Running a 5K Race… When You’re Not a Runner (And a Costume Idea!)

Running a 5K Race… When You’re Not a Runner (And a Costume Idea!)

I’m not a runner. That’s my Ultra-Marathon-Running husband’s thing. To be quite honest, given the choice between running or walking to the neighborhood park (which is only a few blocks away AND whose route could be made even shorter if I used the shortcut I have access to), I’d skip both and choose driving. I’m not particularly proud of that fact- just laying it out there so you can understand what it’s like to be running a 5K race… when you’re not a runner.

My First 5K Experience was great. It was a run that toured Downtown San Antonio so there was plenty to keep me distracted as my feet were hitting the pavement. We also made multiple stops to look at and/or discuss the places we saw. There was a lot of walking and jogging and not as much running as I imagined there would be, so it worked out well for me.

About a year after my 1st experience, I saw an ad on Facebook for a wine-themed run and thought, “Wow. That’s a great idea- I’d run for wine.”. So I did. However, this time, there was a little anxiety leading up to the event because I knew it would be different.

-There’d be no distractions along the way.

-Would I be able to keep up the pace with the rest of the runners?

-What if I couldn’t finish? Or worse- what if I ended up hurting myself or someone else because I’m not used to running? (Picture an epic running fail where I go down and take down several others with me. Or maybe I just nose-dive into the ground… 🤔)

I decided to ignore all of my reservations. The event sounded like fun either way, so I went ahead and signed up. And guess what? It turns out that even if you’re not a “runner” you can STILL have a great time at a 5K… especially if there’s wine at the finish line… So WINE NOT?

Running a 5K when you're not a runner and costume ideas for Moms

Perks of a Running a Themed 5K Race

Themed races are becoming increasingly more popular and they come with some great perks:

  1. You are rewarded with something that you can thoroughly enjoy at the end. In my case it was wine, but there are all sorts of races- beer, donut, foam- there are really too many to name.
  2. These “runs” are getting people to come out and get active- even people who don’t normally run like me. It’s a great way to do something healthy and have fun.
  3. They allow grown-ups to come up with clever costume ideas and wear them like a medal.
  4. This can ignite the light you needed to get into running or any kind of physical fitness. It can motivate you to start.

How to Prepare for the Race

1) Get in Shape…or Not.

One of my anxieties was that I wasn’t in shape to do the run. Although my husband suggested that I train using a quick Couch to 5K plan, I’ll be honest and tell you that didn’t happen. Part of the reason for that was that I had already accepted defeat. I knew I wouldn’t be able to win the race and wasn’t willing to put the effort in to train for it and attempt to. If you are seriously looking to compete and win- that’s awesome!- keep training and give it your all. If you’re not used to running and want to win, you will need to find a Couch to 5K plan. I’ve pinned a few to my Healthy Living Board on Pinterest.

2) Find a Friend.

These events are so much more fun when shared with a friend. It also boosts your motivation and/or competitive spirit (depending on the type of relationship you have with said friend.) At the very least, you’ll make some great memories.

3) Don’t take it too seriously.

It took me so long to finally do a themed race and when I finally did it, I looked back and couldn’t understand what all the fuss was about. Anyone that is cleared by a physician to do so can run a 5k and you don’t need to take it too seriously. You don’t have to win and in fact, you don’t have to run at all. You can walk, jog, skip- whatever warms your little heart.

4) Get Creative.

Again, this is one of the few socially acceptable events where grown-ups can dress up- and are encouraged to! These races generally offer prizes to the best dressed, so if you’re not looking to win the race, you can at least try to win the costume contest! One of the best places to search for great costume ideas is Pinterest- there are some REALLY creative people out there that come up with some awesome costumes.

Given the choice between running or walking to the neighborhood park (which is only a few blocks away), I'd skip both and choose driving. #wineandlavender Share on X

Costume Ideas for Moms

There are plenty of Moms in great shape that can wear anything they want and I’m so happy for them. I’d like to be one of those Moms one day, but for now, my lack of exercise and the fact that I need to get back to being Paleo is what keeps me hiding the fat I’m storing in my belly area- not so sexy. So from the start, I knew my costume would need to be something more on the loose side. Also, since I’d be running, I wanted to make sure that I was as comfortable as possible.

The competitive side of me was ready to spend way too much time overthinking costume ideas. My fellow blogger, friend, and partner in wine, Crystal, was thrilled that we could wear tutus for the day. So we got to brainstorming costume ideas- with the requirement that whatever we were going to be had to comfortable and involve a tutu. We finally came up with a good costume idea: a battery! 

I suppose you’re curious as to why a battery. Well, it sounded good…and made sense. We were running the race for the run. We were motivated by the wine and dug down deep to find the energy required to get to the wine. Essentially, we were “energized by wine”.

We knew we could make these costumes work for fairly cheap and we did. If you’re looking for a cheap race-day costume or looking to dress up for Halloween, this is a quick and easy Mom costume idea! Check out what we did:

Battery Costume


Check out how to make an Energizer Battery Costume for moms. Whether it's for Halloween, or you need a 5k race costume idea, it's a quick and easy costume to make!

What you need:

2 Racer Back Tees -Walmart $4.96 each

2 Headbands (You can get these at the Dollar Store if you don’t already have some at home.)

1 Black Fabric Paint- Michael’s $4.99- I totally could have bought the smaller bottle which is cheaper but decided to go with bigger since I’d likely need it for other projects and it’s better to have more than not enough. (Always check for coupons before going to Michael’s, they almost always have a 40% off coupon.) You can get this fabric paint on Amazon.

Decals- Got a friend to make us an “Energized by Wine decals for our shirts and wine bottles for our headbands. -looking” decals

2 Silver Tulle Tutus 


What you do:

  1. After you get the supplies, have a friend or find someone who has the ability to make decals make you some. (Check local Facebook Groups if you don’t know anyone personally.)
  2. Cut a larger piece of cardboard to size or tape cardboard inserts together to act as a barrier so the paint didn’t leak through. Slip it inside of the shirt.
  3. Use painter’s tape to make a straight line going across the shirt.
  4. Paint the top half of the shirt with the fabric paint and hang it up to allow it to dry a little before tackling the back.
  5. Once it is somewhat dry, lay down more cardboard or any kind of protective cover, lay the shirt on top, and finish painting the back.
  6. When you’re done painting, hang it up and let it dry overnight!

On the day of our race, it was chilly and ended up raining, AND I forgot my tutu at home, but that didn’t keep us from getting to our wine! We had a great time. Anyone can do it and should.

Have you run a themed race before? Do you have a quick and easy costume idea that won’t break the bank? Leave your thoughts in the comments below.


Pamela is a Freelance Writer, Blogger, WAHM of 3, and Veteran Military Wife living in Southwest Texas. Raised in the Northeast and having lived a few years in the Pacific Northwest, she likes to write about mom life, parenting, frugal living, experiences, and WINE. (Lots of wine!) When she’s not busy chasing toddlers around, you can find her on the blog or on social media. Check her out on Instagram:

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