Race Selfies: All Dressed Up and Somewhere to Run!


At my most recent race, a 5k in my hometown, I met up with a fellow running friend who suggested we take selfies in honor of the occasion. I happily obliged, and as we pulled out our phones, she said, “Wow, your hair looks really good. And I can’t believe you put on makeup! I just slapped on a little mascara.”

I was flattered. I had intentionally worked to put my hair in a tidy ponytail and, yes, I spent about five minutes adding some festive blue eyeliner (After all, why not?), eye shadow and powder. I knew I was going to shower right after the race, but dressing up a little for this local race was something I wanted to do.

About five years ago during my first half marathon, I didn’t wear any makeup. I rolled out of bed at 5 a.m. for a 7 a.m. race. I didn’t see a point in wearing makeup that I was just going to sweat off.  However, my running partner and I took so many commemorative pictures for our first half marathon that I decided to change tactics for the next half.

The next year, for my second halfie, I wore my “full” makeup: eyeliner, mascara, eye shadow, powder – the works. I probably omitted the blush, as my cheeks tend to redden naturally when I run. I didn’t feel over committed to my makeup, but I did conclude that I could have worn even less makeup – or maybe just some that was sweat proof. I needed to be somewhere in the middle of no makeup and full makeup.

I’m really not a big makeup and hair girl. I pin a billion cute pins on Pinterest about style that I never use. Well, maybe I used them once. Maybe. I generally do the very basics. But after doing this running business for about six years now, I have determined that on race days, I will wear at least a little makeup.

The reason is simple, really: I’m a picture person. My kid’s life is daily documented on Instagram. During most of my races, I will take at least one picture. If I take that picture, I might want to share it. And, frankly, I’d rather share a picture with a little lip gloss and mascara than without.

Some may view this is an insecurity issue. I really don’t. I wear makeup to work. Some people do; some people don’t. I don’t necessarily see a negative or positive either way; it’s a personal choice. It’s like deciding whether to wear black pants or brown pants to work. It’s your own choice.

I have seen women cross the finish line for a race even as long as a half-marathon or even a full marathon wearing full makeup with their hair decked out in curls and hairspray. I’m not that eager to dress up for a race, but I don’t judge them for wanting to look their best for such an important moment in their life.

When you cross that finish line for a race, whether it’s for a 5k, a 10k or anything longer, you want to do it well. You want to run across that finish line, not walk. You want your shoulders and head to be held high. You want to give it all you’ve got.

I like to cross that line doing all that – and with a little makeup.

This may seem like a silly or trite subject. After all, those who frequent this website are people who are into fitness. People who want to be healthy. People who want a strong body and a strong mind. Is talking about makeup even necessary?

It’s not necessary, but it’s a warranted discussion. If you choose to get all dressed up for a race, with full makeup and even a fancy ponytail, go for it. If you want to go au natural when you make your stunning way across the finish line, go for it.

We’re all in this together, and we’re all exercising, racing and eating healthy for different reasons. That’s what makes this so much fun – to hear everyone’s stories.

To wear makeup or not to wear makeup – either way it doesn’t matter. It’s your choice. What really matters is crossing that finish line.