The Casual Runner

CosRunning: Shadow Flight

This is the fourth 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.  He got a little more daring in Part 3 as he channeled his inner Disney Princess and transformed into the Little Mermaid. 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 chapter of my CosRunning series, I fade into the background with a stand-out character and share a few lessons I learned.

CHARACTER: Peter’s Shadow
EVENT: runDisney Tinkerbell 10K
DATE: May 8, 2015


For Tinkerbell Weekend , there was a very large cast of characters from which to draw inspiration, so we did not have to be too creative to find recognizable characters that wouldn’t be seen all over the course. I found the inspiration for my first character kind of organically.

IMG_20150509_073348865_HDRIt was around Halloween and there were quite a few of the head-to-toe body suits on the shelf at the local Halloween store. Jennifer had decided to be Wendy for one of her characters, but I didn’t really want to be Peter, since I figured there would be quite a few on the course (I was right about that).

With our 2015 races in mind, the black body suit gave me the idea for Peter’s Shadow… because the ninja version of any character instantly becomes cooler. We decided to add a needle and black thread prop for Wendy as an extra touch to tie the character couple together.


Once I had the black body suit, the rest was pretty easy to design. I already had my blacked-out shoes from my Lightning McQueen costume, so the only elements I needed were Peter’s tunic and hat to complete the look.

IMG_20150509_055158448I am comfortable enough around sewing machines, but I am no expert with them, either.

I certainly have never created clothing from scratch. Knowing my own limitations, I decided to use a pre-made black polo shirt for the foundation of the costume. I ordered two of the same shirt to have extra material for the rest of the costume.


I kept the first polo shirt unaltered (aside from removing the clear buttons at the collar). I cut the second shirt in half just below the armpits, used the bottom half as the lower part of the tunic, and used the remainder of the material for the hat.

The next step was to pin the tunic together. I flipped the second shirt so the bottom hem of the shirt became the waist of the tunic (since it was already hemmed and I was going to cut the bottom edge of the tunic in a jagged pattern anyway, it only made sense to flip it).

I had to pin and re-pin the second shirt a couple times to get it where I wanted it, and sewed the pieces together once I had it right.

After that, I cut the bottom edge of the tunic and the cuffs of the sleeves in a pattern similar to Peter’s tunic. With a belt wrapped around it, the tunic was complete. I cut apart the remainder of the second shirt at the seams and decided the sleeves would work best to make the hat, using the hemmed edges of the sleeves as the bottom edges of the hat. I pinned the two pieces together (and re-pinned, and re-pinned) until I got the hat shape I wanted. It ended up being a little smaller and floppier than I would have liked, but it seemed to work well enough.

IMG_20150622_143327163_HDRI poked a couple holes into the side of the hat and threaded the feather into place. I chose not to take this costume out for a test run, since it would have been awkward to do so and I did not foresee any issues. What could possibly go wrong?


What a beautiful morning for a run! You can check out Jennifer’s full event review here.

The forecast called for clear skies and temperatures in the upper 50s to lower 60s. With that kind of weather, most of the typical race-day problems are not a concern. So, what could go wrong? Well, a few things, but it all worked out in the end.

Right out the gate, we were running a little behind schedule. I learned that going to the bathroom in a full body suit requires time, effort, and a little help from a friend. I had to remove my belt and pull my tunic off, then ask Jennifer to unzip the back of the body suit for me. Since we only had to walk across the street, we ended up hitting our corral just as it started moving toward the starting line… no problem.

Then, it was my hat. I learned that I should spend a little more time getting it right. It stuck to my bald head just fine, but it did not stick to the slippery material of the body suit at all. It kept trying to slide off and eventually fell off around the first mile mark. By the time I realized it was gone, it was too late to turn around and look for it, so we just kept going.

Unexpected magic. Fortunately, a very nice lady found it on the course and caught up to us before the second mile. She said, “I really like your costume and didn’t want you to go without this.” Wow! That was cool, especially since she had to hustle a little faster than she planned to catch up with us. Got my hat back… no problem.

Enter course security. Just after the first water stop, one member of the security team told me I had to uncover my face for security reasons. Disney security does a great job making sure everyone is safe and I truly appreciate the work they do, but the costume was so much cooler with my face covered.

The number of comments and pictures dropped considerably when people could see my face (I just realized I should be offended by that). Besides, during the Star Wars Half Marathon , dozens upon dozens of people had their faces covered with masks. (Maybe there were too many to stop them all?).

On the bright side, my hat stayed on my head through the rest of the race… no problem.

This was far and away the most popular costume I have done to date. I got more positive comments and picture requests than any other costume so far. The best part was the reaction people had when they realized I was there… it was still dark when we hit the corral and a lot of people did not notice the ninja in their midst right away. By the time we started running, it was bright enough for everyone to see me.



Garmin Forerunner 220
Mizuno Men’s Wave Inspire 9 Running Shoes
injinji Sport Original Weight Crew Coolmax Socks
Under Armour Men’s HeatGear Compression Shorts
Morphsuits Black Morphsuit Adult Costume
Lee Uniforms Men’s Sport Polo X2
Black Web Belt
Black Turkey Quill Feather

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

Don’t forget to Check out the other installments 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.  He got a little more daring in Part 3 as he channeled his inner Disney Princess and transformed into the Little Mermaid. You can also check out our picture gallery of race costumes on our Facebook page.  

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!  



4 thoughts on “CosRunning: Shadow Flight


    Great costume! When I saw the picture I wondered if you would have a problem with the “no masks” rule. Black face paint would take care of having to keep your face uncovered. I have also had someone run up to me with a costume piece that fell off. Disney runners are the best!

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