When did running become a costume party?

I’m going to bring up a topic today that may offend some, but I really just want to understand.  So, if you have anything to add to this, please comment.

I’ve run 60+ races over the past few years and typically see (mostly women) dressed in a costume of some sort, at every race.  5k’s up to marathons, every race distance has some sort of group or individuals dressed up as characters, or donning tutus, anything to stand out.  What am I missing?  What is the purpose of this?  

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I totally get the idea behind dressing up, or wearing a certain color shirt/shorts/socks combination when running a themed race.  Halloween races?  I get it.  This is a holiday known for costumes.  At a Halloween Half Marathon I expect that probably at least half of the participants will be in costume.  A St. Patrick’s Day run?  I get it.  Kilts will abound, green runnings shirts and shorts green beer at the finish.  A Santa Hustle, yep I expect there to be folks dressed in red and white, and see several snowy white fake beards, and antler headbands.  Why though, do folks dress up at just any old race?  

This is where I am confused, and need some explanations.  Please fill me in.  I think I missed a memo or something.  Why can’t we just run, and not have to draw attention to ourselves with silly costumes, skirts and masks?  If it’s for charity, then I get it.  Otherwise, I am just at a loss.image image image

Tarheel 10 Miler


An extremely popular local event is almost here.  The Tarheel 10 Miler, and 4 Mile Run are this weekend in Chapel Hill, NC.  An event I have never run before, almost every runner I know has run this event at least once.  This is my year.  I am a bit stressed about getting there, parking, etc., as Chapel Hill is about an hours drive, and with numerous road closures will be a real adventure just getting to the starting line.  I feel a night of little sleep coming up.

Spring is a popular time for racing, and this area is loaded up with local events.  Running for our Heroes 5k is also taking place the same day in Raleigh.  We have plenty of runners to make each race successful here don’t we?  The Tarheel event just sold out at 6,000 runners.  This is a BIG local race.  I am looking forward to it.


I have never run a ten mile race, so no matter how I finish this will be a PR for me.  This race will also be my first non-marathon distance race this year.  Actually my last six races have all been marathons.  I have to go back to October of last year, when I ran my last Half, to find a race when I spent less than three hours on a race course.  It will be interesting to see what kind of effort I will be able to give considering I won’t be running 26.2.  My body is used to going out at a certain speed, knowing I am in it for the distance.  This weekend, I have to switch gears.  I can go out faster if I want to, or I can save it for the finish.  The possibilities are endless really.  It will just be interesting to see how my body and mind react to a change in distance.  This is a local artists rendering of the race course.  The finish is most challenging, uphill on Laurel Hill.


This race will be my one and only “long run” before the All American Marathon on May 4th.  Having just run Rock ‘n’ Roll on the 13th, I have had to recover, and build slowly.  That was only 10 days ago, so I am feeling pretty good considering.  The Tarheel Ten Miler will be fun.  I am not going to go all out, or try to set any speed records for myself.  I just want to enjoy another local event, and continue to let my hamstrings recover.