Couldn't find what you looking for?

TRY OUR SEARCH!

I realize running is a typical middle class sport, but why are races so expensive? Why are $80 fees for marathons acceptable? I've seen 24 hour adventure races with entry fees around $400... so why? Aren't they held by volunteers?

Why don't more [any] races waive the entry fees if you can run a particular qualifying time? Say an 18:30 5k? Typically less than 2% or so of people run under that time, so they're not losing much revenue, but they're giving opportunities to people that want to compete but are not able to afford it.

I can see making everyone pay for charity races, but the "biggies" - local races that draw a lot of people and are pretty competitive with fast winning times, of which there are 2 or 3 a year, do not support causes. They put all of the money into the next year's race.

I think if some races did this, they would have much higher participation numbers with the faster free entries drawing in more people.

Loading...

I've wondered the same thing. :| The local 5K my gym does each year we charge $15.00 early entry and $18.00 the last few days and day of race. And people still think it's high. :?
Reply

Loading...

Do you offer a no t-shirt option?
Reply

Loading...

Generally speaking, the longer the race, the more it will cost to organize, bring in volunteers, and close off roads, therefore the more expensive it will be. That is why marathons are usually the most expensive compared to 5ks. You bring in corporate sponsors and charities and the fees go up some more.
$15-$18 for a local road race (5k, 10k) is considered cheap in my area. A 1/2 marathon in the $30-$40 range is the least expensive it will get. There are usually good early bird discounts if you sign up early before a certain date....therefore the best way to save money is to plan ahead of time what races you want to run in and sign up early for them.
However I generally won't pay for 5ks that are over 25 bucks, 10ks over 35 and 1/2 marathons over 70. Marathons-very subjective...

Sometimes the less expensive races provide a better deal than the more expensive ones. Last year I paid $60 for a 1/2 marathon...the course was fast and scenic but the pre-race activities were disorganized, I didn't get a shirt of the right sizing (it was supposed to be guaranteed!), and the post race food was limited. However I did another 1/2M last February for only $32..nice fast and well-marked course, very good organization, post-race food was plentiful and good, and lots of draw prizes and such. It was definitely far more worth it than the more expensive one.

If you think running races are expensive, then triathlons and such will cost a fortune...a sprint or olympic distance tri around where I live will cost around 80-100 bucks. Ironman distance- $500...and they get sold out in less than a day! Amazing that people will actually spend the money and fight for spots just to suffer for 1/2 a day or more out there.
Reply

Loading...

Great topic M.E.C. allow me to get on my soapbox.

Funny, just the other night I was looking at my first marathon certificate run back in 1972. With it was an old entry form, cost of entry $3.00
No t-shirt, no medal (unless you finished in the first three) but a certified course (IAAF) hot showers when you finished, as many sandwiches, tea and coffee as you could eat and drink.

Running can be an expression of freedom, comradeship, challenge, health and even democracy. Many would have us believe this. Read the many articles in your running magazines and some of the topics here.
It's almost convincing.
But then look at each of these magazines more closely and see how much money is involved; how much paraphernalia companies are trying to sell runners; how many photographs display the names of products or sponsors on runners singlets and shorts; how many people are trying to cash in on running?
If running was manipulated by profit oriented industries it would alienate the very essence of the activity. It would turn running into an expression,
not of freedom from a materialist society, but of open support of crass materialism.

Back in the 60's George Hirsch published a civil rights magazine.
During the 1970's he switched to publishing 'The Runner'. I guess there is a lesson there, but it escapes me.

Charities sponsor races as a "oncer" then drop out without any interest in the longer term implications of the running public. Large firms "buy" big popular runs with a once a year (or lifetime) effort and then forget about running for the rest of the time.
I'm told by friends over there that TV stations want to broadcast the New York marathon but not the bread and butter runs leading up to it.
The London marathon strikes a nice balance between charity and running, with proceeds distributed to charities and for the development of recreational facilities in areas of London most in need.
We should all attempt to control OUR sport so that commercialisation doesn't destroy the elite runner and exploit us "also rans"

To pay an entry fee to were someones advertising is ridiculous.

