Craig Martin jogged across the finish line, having dressed to the nines for a seven-mile run. At Saturday's Baltimore Running Festival, he ran the last leg of the relay race wearing a navy blue herringbone suit, tattersall shirt, blue-and-pink bowtie and suede shoes.
In the end, his footwear did him in.
"I'm going to have some bad blisters down there," said Martin, 41, of Rodgers Forge. "But I might wear this outfit in the half-marathon next year."
On a cool but muggy day, most of the 27,000 entrants stuck to shorts and T-shirts. Others got dolled up, hoping to stand out in a sea of runners.
"I was looking for a pick-me-up from the crowd, and I got it," said Angie Williams, 33, of Glen Burnie, who ran the relay in a Supergirl costume. "It helps, having people cheer you on."
Holy half-marathon! Batman and Robin finished that race together, masks on and fists raised in celebration after their 13.1-mile jaunt.
"If you can't go fast, go fun," said Pete Stine, 43, of Roland Park, who dressed as the Caped Crusader. His sidekick, Robin, was a little miffed.
"Somebody called me Zorro," said Ged Moretta, 41, of Liverpool, England.
Amid the Orioles, Ravens and college T-shirts, marathon-issued jerseys and bare-chested male runners showing off their tattoos, a few outfits stood out. One man ran the half-marathon dressed as Lt. Jim Dangle from the sitcom "Reno 911." He wore a skin-tight leather-like shirt and shorts and carried a billy club and handcuffs.
Two 16-year-old Severn students, Katie Pawlikowski and Lexi Schrobilgen, donned pink tutus with gauzy pink wings for the half-marathon.
"We're supposed to be fairies," Pawlikowski said. "But all we heard during the race was [a variation of Muhammad Ali's mantra], 'Run like a butterfly and sting like a bee.'"
Few runners received more comments than Rick Stewart, the front of whose T-shirt read, "I Hate Peyton Manning." On the back was, "Eli [Stinks] Too."
"Most everyone out there agreed, because of the time Peyton [the then-Indianapolis Colts quarterback] beat the Ravens in the NFL playoffs" said Stewart, 39, of Phoenix, Md. "I bought this shirt for five bucks, and now I'm going to be all over Facebook."
One brave soul wore an Aaron Rodgers jersey. Rodgers quarterbacks the Green Bay Packers, who play the Ravens on Sunday.
"I grew up in Wisconsin, and I'm here to visit my brother," said Sue Yerkes, 44. "He told me that if I wore Rodgers' jersey, I'd get booed. Ravens fans are more loving than that. The worst I heard was, 'You're a winner today but you might get beat tomorrow.'"
Other shirts made race-day statements, such as "My Sweat Is My Trophy" and "Why Are We Doing This?" Others read "Boston Strong" and "Boston Stands As One," references to the bombings at April's Boston Marathon.
There were runners wearing crab hats, the claws dangling in their faces as they jogged. A woman dressed as a caped ninja turtle, her face painted green, collapsed at the finish, apparently from exhaustion. She was wheeled to the medical tent for observation.
Superman was everywhere. At least a half-dozen runners came suited up as The Man of Steel and the first to finish was Remus Medley, 43, of Baltimore. He completed the marathon in 3 hours, 17 minutes.
"And I posed for pictures at every water stop," said Medley, flexing his muscles body-builder style. "Kids were yelling, 'Go, Superman!' It was my shirt that kept me going."
Then there was Jeremy Gruver, who ran the marathon — all 26.2 miles of it — as a life-sized cup of iced coffee (straw included). Dunkin' Donuts provided the costume, a hot, clumsy outfit that the runner wore for good reason.
"The company paid my $110 entry fee," said Gruver, 34, of Dover, Pa. "It was a hindrance, but not all that bad. People kept yelling, 'America runs on coffee.'
"I don't even drink the stuff, yet I've never felt more famous in my life."Copyright © 2014, The Baltimore Sun