How to gear up for the Monster Dash: Costumes for running

Written by Aaron Shaffer, Social & Digital Media Coordinator

What are the pluses and minuses of wearing a ketchup bottle costume in the Monster Dash (or another costume run)? What are some other costume ideas that are better for late October outdoor runs? We explore some ideas below.

About to run in the Monster Dash as a ketchup bottle. It was about 35° and winds were about 15-20mph.

Pluses of a ketchup bottle costume (or any costume that’s highly wind-prone):

  1. It’s probably funny for other people to look at.
  2. It’s funny to see pictures of yourself dressed like a ketchup bottle or some other large object.
  3. It’s especially funny if you run into your twin or opposite costume (which I did two years ago) while you’re running. I ran into mustard and we high-fived and ran together for a bit.

That’s it. The minuses are much stronger:

  1. There’s quite a bit of surface area if it’s windy (and it was), which makes running a chore.
  2. The pointy ketchup bottle hat (or other large hat, depending on your costume) might look fun, but it was nearly impossible to keep on due to bouncing and wind.
  3. There’s a lot of cloth. It was cold the day I ran, but if it wasn’t I’d be wearing my personal sauna.

These are all important things to keep in mind. How wind-resistant is your outfit? How will it do in the cold? In the heat?

Here are some tips to consider when planning your own Monster Dash costume or just outdoor running event costume in general:

1. Make sure you’re considering wind. It’s the single factor that could help or hurt your motivation to run. Imagine wearing a ketchup bottle costume as you run into a 20mph headwind. Don’t be that guy – don’t be me.

2. Consider the temperature. Is it going to be warm or cold? If it’s going to be warm you could always buy cheaper items at Goodwill and shed them as you go. Many complete costumes can be had for under $20, so that’s a legitimate option.

3. What are you doing with your costume after the race? If you purchased it for $20 you can try washing, and donate (or re-donate) if you don’t want to deal with it after that. If you bought it for more you might be more inclined to find another use for it.

Knowing those tips, what are some good costume ideas?

Pirate: You can always skip the eye patch, but a bandana tied around your head and the rest of the outfit can all be layered, so you could wear your thermals or your white t-shirt underneath a vest. You could also shed some layers as you go. The one feature that could complicate things on a windy day is a parrot perched on your shoulder (hopefully it’s a fake one if you’re running outside!).

Yar! This could be a fun costume to run in, as there are layers that can come off if needed. A couple things to note: A hat can be difficult to keep on, swords probably aren’t allowed, and boots should be swapped for running shoes. Leather gaitors could be used to make that pants-in-boots-look.

Doctor or nurse: These are easy because for a nurse you just need scrubs, and unless you’re actually a nurse in real life you’re probably not wearing those again right after a race. For the doctor you’d need a lab coat, which could be a bit more complicated to run in – but could probably have scrubs underneath for when you A) get sick of the lab coat or B) warm up too much.

This is a suggested doctor costume, and those scrubs can typically be found at Goodwill. Note the running shoes in the photo.

Captain America: You just need to find that one Americana-strong t-shirt with the red, white and blue and star(s) on it. You can always skip the shield, unless you want to use it as a sail on a windy day!

Captain America could be great costume to run in. Note the running shoes in this picture. Skip the shield, though.

If you’re reading this and still haven’t decided any of these suggestions is for you, it’s time for you to check out our costume creator website here. Either way, good luck and have fun running!