Sponsors fees should be ploughed back into running -- some recreational facilities in your local town/city and then we can pay more than lip service to the notion that running is for everyone.
It is absurd that sponsors can put their name to an event for next to nothing -- the prestige and exposure givin to a sponsor during a large run is much greater than the expense the sponsor incurs.
Runners must sell their sport for its true worth. We must not sit back and let OUR sport be taken over and exploited by sponsors who have little or no interest in the long term development of running and its associated benefits.
Reply

Loading...

No. :|
Reply

Loading...

Semi On-topic... Maybey you could cherry pick your races better. My last race was $15 for a race day registration. For this small sum, I received a) a memory of racing with a friend, b) a t-shirt, c) free pizza, d) free cookies and e) a plaque for placing 2nd in my AG.

The race I did before that was only $6 for a no-shirt option. I still got cookies, a water bottle and a medal (for an AG win).

It's the races that want $25 for a t-shirt, orange wedges and a pat on the back that I won't race.

Maybe I'm funny that way.
Reply

Loading...

This is one thing that does not make sense. Sponsors are paying to get their names on banners and tshirts, yet somehow the race still costs the same or even more than an unsponsored one?
Where is the money going? For those that have been race directors, can you provide a break down of costs?
Reply

Loading...

I agree, and I try to do this as much as possible. But there aren't a whole lot of races around here to begin with, and most of them don't offer the no-tshirt option. I always ask, and usually the reply I get is "Well why wouldn't you want the t-shirt that you're paying for?" :x
Reply

Loading...

Sort of on topic.... in Charlotte... the local running store had a team that he sponsored. IT didn't cost anything to be on his team, you had to buy his singlet, though... You had to wear his singlet in the races and race under his team in the races and he cut the race entry fee for you on all races he sponsored.

I sort of liked it.
Reply

Loading...

We don't have the 'no t-shirt' option here at all. That would be a good thing to bring up.
Reply

Loading...

I've seen a couple races with it, but not many. Typically, I get the shirt anyway.
Reply

Loading...

I haven't seen a no race shirt race here. Although with the amount I have collected in the last 5 years I need to do something with them all.
Reply

Loading...

Even though big races cost an arm and a leg, no one is making any money, believe you me. If you take a look at the financial statements of the running clubs putting these on, like any non-profit, it's a shoestring budget and touch-n-go to keep from going belly up.

For instance, the city of Minneapolis charges between $5000 and $10000 to close streets (so double that for a race like the Twin Cities marathon that is run in both Mpls and St Paul). There are city employees that need union wages to put up/take down barracades, police to be paid for their shifts spent directing traffic, medics mandated by insurance policy, there's the cost of renting porta-potties, gatorade, cups, food, insurance premiums, printing (ever priced color copying these days?), mailing (don't get me started on postage costs), telephone, awards (age group awards are crazy expensive but absolutely expected by runners), timer equipment rental/purchase, certification, publication fees, the lists goes on and on.

Reality is, I'm sure a good many road races in fact operate the same way that mine does. I figure a 'reasonable' price for entry, then I scramble for sponsorships to cover the costs over what I'll take in for entries. So in the end, the runner gets waaay more for their dollar than they're paying for in fact. Shirts are just one of dozens of expenses. And volunteers are about the only 'free' part of the equation and they are only about half the manpower and a temprimental resource that a director can't exploit too much.

And even though pretty much every race out there is "non-profit" or providing for some "charity", there are so many of them and so many race directors knocking on the same grocery store doors and the same shirt printing shops and the same timing equipment rentals that all these places just won't "donate" anymore. It's a tough market to get donations anymore, so just paying for it all is probably a big reason a lot of race fees is going up too.
Reply

Loading...

Any comments on providing free entries?
Reply

Loading...