Have you ever organised an event Dave? I do and it ain't cheap. I'm actually wondering if you are being deliberately provocative.... . I'll answer your questions/points.
1. No, running events are becoming more common - the problem for small scale events is that there are now so many large events which attract large numbers of runnners that the smaller events struggle to survive -just finding a date which doesn't clash with another event within 40 miles on the same day is becoming increasingly difficult. Unless you are on the far north coast of Scotland where there isn't a problem......
2. Your point about medal/goody bag - well Dave, for every one who feels as you do there is another runner who wants a decent goody bag/medal. You don't have to take one and newer runners are encouraged by them. Our goody bags cost us little, in return for putting the advertising blurb in the bag we get free samples to put in. On the water issue, I agree - we use cups but TBH on a marathon/half I prefer to have a 500ml water bottle to carry with me. Again that is my personal preference - just as yours is not to have this.
3. higher fees for OTD entry - well, we need more volunteers to handle this. Volunteers are not easy to come by to help organise an event. But the main reason is that we like to know how many are likely to turn up at the event so really the cheaper entry is an incentive to help us out. We like to know roughly how many will turn up. An extra £2 - £3 or so OTD surely isn't too much to ask (though I know pre-entries for big events can be quite a bit cheaper). But the incentive is there for you to pre-enter.
4. People these days have come to expect a certain level of slickness at events...... we want people to return year after year to our events. And they do. So we must be doing something right! Hidden costs of putting on events is not always apparent. Start/Finish gantries/banners, chip timing, toilets, donations to volunteer organisations, paying for the course measurer to come up and measure the course, PA systems, sweep vehicles, numbers/pins, trophies, tiger tape, water, t shirts, website/pre entry on line, - its endless.
However, there are races that cost virtually nothing....... take a look at the FRA website. Fell races happen throughout the year all over the country and generally cost £2 - £5 to enter. There are no medals, goody bags, facilities etc. etc. They are brilliant - just running in the raw! Its the road races that cost and while you are not alone in your opinion on cost - there are others who really enjoy the rigmarole of a full blown road event with all the trimmings (else why do we keep completely selling out well before the event dates?).
Unfortunately the cost of setting up events is increasing and organisers have to pass that cost onto the runners. Just one road closure can cost a lot. Most races (excepting charity races and those organised by companies, like GNR) make little, if any, profit.
The contents of goody bags are generally provided by sponsors so is unlikely to have a bearing on the entry cost.
The reason why organisers charge more for on the day entries is because of the increased work in registering people on the day. They also want to encourage people to enter in advance to increase the chances of a full race and reduce the risk of no-one turning up if the weather is bad. It's simple marketing.
If you don't like it, don't race.
KinverRoss wrote (see)
As if you don't already have enough stress to cope with! ................ My Running Blog
I hear what you are saying Dave - as you must agree though an orienteering event and a road race is totally different. We organise a series of 8 winter trail runs - £3 entry - refreshments at the end. It CAN be that simple and as you say (though confusingly in your OP you say there aren't a lot of such events) these type of events do exist if you know where to look. As an orienteer - you must know about the fell runs around the country. Our yearly flagship event is different though - we do pull out all the stops.
I'm unsurprised as the Tunbridge price - a big town 10k will be about £15 to pre-enter so £18 OTD is unsurprising. As you say, you don't have to enter. And TBH for every person who feels as you do there is another who doesn't - I honestly don't think it effects numbers on the day. Perhaps you could organise your own local 10k at a really bargain price - you are right that you would probably be overwhelmed with numbers! Butmaybe a little light on your bank account the day after the event .
I want an accurately measured course (unless it's XC) which provides finishing time and position without having to dodge non competitors.
Everything else is relatively unimportant.
I couldn't care less whether it costs £2 or £15. If I really only wanted to do cheap races I'd just do cross country, open track meets, park runs, league fixtures and my club's races. Hang on - there's a list of 5 different types of races there - how many more do you want?
Fuck me, all people do on here at the moment is find things to complain about which they can easily avoid. I can't wait until it snows again and we get all that pathetic bitching and complaining.
You noticed Andrew
Good entertainment though - but you do need to have a good look to find the 'interesting' threads!!
Tigerlily wrote (see)
Dave, with regard to "no discount for Aff runners for OTD" entry - £2 of your entry fee will be paid to English Athletics. .
I live in New Zealand and races aren't cheap here either but we generally don't get medals and fancy goody bags. i paid $60 (around 25 pounds or thereabouts) to run a half marathon at the weekend. We got a banana, a chocolate bar and a plastic cup of water. I've entered dozens of races and have two medals for special anniversary events. That isn't a problem for me. But I have to say i think you actually get a lot for your entry fee in some UK races!
I helped a little bit volunteering to organise a race here recently and it is right that it is not cheap and a lot of work to organise. I enjoy races and don't mind paying. it's worth it and not like I enter a big race every week. What matters to me is that the course is accurate and I also like k markers at reasonably regular intervals because i'm crap at pacing myself. The rest of it doesn't bother me!
I take the point about costs etc.
However I have a sneaky feeeling that the increased costs of local races is at least partly an unfortunate knock of the growth of the large, mass-market hyped up mega events and the ridiculous prices they charge. Can't help but feel they have pushed up prices generally as runners have accepted the idea that races can cost that much, so other races charge more as that's what the market will support. It's one of the disadvantages of living in a capitalist society.
Of course the upside is that we, the consumer are the ones with the power. If we don't want high prices, we just have to avoid paying them, search out the lower priced races, or not race. When they can't sustain their races with high prices, they'll have to drop them. We just all need to stick together.
I understand that new runners enjoy their medals, but there comes a time when those things really don't matter any more. We've got carrier bags full of medals in one of our cupboards, several hundred of the things. They've been there for years, never get looked at any more. Most are pretty cheaply made and tarnish badly after a while. Complete waste for us unless the medal is special enough to hang up. Some are, like my 2004 Dublin marathon medal which hasn't deteriorated a bit, neither have my 16 medals from St. Wolfgang in Austria. I much prefer races where you get useful prizes instead - many of our local races give stuff donated by sports stores. I've won a bike helmet, an odometer, and sports clothing. One nearby duathlon always gives baskets of fruit and veg to all the winners - great idea.
As for the goody bags - have to say that there I'm with Dave, I'll eat and drink the bars and water but all the ad stuff goes straight in the recycle bin.
Sometimes I want something more special then just a training run so am willing to pay to have the 'thrills' of a race.
I've recently just bought my first house so have barely done any races in the last few months. Basically, if I don't want to pay out then I don't have to, we all have the choice.
Some people treat themselves to a new pair of shoe or a night out on the town but for me, it's running stuff/races.
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