Check out my costume! Isn’t it awesome?

Too bad that when I parked my car near the start line I realized I left the muscle suit at home. Yes, sorry to break your heart, but THAT IS a muscle suit. I know, I was totally bummed. As you can see, I was excited about putting it on just hours before the race.

Thankfully, I still had the wig.

It’s Mullet Time!

In case you were wondering what the costume was for, on saturday I ran the first ever Hella-Ween 5 Miler in Oakland. It was a relatively small event (335 finishers), but there were plenty of costumes out there. Here were some cool ones I remember seeing:

3 Blind Mice — 3 ladies dressed in all black with mouse ears and canes (you can see one in the right corner)
Angry Birds — yep, full on jumbo angry bird costumes (red, yellow, black)
Zombies/Dead People — there was a graduate, 2 prom women, and others
Waldo — see photo above, you have to find him of course
Elvis — the guy actually looked like Nicolas Cage, funny.
Cal Football Player — in full pads and ran with a football

Lake Merritt! Complete with working lights.

and of course, these two ladies dressed as Lake Merritt, complete with locations and working lights.

I unfortunately, only had my mullet. And kudos to all women who run with long hair. You gotta be kidding me. A couple miles in and that thing was sweating. How does sweat run down your hair and hit your neck/shoulders? I didn’t even know that was possible, and I was in a wig! Get outta here with that. Women, you have my permission to shave your heads. I completely understand.

Me and my friend Diana, Ms. America.

I didn’t really have a time goal for this, mostly because I THOUGHT I was going to be in full costume. Since I didn’t have any giant muscles slowing me down, I decided to just run at a slighty faster than comfortable pace. I didn’t have my gamin, so I had no idea how fast I was going. I just ran and pushed it a little bit.

After mile 2, I saw that I was pretty well towards the front, which is weird. For the next three miles, I set small goals of passing one person at a time. There were usually 1-2 people always a block in front of me.

  • First up was the Hot Dog. I sure as hell wasn’t going to let a dude dressed as lunch beat me (so, yes, I beat the weenie).
  • Next up was the (evil) Queen from Snow White (great costume BTW).
  • Then I saw Ryan Hall. At least, I think it was. He had on USA-striped socks and white tank that said “RYAN” on it. Either way, I wanted to be able to say that “I passed Ryan Hall” in the final mile. Done.
  • On the home stretch, maybe less than a half mile from the finish I saw a guy dressed in orange. I knew where the finish line was and thought “if I kicked into second gear and race hard for the finish line, I could get him.” I flew up a slight incline, took advantage of the decline and passed him.
  • Then rounded the corner, said “hi” to a friend and finished strong.

39:50:07 — good enough for 30th place at a 7:58 pace.


I was really surprised that I was going that fast. Again, I had no watch and was just running based on “feel.” I also ran 8 miles that morning, so I didn’t think my miles would be sub-8. But I did feel like each mile was faster and I wish I would have been able to look back and see what my splits were.

Hella-Ween Start and Finish Line

As for the race, I was glad to see that almost everyone was in some sort of costume. Some were extremely well thought out (there were two people dressed as Mario Kart and one guy painted himself all blue like Avatar, muscle suit not needed). The course was flat and Oakland police did an amazing job on controlling traffic. There were quite a few turns, but that really didn’t bother me too much. There were two water stops and even a beer stop (which I took advantage of in passing people). It did involve running under or near some freeways, but that also doesn’t bother me.

Also, there was someone every couple blocks that was cheering us on. In typical Oakland fashion, they were not there to cheer on a specific runner, they were simply there to cheer on the positive occasion that was happening in the community. If you want to experience what that feels like in full force, run the Oakland Running Festival in March (full, half, relay) — I’ll see you there!

I also got to high-five a tiny batman. I stopped at the first water stop to drink a cup of gatorade and there was a tiny boy dressed as batman. He seemed shy, so I told him I liked his costume. He looked at me and put up my hand for a high-five — he got all happy and slapped me cinco! Anyone willing to cheer on runners and volunteer in costume is alright in my book.

All in all, it was a good day and I’m glad I was a part of it. I hope it happens again next year and I’ll definitely plan on setting up an after party with some friends and fellow runners. The start/finish line was right near some really great restraints and I saw plenty of people taking advantage of the discounts associated with the race.

Oh ya, I also designed the shirts and had smile when I heard some people talking about them.

Can I rock a mullet, or what?!?!

Have you ever run in costume?