My Disney Running Costumes: Walt Disney World 10K

Disney running costumes, Belle running costume

“I want adventure in the great wide somewhere!” Me too, Belle!

It’s a tale as old as time: wearing Disney running costumes to races. OK, maybe it’s not a tale as old as time, but for me it does go back to the 2012 Tinker Bell Half Marathon, where I donned my first of many Disney running costumes and emerged a changed woman.

I’m wearing three Disney running costumes while running three races as a guest of runDisney at the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend: Disney Family Fun Run 5K, Walt Disney World 10K and Walt Disney World Half Marathon.

Esmeralda running costume, Disney running costumes

I ran the Disney Family Fun Run 5K as Esmeralda.

With the Disney Family Fun Run 5K behind me—dressed as Esmeralda from The Hunchback of Notre Dame—and a Pluto medal around my neck (full race report is here!), the Walt Disney World 10K is my big target race of the weekend. It’s the one I’m racing for a personal best.

So for this race, I really wanted a costume I can race in. I ran a personal record at the 2012 Disney Princess Half Marathon while dressed as Cinderella with Prince Charming by my side. So I know that Disney running costumes and PRs can go hand in hand.

But it also means choosing one carefully. No wigs, no hats, no elaborate accessories, and, most importantly, I need to have my hair pulled back. Cinderella was perfect because she wore her hair in a bun to the ball. I almost always wear my hair in a bun when I race.

So I finally settled on the perfect Disney gal to guide me to a new running frontier: Beauty and the Beast’s Belle.

Belle Disney Running Costumes

Disney running costumes, Belle running costumes

Bookworm Belle and I have a lot in common.

Belle and I are simpatico. We’re both book worms (nerd alert!). Growing up in the pre-internet ‘80s and ‘90s, books really were my windows to the world, much like Belle.

And we both dreamed of “adventure in the great wide somewhere.” As a kid, I’d look outside my bedroom window onto a tree and my neighbor’s house across the street, a house that was nearly identical to mine, and dream of far off places. I wanted to travel, I wanted excitement, I wanted adventure. The movie Beauty and the Beast came out in 1991, when I was 13. I felt like shouting to the screen, “Amen, sister!”

And the Beast? Poor guy was even more of a recluse with only a magic mirror to view the world outside. I like to think that after the credits rolled on Beauty and the Beast, with their new found freedom, Belle and Adam set off together on one adventure after another: climbing mountains, sailing seas, and, of course, going for a few runs.

So what better way to pay homage to my Disney soul sister than to channel my inner Belle? After all, she has traveled with me in spirit to India, Nepal, Tanzania, Tonga, and all the other wild and wonderful places I’ve been—the kinds of places I’d only read about. Now she’ll go with me to another new place: across the finish line of the first Walt Disney World 10K.

Belle running costume, Disney running costumes

My Belle costume

Instead of choosing Belle’s iconic gold dress, I decided to wear the outfit that represents the bookworm Belle and adventuress Belle, not the Princess Belle. So I’m wearing Belle’s provincial blue dress.

With her brown hair pulled into a low ponytail and a simple smock with an apron, it’s the perfect costume for running fast.

Since my hair is auburn, I don’t need a wig or other hair cover, like I wore for my Jasmine running costume. Perfect.

I already own a blue sparkle skirt from Sparkle Athletic (a company I freelance for) from my Cinderella running costume. Double perfect.

And I already have an apron that I made for my Rags Cinderella running costume. Triple perfect.

All I needed was a top. That took a bit of doing. I managed to find the exact same fabric as the skirt at a wholesaler in New York City’s garment district. If it exists, you can find it in NYC. Just one of the many reasons I love living in this city.

Then I used a white running tank I already have, along with a cut-up T-shirt, to make her white blouse.

Cinderella shoes, Disney running costume, runDisney New Balance shoes

To wear or not to wear?

After the race, I’ll put up a whole post about how I made the costume, so that you can too. I have zero sewing skills; I’ve never used a sewing machine; I never even took home economics. So it’s proof that anyone can do it when it comes to Disney running costumes.

The only lingering question is whether or not to wear my new runDinsey New Balance Cinderella shoes that I bought at the expo, complete with brand new Sparkle Athletic princess crown Schwings. I know you’re not supposed to use new shoes on race day. But the salesman told me they’re built from the same last as the New Balance 1400s I was planning on wearing. Hmmm. They just go so well…

If you see me on the course, give me a shout and a wave. I’ll probably be breathing too hard to talk, or at the very least, to talk any sense. But I love meeting people and saying hello.

Hopefully, channeling Belle will lead me to a new personal running frontier at the Walt Disney World 10K: a sub-54 minute 6.2 miles.

There may be something there that wasn’t there before: a new personal best and bright, shiny Minnie Mouse medal.

As a member of the media, runDisney is giving me complimentary race entries, hotel and park tickets for the Walt Disney World Marathon Weekend. I buy my own airfare, most meals, etc. As always, all opinions are purely my own. Disney does not give me talking points, post requirements, story suggestions or the like. As with everything, I choose what I write about, when I write about it, and always give my honest opinion. I firmly believe in being honest about my experiences and Disney is no exception. For more, read my Disclosure Policy.

Karla Bruning


Karla Bruning is a race announcer at the TCS New York City Marathon + other major events, TV host for the New York City Triathlon + contributor to Shape, Redbook, Runner's World + other publications. She used to report for Newsweek but spent her free time squeezing in workouts. Now it's her job. She's run 8 marathons, 30 halves, 10 triathlons + open water swims. When she's not running, talking about running or writing about running, she's snuggling her baby, spoiling her dog + compulsively traveling.

8 Comments Add Yours ↓

The upper is the most recent comment

  1. 1

    Hi Karla! I just found your blog a few days ago via the runDisney blogosphere :) I just wanted to stop by and say hi, and the best of luck at the 10K tomorrow! Love your Belle costume so much!

  2. 3

    Adorable! I love how clever you are in creating your costumes.

  3. 5

    Love it! I’m going to be Belle for the Princess, but I’m going with the yellow one, because, well, it’s the Princess Half lol. Hope your new sneakers brought you luck with your 10K PR! Can’t wait to find out how it went!
    Kellie recently posted..Daily Dose of DisneyMy Profile

  4. 7

    I love Belle!! I’m never really creative with my costumes because I don’t have any sewing skills so I’ll be really interested in your follow up post. Good luck!!
    Emily recently posted..Wish I Was Wednesday #53My Profile


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