Decided to see if I could find a nice little race on Sept 22/23.. Can't believe how much races can cost.. Looking at a 10k looking for £23 or £26 OTD, then half maras at £33..
I generally have the rule of I'll pay about £1.50 a mile - Now I've done a fair few races I'm a bit more picky, and not drawn to big city races
There a piece on race pricing in this months runners world and I was really pleased to see that others are 'complaining' as well.
I have found it really hard to find my first official race because of the prices being charged. I know that things cost money but in the middle of a reccession with prices of essential bills going up and up being able to find/justify £30+ for a race is almost impossible.
Hopefully race organisers wil start getting the message once participation continues to fall.
I know that others will come on here and trot out (perfectly true) statements about how much races cost if a private company is running them and has to pay insurance, marshals and road closure...
On the other hand, I just won't do overpriced, rather dull races. I find it quite possible to race most weekends up to half-mara distance for no more than 13 pounds - often considerably less. Many of these include technical race t-shirts in that price. It can cost me a bit more in petrol, but I prefer to support races run by small clubs and those passionate about running.
To balance the karma out, I try to marshal myself when I can and need a bit of a rest.
In my experience, amenities (and certainly atmosphere) actually tend to be poorer at the more expensive events, because the organisers are mostly concerned with maximising profit.
Look on LDWA or FRA and they do cheap off road events.
Wow sprint, £1.50 / mile. my cut off is £1.
Actually I only do races which I want to do. Mostly they are off road and run by clubs.
My favourite race for atmospheare and organisation is Bewl 15. My favourite race for course is Milland Valley trail race. Also West Sussex Fun Run League, approx 5 mile off road races for £2. (£5 on the day or non league runners).
I think some races have gone up in cost due to the move over to timming chips. This is becvause of large numbers and the lack of volunteer to marshal at races. Marshals always appear hard to find.
I'm not sure that participation in races is falling.
Look for races organised by clubs or charities like school PTA's. I just paid £14 for a brilliantly organised half marathon with just over 400 runners. I could have got it for £10, but I don't belong to a club and I entered on the day. I just don't do big races run by companies.
Fatpostman - where were you looking for races ? There are plenty of cheap races out there.
The expensive ones tend to be big city (and therefore big costs) or races aimed at the beginner who is happy to pay big bucks to run their one race. GNR ?
Everyone has a choice, either pay the fee and race or choose not to take part !
Yes and no Jwheezy. Yes, that is the choice ultimately. However, the "big" races with the big price tag have become more commonplace (from basically just London and GNR 10 years or so ago), and seem to have driven up prices across the board. It is getting harder and harder to find races which are reasonably priced. They are still there, but it's getting harder to find them.
Variety is the spice of life, closed club race series are good for building some banter and rivalry over a couple of months, and can often be free or a couple of pounds.
But for that you won't get any thrills, no chip timing, often not accurately measured etc. That's why it's perfect for XC races, where those elements don't matter.
Local level races run by small clubs have their place too.
However, a couple of big well renowned races a year are good if you're after real quality competition, or just the experience.
Doing a half like Reading is expensive, but is a great one off experience with the big city feel, and great finish in the stadium.
Sprint for the line...that's why I hardly ever enter races!!! The price, if you train for a marathon imagine how much you'd shell out if you entered a half mara race when you want to train for 13+ miles. Ive done the Duchy and North Dorset marathons and they were good prices for entry.
I agree. No disrespect to the events that I am choosing as there are cheaper alternatives. But I am doing the Salisbury 54321. Which I thought was well priced. Then I am doing the Clarendon Marathon which is about a pound a mile. Then doing the Edurancelife Dorset Ultra at 54£. Yes its mega steep but its down the road and I really want to get an ultra in by end of the year. Plus it will be a one off and something to look forward to. For me if I didn't set these goals I probably would give up running and the fact that an event may cost about a months worth of gym membership at some places, seems reasonable to me. What I don't like is a 10k costing an arm and a leg. I see a 10k as something you can go and enjoy once a month but when it starts costing 20£! its ridiculous. I done the TinTin 10k off the top of my head it cost 8£. That's pretty good plus got a nice little medal too and the money went towards the local running club which is fine in my eyes.
As time goes on people will stop paying the harsh prices and the organisers will have to change a few things. This causes a few problems, one being less races to chose from? Maybe the money taken is to cover costs? Or is the money taken making someone a whole lot of profit? The big name races Endurancelife and VOTWO and the likes will need to pay full time people. Whereas your local running club just want to set up a race because they want to run! Personally I prefer the low key local club runs anyway but the sometimes cannot provide what you are looking for so you pay the money to the bigger organisations
Hi exiled claret, I agree totally with you on GNR, I so want to do that race but will not spend £50 on a 1/2 mara full stop. VLM at £28 entry is extremely good value,only shame is the ballot system but that's another thread.
Yes there is a rise in 'big' races across the country, but in my opinion this just adds to the choice and for some will reduce travel costs, i've done about 10 events this year and I make my choice based on cost as much as reputation, location numbers etc.
I do feel there are a wide range of prices avaliable within each race type for all pockets as has been mentioned, they may not have closed roads, heavy advertising/sponsorship, big crowds, gels/refreshment along the way etc but that comes at a price.
Sprint for the line, I think the market is becoming over saturated with the 'big' race with all the bells and whistle and a nice steep entry fee, but these are heavily promoted and seem to maintain their numbers. The Bupa series events is a great example the London 10k is around £30, GNR (1/2 mara) around £50 both these races continually sell out which I find amazing but each to their own.
I can't quite remember how much the Brighton Marathon was last year but it does seem that there has been a very large increase in the entry fee costs this year. I for one think it's a good race and great course...but it would be interesting to see the jusitfication for why the price with this particular race has increased as much as it has (i.e. well above inflation). And I guess it ties into the wider issue of this thread!
Our Benfleet 15 this year was £ 15.....and we are not looking to increase the figure for the 2013 race unless we have to.
I agree that race prices have shot through the roof, some for no apparent reason than trying to make a quick buck.
Stay local, and pick your races carefully.
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