney’s Princess Weekend is strictly for women. There is no arguing that the Princess Weekend events, like the Tinkerbell Half Marathon Weekend events, are geared to appeal to female racers (close to 90% of participants are female), but men are not only allowed to run, they are encouraged to do so. However, there is a long-standing tradition for men who run Princess to wear some form of princess attire, whether it’s just adding a tiara or a skirt over their regular running clothes, or running in full drag! But do not worry, if you are just not into that, you do not have to do it.


When we set out on our 2015 runDisney adventure, Jennifer and I wanted to stick with costumes inspired by the theme of each race weekend throughout the year. So, for the Princess Weekend, our costume choices were pretty straight forward: Disney princesses. We knew there were going to be a lot of traditional princess costumes on the course, so we wanted to think outside the box with our costume choices.


Jennifer thought outside of the candy cart when she picked Vanellope.

Jennifer thought Vanellope von Schweetz would be a good choice since she is not your traditional Disney princess. And, while Vanellope does not have a traditional prince, it is pretty clear that Wreck-it Ralph is her champion. So, Vanellope and Ralph would be our first couple…we ended up deciding to use those costumes for the half marathon.

For the second couple, we thought it might be fun to do a twist on the traditional prince and princess with a gender swap. Jennifer would dress as the prince and I would dress as the princess. Not only did we think it would be fun and funny, but it would fit right in at Princess Weekend. Belle is my favorite Disney princess and my obvious first choice as a character. Instead of Beast (who would not make a good running costume), we thought it would be funny for Jennifer to dress as Gaston, bulging muscles and all.


Jake wrecking it as Ralph.

Unfortunately, I had a much harder time finding the right gear for Belle than I would have expected. I probably could have made something work, but a quick search was all it took to see I would have a much easier time finding race wear that would work for my second favorite princess, Ariel. Prince Eric also seemed to be a pretty easy costume for Jennifer to put together. Maybe we will do Belle and Gaston another time?


I found a wavy red wig and a light purple sports bra in my first search for Ariel gear that formed the basis for my costume design. I also tried out a pair of bright green leggings and a bright green tutu before I found the mermaid print leggings I ended up using. The bright green tutu did not work with the new leggings, so I also ended up with a glittery teal one that worked pretty well with the finished look.

As I mentioned in my earlier CosRunning article, finding shoes that are the right color can be a challenge (especially since I only wear Mizuno Wave Inspire), so I opted for a pair of blue and white Mizuno’s that I could color green.

The finishing touch for the costume would be a pink and purple flower hair clip I found at Claire’s. As for the makeup, I dressed as a woman for Halloween before, so I knew what I was getting into, and running in makeup did not seem like a very good idea at first. Most female runners agree that running in makeup is a recipe for disaster. After some research, though, I found a few options that seemed to work for ladies who like to add a little extra color for their race photos. And, let’s be honest, I needed all the help I could get. So, I decided to give it a try. Going out for a test run was out of the question, so I settled for the treadmill in the privacy of my own home.


Aside from some trial and error with costume and makeup choices, the end product was actually pretty easy to put together. The only alterations I made to off-the-rack clothes were to add some extra bulk to the sports bra and to Sharpie my shoes green. I originally set out to add a shell design to the sports bra, and even tried a novelty shell bra to go underneath for a 3D shell shape. Ultimately, I did not want the extra weight or potential sharp edges rubbing against my chest during a run, so I just padded the sports bra with lightweight foam.


Assembling the pieces for the costume.

Styling the wig was far and away the hardest part of creating the character. It took a combination of gel, hairspray, and a couple hours in front of the mirror with a comb to achieve the look I wanted. As difficult as it was, I have to admit it was kind of fun playing with hair… since I do have not had any of my own in years.

Aside from completing the Ariel look, the flower hair clip came in handy to cover an edge on the front of the wig that did not look very good.


About eight months before the race, I started eating better and exercising more (not necessarily for this costume, but it was a motivating factor), and was seeing consistent results, but I was not sure where my weight was going to be on race day, so I had a couple different options on deck to get a more “mermaidish” figure, but I ended up using a sport waist cincher under a nude colored tank… I lost quite a bit of weight, but not enough to lose my muffin top.


The final costume: Ariel is ready to run on, what are those things called again? Oh yeah, feet!

I also brought a long sleeve nude colored shirt in case it was cold, and even though the temperature dipped a bit the morning of the race, I opted for the tank top and a trash bag to keep me warm until the race started. I have to admit I had my reservations about drag racing, but the costume turned out great, I had a lot of fun, and Jennifer and I got a lot of great responses from spectators and other racers on the course. I got more positive comments than I could have imagined and even posed for a couple photos with other racers who were fans of the costume.


Kamo Charming Long Wavy Wine Red Synthetic Wig
Jollychic Women’s Solid Comfort Padded Sports Bra
Sunnydate Women’s Fashion Leggings with mermaid print
iHeartRaves Glitter Tutu Rave Tulle Skirt
Aranza Women’s Latex Waist Cincher Trainer
Assets by Sara Blakely Fantastic Firmers Tank
Mizuno Men’s Wave Inspire 9 Running Shoes
Injini Run 2.0 Original Weight No-Show XtraLife Socks
Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Compression Shorts


L’Oreal Paris Double Extend Beauty Tubes Mascara
Too Faced Perfect Eyes Waterproof Eyeliner
CoverGirl Outlast All Day Two Step Lipcolor

We all have our own motivations for running, but most of us do it because it is fun, and running in costume only adds to the fun. Hopefully, this article has given you some ideas for your next CosRunning adventure.

The Casual Runner Team wants to hear from you. If you have any questions about anything we cover here on Casual Runner, if you have any questions regarding running gear or training for your own Casual Running needs, or if there is anything that you would like us to cover on Casual Runner, please leave a comment or email us using the links below.  To ensure that you do not miss all of the great content from Casual Runner, please be sure to like us on Facebook, follow us on Twitter and Instagram, Subscribe to our YouTube channel, and add us to your circle on Google+.  See you out on the running trails!  




  1. Pingback: The Casual Runner | 2015 Zooma Annapolis 10k - The Casual Runner

  2. Pingback: The Casual Runner | CosRunning: Honey Lemon - The Casual Runner

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.