The Costumed Runner Blog: 2014 Starlight Parade

Photos taken by Tim Fraser and pictured is Mel Ortiz as the Up House


It all started when I found out about an awesome handmade costume worn by a mystery woman at a run in Disneyland.  She was dressed in this towering “Kevin” costume from the Disney/Pixar beloved movie “UP” from 2009. After tracking her down by the Facebook group called “Running/Race Costumes” it was discovered that she was from my very own hometown of Portland, Oregon (PDX) and her name is Sandy.

One of our fellow blog and costume running enthusiasts Maryalicia reached out to her and the rest was history.  We will all participate in several months the heavily running and costume event called the Starlight Run that precedes the Starlight Parade in PDX.  We already had Kevin and Russell costumes thanks to our new found friend Sandy but who would be the dog Dug, Carl, or yikes….. the House?

Yours truly took the challenge and decided to tackle the house.  Mind you most of my costumes for my runs have either been Internet bought or made with foam and hot glue.  Actually doing a structural costume and to make it light enough to run was as my husband stated…”I think you bit more than you can chew this time.”  I wanted to prove him wrong, unfortunately my procrastination got the best of me. When it was announced we would as a group tackle these handmade costumes I instead decided to put it off until 2 weeks before the May 31, 2014 run.  Thank goodness for the three day Memorial Day weekend and my tinkering with cardboard shoe boxes, colored foam sticky back paper, and cotton batting that made this challenge a success.  My husband we like to call or actually he likes to be called FUBAR added his woodworking skills and finished the house off with a realistic front porch, awning, and steps.  I hand painted them in white to show off the porch of this cute Up house.  I even found a great local hobby shop in town that had the miniature garden hose and faucet to add to the house which is an important piece if you have seen the movie.

The Test Run:

It was Memorial Day and I forgot I was invited to my longtime friends Maddy and Gary to their house in Salem, Oregon (roughly one hour away from PDX) for a barbecue.  I asked if they were good with me bringing my creation over and to do a test run.  As always they were up for some tomfoolery.  From the test run we learned that the cotton batting/stuffing needs to be hot glued and that I needed to add a belt of some sort to hold the house closer to me for the 5K.

Starlight Parade:

There were many impressive group costumes and so many children happy to be part of this fun race.  Our group looked fabulous and many requests were asked to have pictures with the Up group.  Here is a link from a short clip that shows both Carl and I as the Up house from our local news station KPTV Fox 12.  Just click here and look for a clip titled “2014 Starlight Parade, Part 4” and you can see us at 0:52 of the video for a couple of seconds.

Our photo was also one of a lucky few in the Oregonian Live article titled “Best photos: 2014 Portland Starlight Parade & Run”.  Here is the link.

All in all a great day and who knows what next year holds?

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