The Costumed Runner Blog: 2014 Portland Rock n’ Roll Half Marathon


Left to right: Ivonne Heath, M. Ortiz (Bacon), Sarita Amaya, Bola Majekobaje, Photographer: Robin York


This was my third Portland Rock and Roll Half Marathon so I knew that this run was going to be mostly hills, hills, and more hills.  I have been training on Terwilliger aka Pill Hill during the week and on Saturdays to make sure my body was used to it.  The only other challenge is always the costume part of the run since I usually don’t train in my costumes but I knew after running as Bacon for the Bridge to Brews 10K and First Run on New Year’s Eve, it was a light enough costume to do this half marathon in.

The Day of the Race

Walking to my corral with my race buddies there were already yells of “Bacon” from every direction and individuals asking to have a photo with bacon.  Waiting at the corrals there was a brief mist of morning moisture which is my kind of race weather.  I know others around me may disagree but when you run races in costume a little moisture is always appreciated.

After many countdowns until our corral we were off.  My group primarily stayed together until eventually I was on my own by Mile 8. We always have a rule to go on your own pace and if it’s slower or faster we all meet at the end.

There was much enthusiasm on the course with the cheerleading squads, the throngs of well-wishers and volunteers, inspirational handmade signs, along with the great bands.  My favorite had to be around Mile 4 with the Journey cover band.

Costume Runner Obstacles


Pictured: Runners against costume running, Photographer M. Ortiz

One of the many obstacles in running in costume is the obvious with the visibility factor and heat depending on how elaborate your costume is and if it one that will cover your entire face.  One of the obstacles that many of us who run in costume face are unfortunately the few that don’t understand the magic of running in costume.  Fortunately these three were the only ones who verbally expressed disdain for costume running in which I politely stated it’s what I love to do and I do it for many charities and the kids of those charities in which they responded in silence and ran away in embarrassment.  The best way to thwart these naysayers is with “killing them with kindness’ because in the end you are beloved by the crowd even more with your enthusiasm and goodwill.

The Joys of Running in Costume


Pictured: Bacon Lover Runner, Photographer: Mel Ortiz

It’s moments like this when you do meet wonderful people along the course who cheer for you and your costume. I was lucky to find this lover of bacon who expressed his love on his race shirt.  He was kind enough for me to take a photo of his wonderful shirt with bacon.

I was making good time here when I heard one of the Portland Police officers who were taking care of the traffic for our race call out Bacon.  I had to stop and take the photo…right?

Pictured: Officer Dunlap, Photographer: Mel Ortiz

Pictured: Officer Dunlap, Photographer: Mel Ortiz

As soon as I saw Mile 12, I knew the end was near and the excitement only made me run faster.  There was so many cheers and the announcer couldn’t believe they were seeing bacon run through the finish line to where my race buddies were cheering me on to finish.



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