Running the Jacksonville Bank Marathon as Darth Vader

In Dec 2010 I ran my first marathon. It was the Jacksonville Bank Marathon. I wanted to do something special so I ran it as The Flash.  Well, I wore the Flash insignia on my shirt.  My friend Mike ran it as Superman.  Take a look.

So when I decided to run the marathon again in 2011, I wanted to again do something different. I decided to run as Darth Vader.  I’ve talked about this decision several times on the Nerd Lunch Podcast, so I thought I’d share with you guys how we made the Vader costume and also made it “run friendly”.

First step, I bought a Darth Vader costume shirt.  You can pretty much pick them up anywhere.  This is an easy way to get the majority of the costume in one fell swoop.  Plus, this is easier than attaching a bunch of crap to a black shirt.  Especially when you will be running 26+ miles in said shirt + crap.

Vader costume shirt

I then asked my wife who is an incredible seamstress to make me a mini-cape.  My inspiration for this mini-cape came from a Superman costume shirt on

So, to begin, Steph got a yard of black matte fabric.
cape 1

She then cut it into two rectangles with her rotary cutter.  Next she sliced off the edges to make it taper outwards at the bottom.
cape 2

Steph ironed down the edges to make it easier to hem.
cape 3

Then she actually hemmed down the edges.
cape 4

Here is a test shot of the cape. This was right before the final stitching to see how it fell on my back and to make sure it wouldn’t bother me when I ran.  And it didn’t, the cape turned out perfect.
cape 5

Here I am around mile 22 of the marathon. You can see my friend Mike came dressed as Boba Fett.  It was at this point in the race that we pass Mike’s house so we stopped for some refreshments like Gatorade and bagels.

cape 7

You can’t really tell I have the cape except when I’m running or from behind. My only wish was that we had made it taper further out towards my hips. It was too skinny.  But I still think it was awesome and I got several compliments on it.  Next year, I may do Superman with a similar cape and Mike may do Lex Luthor.

So, if any of you decide to do a long race, make it fun and dress up nerdily.  You’ll be glad you did.


8 Responses to “Running the Jacksonville Bank Marathon as Darth Vader”

  1. I need my shorts back, you thief!

  2. Your shirt was better. I should have made a cape.

  3. way to go Paxton on running marathons! Very cool Darth Vader outfit! Kudos to wifey on the sewing skills.

  4. For my future 5K or more plans . . . what does it mean to be “race friendly?”

    • Fitz, “run friendly” means it won’t bother you while running. It is mostly a concern for longer runs. And especially for a 26 mile marathon. I didn’t want the cape too get to heavy by absorbing sweat or to brush against my legs/shoulders for 5 hours causing chaffing.

      If you aren’t careful, the smallest thing will become an irritant when you are running for 5+ hours.

  5. I love this!!! though I have to admit that I might have smiled a bit more at Steph and I having the same cutting board and ruler. Bah. No really–your cape is pretty cool. And congrats on finishing your second marathon!!

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: