Is road racing outpricing the ordinary person?

It's getting far too expensive

21 to 40 of 149 messages
03/12/2012 at 08:28

@Emmy - my comment wasnt aimed just at you, it was just a general statement about the cost. I would love to travel abroad every month and run a marathin but cant afford it so obviouslu wont do it.

03/12/2012 at 08:32


Emmy_H wrote (see)

@Carter - All I was saying that there may be races that are 12 GBP but if the 'real' cost of the race is over 50quid due to the petrol etc - it makes that race uneconomical.

The thread question was about whether 'road racing is outpricing the ordinary person?'

Since when did race organisers become responsible for the cost of fuel?

And if travelling a fair distance to a race do what everyone else does and get a group of 3-4 people together to share travelling costs, thats what clubs are for!


there'll be bluebirds over....,, wrote (see)

Run to the beat was 46 quid with the Bath not far behind, Brighton was astronomical as was the GNR, London is about the only quality race that is value for money.Not really interested in events being organised by the local pig farmer running knee deep in pig shit, just affordable quality road races.I just think that road racing is ending up for the well off & people on lower income can no longer afford to compete in mass events due to the astronomical costs, there's even been a competition on here recently where people who were successful  were asked to travel to Birmingham for a boot camp, ruling out those who could'nt afford it.When i first started running the beauty of it was it was accessible to everyone & there was some excellent value for money events but they now seem as rare as Yeti shit.

I think the problem lies with what you consider to be a 'quality' race.

If you think that somehow a 20,000 runner race is better than a 1,000 runner race than you're just asking to be a lemming to the slaughter.

What exactly is it that you do with the extra 19,000 runners that gives you a better race?

seren nos    pirate
03/12/2012 at 08:39

there is always the option of organising your own will be local and cheap.........

there isn't going to be many really cheap events because petrol and therefore all other costs rise........but if you check out your local running club websites their races are all usually nice and cheap and easy to get to....

big city events are always going to be pricey......

cougie    pirate
03/12/2012 at 09:32
It seems to me that races are becoming more popular. So no it's not pricing runners out of it.

There arent many sports cheaper than running - and yes you can quote the GNR price - but look how popular it is. It's always selling out.

If you want to see how much a race costs - check out the Liverpool marathon thread. Alan Rothwell the organiser is quite transparent about all of his expenses. You can't run a city Marathon without a lot of costs.
03/12/2012 at 09:57
Tom. wrote (see)
Join a club

What Tom said.

Is competitive running really an expensive hobby?  Come off it!  Yes, the popularity of mass-participation events means that it is a lot easier to find overpriced events to run in but compared to so many other things you can do with your time - triathlon, watching live football, playing a round of golf, taking the family to Legoland - it's really quite a cheap pasttime - especially if you pay your annual club subscription and take advantage of all the FREE races the club can enter you in.

I was joking with a club mate on a run yesterday about his running shoe expenditure allowance.  Given that his wife spends £40 a month on gym membership we decided he's allowed to buy a new pair of shoes every two months.  I'm sure he could get a lot of races out of that budget as well! 

Crash Hamster    pirate
03/12/2012 at 10:31

I think it definitely has become more expensive to enter races. For example, Leamington 10k is £23 unaffiliated, RW's own 'Trailblazer 10ks' are one arm and one leg (and they're off-road, so no policing required) so I would never consider entering. For the two of us, that's £50+ for a total of 110 minutes' entertainment and we'd have more fun for longer on a trip to the flicks and a pizza.

I've entered a couple of 10ks for £11.50 each inc. online fees (they're two of a series, supposed to be hilly, will provide a good test of how effective my winter training has been), a half for £16 for a PB attempt, a half for £23 as 'last long run' before  marathon (could've done the marathon for the same price so don't mind the expense of this one) and £29 for a marathon PB attempt. None of these is 'cheap', but they don't breach my 'don't travel for longer than it takes to run the race' rule, so I'm happy enough to pay.

I also got a Challenge (IM distance) race for under £250 on an early entry, so the bargains are out there

03/12/2012 at 10:34
Do ordinary people spend ??40 a month on gym memberships?

What is ordinary?
03/12/2012 at 10:51
Crash Hamster wrote (see)

None of these is 'cheap', but they don't breach my 'don't travel for longer than it takes to run the race' rule, so I'm happy enough to pay.

What a funny 'rule'!

Good job you're not an 800m runner then

03/12/2012 at 10:59

the OP cites big city races where the costs are just plain stupid, and I think it was Emmy that said in the south cheap races are hard to find.
I live in the South, and there are plenty of races for 10-15 pounds, several more (10ks) under a tenner, and has been suggested bundles of free races for club runners. I did a cross country (not club series) yesterday for a fiver.
As has been mentioned the exhorbitant costs of policing & insurance push up the costs, but anything sponsored by one of the large compnaies (crash cites trailblazer) are going to push the price up - supply and demand and all that.
However, prices in general have risen for race entry over the past 20 odd years that I've been racing, some of the larger ones a victim of their own success. If they put the price up and it still sells out , what would you do?

However , running is still one of the cheapest sports to watch & participate in.

03/12/2012 at 11:00

Usain Bolt wouldn't be able to move any further than the hammer circle.

03/12/2012 at 11:04

I don't mind paying £40+ for a marathon once or twice a year as long as there's a good medal, a t-shirt, a food tent at the end, good organisation and a well marshalled and scenic course to run. Baxter's Loch Ness marathon cost me the same as Edinburgh but was ten times the value for money.

Cheaper races are easy to find, just need a bit of googling. This year I've done a few parkruns, a couple of club races (on tarmac bike paths) free, a few more for under a fiver, a marathon (with camping, use of sports centre facilities, pasta party, t-shirt, medal, goody bag and post-race massage all thrown in) for £25, and a 33 mile ultra for £13. Some of the offroad ultras are amazingly good value for money. I think road races are always going to be dearer just because they're on roads, and require closures, diversions, extra marshals and often a police presence.

03/12/2012 at 11:56

I just used the RW Events search for Half-Maras, specifying "South" and then "North" as region, the first ten I looked at in each case had unaffiliated/advance entry fees as follows:
South: 19,22,14,20,22,23,18,24,18,24 = 20.4 average
North: 22,16,15,20,28,22,15,28,26,16 = 20.8 average
so, more expensive in the North

03/12/2012 at 12:19

I used to go to footie and compared to a half mara I get twice as much time for my money by internationals, the cheapest this autumn was _£25 and the All Blacks was -£75 and they only play 80 minutes!  Running is still good vfm and there are loads of races round by me under £20, well marshalled, good quality, good courses and good fileds. I've stopped going up to London for the Nike 10k as it's becoming stupidly expensive because the entry has gone up, as have hotel and travel costs.  Inflation doesn't just happen to entry fees

03/12/2012 at 12:29
So what our OP means is that if it hasn't got a medal, t shirt, bands and balloons it isn't a proper race.....

For our 8 quid in Wrexham yesterday we even got a medal !
03/12/2012 at 12:43

And for our £8 at the Guys 10 yesterday we got a superbly organised, flat PB course and.....almost half a kg of traditional Lancashire cheese.

What more could you want?

03/12/2012 at 12:48
Mmmmmm. Cheese....
cougie    pirate
03/12/2012 at 13:01

More races should give away cheese. We should start a campaign. 

03/12/2012 at 13:07
Medals made from cheese ?
03/12/2012 at 13:08

Cheese is wrong

03/12/2012 at 13:18

A recent `event' charged about £25 to run the York parkrun course.  The gimmicks being:-

a. fireworks (an hour late)
b. bands and food (late and very long queues)

Also the race was an hour late starting in the freezing cold.  The leaders could not finish the race as back markers were clogging up the finish line area (it was a loop and a half). 

Rat Race were the promoters.  It comes down to whether the motivation in providing the event is altruistic (to promote participation / competition) or self-serving (to make a profit for a company / individual).  I wouldn't touch anything not organised by a running club or an organisation with the right ethos like parkrun.

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