How to Geek a 5K

Five K run, Halloween costumes
X-wing pilot and Skywalker-in-Training! Cathy and Steve Greskovic found great 5K costumes. Photo by Fran Wilde

Last weekend, I ran my second 5K. The first time, three years ago, I ran by myself. This time I ran it with one of my best friends, which made the race even better. Know what will make it superb next year? Costumes.

The race I run takes place during Rehoboth Beach’s annual Sea Witch Festival… which may be one of the geekiest beach-Halloween festivals on the East Coast. Seriously: A pitch-perfect handmade Jawa and Gonk droid team (droid made of Rubbermaid bins, no less) won the parade and perhaps the universe, plus many more DIY costumes.

DIY Gonk Droid and Jawa in the parade. The Sea Witch Festival features many DIY costumes, but this little one walked the whole parade route on gonk feet. And looked utterly amazing. photo by Fran Wilde

The race, sponsored by the awesome Seashore Striders, is similarly outfitted, with several of my favorite costumes from this year below. There were pirates too, and skeletons, Vulcans, two great Teenage Mutant Ninjas with DIY shells (turkey roasting pans), superheroes galore, and a Bo Peep from Toy Story who ran in full dress. Batman and Batgirl sprinted past, on their way to victory while we were still headed for the turnaround, which was totally okay.

Here’s hoping next year I get it together to make my own costume, taking major inspiration from the folks below. In the meantime: Woo, we made it to the finish line!

Group costume: DIY Octopus legs! Heather Bevan, Lindsey Gibson, Gwen Rash, Wendi Potter, Becky Brown, Carol Middleton, and Charlene Pagan found their costume inspiration on Pinterest. photo by Fran Wilde
Powerpuff Girls Knee-highs and Tutus! Lyandra Emmanuel, Trish Ingram, Candice Savoy, and Nicole Nicholson. photo by Fran Wilde.


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Fran Wilde writes science fiction and fantasy. Her first novel, Updraft (Tor, 2015) is called 'Soaring' by Publishers' Weekly and Barnes & Noble SFF blog, while NPR Books says it was "one of the most original fantasy novels I've read this year." Her next novel, Cloudbound releases in September. Fran's short stories appear at Asimov's, Nature, Beneath Ceaseless Skies, and She writes for publications including The Washington Post, SFSignal,, Clarkesworld,, and She can also program digital minions, tie most of the sailor's knot board, and re-load a fountain pen without spattering herself with ink (usually). She lives in Philadelphia with her husband and their tween-minecraft fanatic / book addict / budding Scratch programmer.