Tuesday, February 14, 2012

Playing Dress-Up

The following NH Runner column appeared in the New Hampshire Sunday News on Feb. 12, 2012. Photo above courtesy of Jim Stankiewicz.

My usual pre-race shopping list is expanding a bit. No longer will it only consist of the right kind of running shoes, wicking shirts and socks, comfy shorts and stay-put headbands.

Yes, I’m not afraid to admit that last week I bought an item for my next race at a most unusual place: a craft store.

It was what I consider an impulse buy. But I could not resist its sparkles and vibrant color shouting at me from the check-out aisle. I don’t want to ruin the surprise, so I won’t go into much more detail, but I will say that I intend to run my first dress-up race next month when I participate in the Shamrock Shuffle before the St. Patrick’s Parade in Manchester on March 25.

I’ve never been one to run in costume. Even when I went to Disney to run my first half-marathon, I was one of the traditional runners alongside the princesses, Mickey Mouses and all of the other (often elaborate) costumes running through the happiest place on earth.

But playing dress-up appeals to many runners, apparently. At last year’s Boston Marathon, I was passed by a hamburger at Mile 21. (I have convinced myself that the guy wearing the hamburger costume did not run the entire 21 miles before he passed me.)

Let’s face it, most of us aren’t going to win the race. So we might as well have fun with it. In a very informal poll, local runners shares some of their favorite dress-up races:

CHaD Hero Half Marathon
Thousands or runners and supporters of the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth take over Lebanon’s downtown in an all out hero inspired marathon benefitting the Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. In fact, the race holds the Guinness World Record for having the most super heroes on one place. This year’s event is taking place on Oct. 21, a welcome change to the August date they had the past couple of years. For more information or to sign your team up, visit

Scheduled near Halloween, dressing up for this race just makes sense. Matt Bryant and his friends (eight of them, I assume) dressed up as Santa and his reindeer for the 3.1 mile run. Christine Telge of Manchester ran this race dressed in full camouflage and boots – and upped the ante by pushing a double-stroller draped with a camo tarp carrying two little army men (her sons). Timm Hartmann of Manchester and his wife dressed up as Batman and Bat Girl, complete with all black-Vibram TrekSports on his feet. I couldn’t find any updated information for 2012 on this race, but it sure stuck in the minds of many of my running friends so hopefully the race organizers are taking notes. Proceeds from the race benefit technology at Ross A. Lurgio Middle School in Bedford. More information at

As if running 200 or so miles as a relay team isn’t challenging enough, some runners decide to take it one step further. Case in point: the Runn’n Commando team. Hooksett’s Muriel Saliba tells me that team members – yes, the guys, too – run in camouflage running skirts and other accessories.

I have a college friend who runs her annual Turkey Trot in a full (and very bulky!) cartoon turkey costume. As if that’s not enough, her brother, dressed as a Pilgrim, chases her along the race route with a fake hatchet. And, who can forget the one thousand runners in full Santa Claus costumes – beards, included – running down Elm Street in December?

It seems like this costume fad isn’t going away, so I might as well join in the fun. Please don’t set the bar too high for my Shamrock Shuffle outfit. Perhaps by the time the CHaD Hero Half Marathon comes around, I’ll be ready for a full Wonder Woman costume. Maybe.

Teresa Robinson is Community Relations Manager for the New Hampshire Union Leader. Her column appears every other week in the New Hampshire Sunday News. Her email address is trobinson@unionleader.com.

1 comment:

  1. I love love love this! Once I realized I was never going to win any races, I decided I might as well have fun. I dressed in a turkey costume for the Thanksgiving Day 5k - and told a friend of mine that if I PR'd in costume, I'd wear some sort of costume/element for every race going forward. And of course, I PR'd by 2 seconds. D'oh! Money where my mouth is!


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