Health and Fitness Column

Dressing up for a mud run is memorable

By John Taylor | Aug 06, 2013
Photo by: Jim Owens From left, are John Taylor, Rey Santos, Regan Toomey, Stephanie Reynolds, Frank McCann and Bill Skripko.

On the third day of August, I traveled to Morristown, New Jersey to run the New Jersey Warrior Dash with a group of friends. Though this was the seventh time I’ve participated in a mud run event, it was my first experience running in a costume.
The night before the race, I was told by my friend, Frank McCann, that every member of the group was going to dress up as “Superman” complete with capes and “Clark Kent” glasses.
When I met up with the running group, we proceeded to adorn our “Man of Steel” attire in a parking lot reserved for Warrior Dash participants. Some may have found this awkward, but if you’ve competed in a mud run before, you’ll know that seeing folks dressing up in costumes at the race isn’t uncommon.
Though this costume could have cost upwards of $50, the group’s costume organizers, Stephanie Reynolds and Regan Toomey, cut costs by purchasing plain blue shirts and iron-on “Superman” patches, created capes from already owned red table clothes, bought red socks in packs, wore previously used sports gloves to protect their hands, and asked everyone to supply their own red shorts.
To get to the actual race, all Warrior Dash runners had to board a bus from the parking lot to the event site. While waiting in line to catch the next bus, other runners were giving our team “High-5s” and said how much they loved our costumes. I’m not going to lie; it was nice to hear the approval we received for Stephanie and Regan’s wardrobe concept.
Once we got off the bus and arrived at the race site, I was asked to take a picture with two guys wearing “Wonder Woman” outfits. Not the look I would have gone for, but I’m not into judging other Warrior Dash outfits, so I obliged the photo opportunity. Soon afterwards, the entire group was asked by the Warrior Dash videographer to pose for a group shot that will appear in the event’s “YouTube” video. It soon became obvious that due to our “Superman” attire, we definitely had the approval of the entire Warrior Dash community. Like high school, I felt ultra popular.
However, while running the race, we found that our costumes provided some competitive advantages and detriments.
We quickly figured out that capes and crawling under barbed wire is definitely a bad combination.
However, two runners in our group, Frank McCann and Rey Santos, quickly figured out that we needed to tuck our capes into our shorts to avoid any unfortunate incidents. That’s right; a group of adults dressed like “Superman” were seen tucking a cape into their shorts. I agree; it was not a great look, but a necessary one.
But the capes did aid our cause when we encountered a steep decline in terrain, which created a natural slide that contained nothing but rocks and mud. But Stephanie suggested that we sit on our capes and slide down the mud until we reach level ground. This was a great idea, until I slid into a rock and got a boo-boo on my bottom. Sorry, but I do have an eighteen-month old at home.
However, our group did not just look the part of “Superman” and we were seen helping those in need. After completing the high wall, Frank began helping other runners reach the ground when they had troubles getting off the wall. This act of kindness was quickly copied by myself, Rey, and Bill Skripo, and one participant shouted, “You guys are awesome.”
After crossing the finish line, it became obvious to me that mud runs are more fun and memorable when performed with friends and in costume. And the great thing is an expensive outfit is not needed to make a positive impression with other participants. But I do suggest using discretion when choosing an appropriate group wardrobe. Let’s get real; nobody wants to see a group of runners all dressed like Paris Hilton at a Los Angeles night club…or do we?

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