#RunWithAnIdea Post 2: Would you pay £50 (~$75) for a 10K race?

Monday, July 29, 2013

Continuing our #RunWithAnIdea project, this week we are talking about race entry fees.

What is the most you have ever paid for a race?  Was it worth it?

The most I have ever paid is £82.50 for the London Triathlon (sprint distance).  Unfortunately, I withdrew this year due to a pesky injury (money unfortunately is gone).  Triathlons are of course a different ballgame, as they require 3x as much space and staffing to cover all the disciplines.  On the other hand, I have also pay £12 for a low-key half marathon in Auckland, New Zealand and really enjoyed it.

I understand race fees need to cover permits, road closures, staffing, mailings, and publicity.  Then there are incentives, such as free t-shirts, goody bags, and the coveted race bling.  Most races seem to be aligned with a charity these days, so perhaps some of the fee goes toward the organization too.  Are the rest simply for profit?  (I must say I imagine there are many simpler/easier ways to make money)

Maybe in my old age, I am becoming more money conscious.  But to look at all the things I can do with £50 (especially when I see it converted to $!) I don't think I would pay that much for 'only' a 10K. Unless there was an incredible gimmick (such as running hand-in-hand with Paula Radcliffe, an obstacle course through Buckingham Palace gardens, or solid gold bling) there is a lot of other stuff I could do with that money that would last longer than an one-off experience.

Race organizers- As a side note, it would be fabulous to opt out of the t-shirt, especially if it is cotton.  I have enough t-shirts that I don't wear because they are too hot or don't fit.  Put the £5 towards your organization instead.  Yes, the photos look cool when everyone is wearing the same color shirt but it can be a waste of resources too.

For me, there must be an equation to relate entry fee to the energetic demand of the event.  As I have been fundraising this year for Rod's Racing, I feel that I have spent a lot on race entry fees which could have gone to the orphans I am trying to help.  It does add up, as many of my friends in their quests to increase their bling collection.  Racing can be addictive because you are chasing a new PB, exploring different parts of the world, trying to loose weight/get fit, or supporting a cause you believe in.

Perhaps because I have done many 5Ks, 10ks, and a few halves, I have a different sense of value for the events.  If you have never run a race and have your heart set on a particular event, don't let the entry fee hold you back.  Only you can determine what is a fair price for the entertainment value and instant motivation.  Once you have a few medals on your wall, you will know what is important to you at a race and find events that cater to your needs.

I would love to hear how you select events to run in.  What is important to you?  Location?  Distance?  Free stuff?  Entry fee?


  1. I tend to go for races that I've never done before, that are local or at a lovely location. I prefer 10k's or half marathons but can get put off by a hefty entry fee. It's easier to stomach the fee if I know I'm going to get a technical tee and/or a great goody bag or if it's a bit of a once in a lifetime race (e.g. TNLAR or something abroad) especially as I can just go out and run 6 or 13 miles anytime. As I'm not a fast runner I tend not to enter the same events very often on the basis I prefer to complete rather than try and beat a previous time.

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