Tuesday, August 09, 2011

Event fees

It wasn't that long ago that running races didn't cost all that much.  I miss the days of going to my local running store in Portland (Ore.), filling out the race registration on the store's counter and walking away with my bib and shirt.  It wasn't long ago -- maybe 10 or 12 years ago??  Today, we have to register online because registering via snail mail will often actually cost you more.  There are always fees and the race fees themselves just keep going up. 

A friend recently changed her mind about running a local San Diego race this month.  She had registered late for the race and with fees, she paid $102 and some change.  A mutual friend bought the bib from her during the transfer window for the full amount and then still had to pay the $20 transfer fee.  In all, over $120 for a HALF MARATHON.  I know the Rock-n-Roll series are expensive, but this isn't even one of their races.  This just blows my mind, esp. when I learned tonight that recently the inaugural Hollywood Half Marathon (April 2012) offered a $39 special to register.  What a difference in price! 

The races are just getting too expensive.  I'm running the same San Diego race later this month and also purchased a bib from someone who paid $102 and change.  My limit was $50, which she accepted since she was injured.  I feel comfortable with $50 for a half marathon (esp. since it will be in her name, not mine), or even $60.  But upwards of $120? 

What about you?  What are you willing to pay for races?  Dependent on distance?  Location?  Extras that come in the goodie bag?  I never wear the t-shirts and my bib and medal go into a box.  I personally could do without all the extras, I just want to run!


Lacey Sue said...

I couldn't agree with you more. I haven't even been running that long- only about 3 years total- and I have watched the prices of races go from "eh" to "WHAT?!" For some races, the fee's just aren't worth it. I still choke out the mulla for others though. It's getting to be a bit too much for this stay at home mommies pocket book! visit me @ http://notyouraveragerunningmom.blogspot.com/

{lifeasa}RunningMom said...

For me it depends on the race and the overall experience for me. I am lucky there are plenty of free 5K or 10K stil here on island associated with our local running club (if you a member). Plus with some others I can get a discount, and I focus on signing up early.

However, I have made a new rule. I used to love to run the Race for the Cure but have decided the travel expenses to go to a neighbor island to run a 5K isn't worth it, even if the entry fee is low. Plus, what is the race supporting? Where does the money go?

There is a WHOLE LOT involved in putting on a race, which I have seen firsthand. The organization I work for puts on the annual Run for the Whales (by the way, entry for this one is low) and staff works so hard. You wouldn't even believe the time investment just to get volunteers lined up!

Essentially, I will pay more for the half's and marathons and try to keep my costs down for the 5Ks and 10Ks. :)

Katy said...

I understand those fees go to some sort of component of those races but man, who has that kind of cash!
I usually am in the under $60 for a half. I did splurge for the Portland Marathon entry fee but it's my first and after that, I am not sure I want to shell out that much cash.
After discovering trail runs this summer, I might start doing a few more of those. The experience was great and the fees much more affordable.