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Updated on October 24, 2013
It’s a bird, it’s a plane—it’s a cliché costume for any runner! Odds are you have seen Superman cruise past you a few times during a Halloween race. After all, the Metropolis Marvel did get his chiseled look from logging hundreds of miles, right? At least, that’s what you tell yourself while you’re training. We all do: “I WILL get abs of steel from this 10-miler.”
Alas, it takes a little more than pounding the pavement to get a six-pack, but that doesn’t mean you can’t fake it. Runners everywhere don costumes for Halloween-themed races like the Rock & Roll Las Vegas Half Marathon. You’ll see everything from the uber cool and conservative to the incredibly inappropriate (albeit hilarious). We did a little research and found eight costumes that—though cliché—are always a hit on the road. As they say, a little creativity never hurt no run.
1. Forrest Gump
If you have been a runner during the last decade and have not heard someone yell, “Run, Forrest, Run!” then you, my friend, are in the minority. That lovable Greenbow, Ala., native achieved fame in the running community for his trek across America, which many of us pondered doing for a half-second while watching the movie.
So, “run, racers, RUN” to find a pair of khakis, plaid shirt and Bubba Gump hat.
The man, the myth, the legend: Steve Prefontaine. We all secretly want to be him anyway, so you may as well fake it on Halloween. Oregon green and yellow butt-huggers and racing jersey? Check. Killer ‘stache? Check. Unrealistic but totally deserving dreams of winning this race? Yup—you’re good to go.
3. Pregnant nuns
Irreverent, yes, but always good for a laugh. We see pregnant women running all the time (kudos to them, by the way). Whether or not you have a bun in the oven, a mommy-to-be in a habit is about as cliché as you can get in terms of costumes. A pregnant nun on the run? Classic.
4. Road kill
Gruesome though it may be, this is a costume that kills. You basically wear all black with a two yellow stripes and a blob of guts and hair. If you run on the road, you recognize that jumping a pile of road kill is a rite of passage.
5. Pamela Anderson
Anyone who was alive during the early ’90s knows that Pamela Anderson owns running on the beach. In fact, her daily beach jogs are a big part of what made her an icon. True, she was running on the beach in a small bathing suit that showed off her, um, running buddies. But that doesn’t take away from the fact that a red swimsuit and clever stuffing makes a great Halloween costume.
6. Richard Simmons
If you have Pamela Anderson on the list, you have to have Richard Simmons. High energy, awesome hair and hilarious outfits? Yes, there will be many Richard Simmonses racing this fall.
7. Super heroes
Spiderman, Batman, The Flash, Superman. It just makes sense to dress as a super hero while you are doing something physically active. It might even give you a boost of energy, knowing your cape is proudly floating in the air behind you as you spring toward the finish line. If nothing else, the fake muscles will make you look good.
Often imitated but never duplicated, The King makes one heck of a running costume. Bell-bottoms go great over running shoes, and that beautiful wig can sop up your sweat. Whether you are running in your hometown or shacking up in a heartbreak hotel on the road, an Elvis costume is a tried and true staple of race costumes.
Guest author Phong Chieng is an avid runner and cyclist that enjoys competing in both small, local 5K races as well as large races like the Rock n Roll Marathon Series. He also writes regularly on the Trail Running Blog.