Why so expensive?

Rich race organisers

21 to 35 of 35 messages
Cheerful Dave    pirate
03/12/2009 at 19:22
I've done the Cambridge Tri for the last few years. That would qualify as a no-frills event - basic transition, no road closures, marshalled by club members, no chip timing, basic (but very nice) memento, no fancy feed stations (just one water station on the run) or finish chute. That comes in at 30-40 quid which is at the lower end for an Olympic distance tri and in my view worth every penny.

That's still a fair bit more a small-scale club race that costs maybe a tenner, but when you compare the two it's obvious why - only 200 competitors (most club running events get at least twice that), they have to hire use of a lake for the swim (no need to do that for running races, or if you do you can be a lot more choosy), a lot more signage needed, motorbike draftbusters etc.
IronM.in    pirate
03/12/2009 at 21:38

*Wonders whether to post, as one of the aforementioned "rich" race organisers, but decides against it for professional reasons.

Suffice to say, Nam has argued this very well. Tis not a golden goose.

Cougie - Trev at Black Sheep Sports puts on Eastnor as a No Frills Event - it is usually very popular.

04/12/2009 at 12:23
Brigton marina tri is the cheapest one I've found, IIRC 27 quid last year for a sort of 3/4 length olympic length.  No frills at all, although the time recording can be a bit wonky (in 2008 allegedly I covered the 8k run course in under 19 minutes).
04/12/2009 at 12:31
Wonky time recording sounds good to me!
04/12/2009 at 13:11

I can't speak for triathlons, but all those 'expensive finish tunnels' etc for my club running events are paid for as capital purchases for the club - i.e. out of membership fees.  The money is not recouped from race entry fees and I don't know of any organisations that do that.

Food and drink is donated by sponsors.  Prizes are donated.  In fact, the only real costs are for the council and police for road closures and for medical cover.

Tri's also have pool hire and security in transition in addition to road races.

And I can only remember one or two races that have not cost me more than £10, and these were off road 10k races.

08/12/2009 at 20:39

I have helped organise some races and one particular race went really well. Over a 1000 runners enjoyed the race and we recieved a lot of praise for the marshals and all the other helpers and the event organisation. We had charged £7 att and £9 Unatt. This fee was used to pay for the T shirt, good quality, the landowner permissions, the car parking fee concession, medical cover, scout club donations, start finish furniture, water station kit, fruity juice and biscuits, then 10% went to Bluebell wood hospice, oh and the UKA license fee. Our time and the rest of the teams time and a complete w/e setting up and then clearing away at the end

One runner said he couldn't believe he had paid £9 quid for a malted biscuit. and he had top position on the RW forum. We were miffed to say the least.

08/12/2009 at 21:40
Reg, Well done! I've organiseed races also with my club and the above sounds excellent, even beyond the call. Unfortunately some people are just really churlish and nothing will ever be good enough. Hope one ar*e didn't put you off... 
cougie    pirate
08/12/2009 at 21:47
I don't like malted milk biscuits and I'd have been happy to get just the race for that price !
09/12/2009 at 08:05
There were a selection of biscuits. I can go on, we organise endurance bike rides like the iconic C2C. the cost is a big hit for people at £255 for a long w/e. However, we take care of everything. The logistics of Cycles to the start and return back, a support vehicle all the time, coach to the start and back, lunches, accomodation, lead and trail bike guides, certificates, champagne at the finish, photo album, maps. If we asked for just the cost of us guiding we could charge £40 quid and people would think it was a bargain until they then had to fulfill all the other costs themselves and the faff of organising it all for themselves. Moan Moan Moan.
Doozer.    pirate
09/12/2009 at 13:05

At the end of the day it is an expensive ssport, and there are a lot of hidden costs in running an event in any sport.  without events, profit making or otherwise, there would be no sport.

I have listened to a lot of pirates whinge like anything about the freebies given out at IM events.  In my opinion, you pay for the race, if you want a good t shirt or bag, go and buy one yourself and dont enter the race

09/12/2009 at 19:20

Tri is a commercial sport especially at the "big" events & yes some of those organisers I'm sure do very well out of it.

However I'm suprised to hear the entry fees here, come & do our tri

Sprint & Olympic distances available

or how about a 5k race, turn up, enter on the line £2

11/12/2009 at 00:07

Against my better judgement I've just paid out £40 to enter the Edinburgh Marathon. This seems hellishly expensive to me but I do want to do the race. Maybe there is some justification for charging such high entry fees but it just seems like a commercial organisation out to make as much money as it can. The entry fee for more low key events (with far fewer runners) is more like £20. And then there's the fact that if you pull out you stand to receive no refund or transferred entry to the following year. Should we just say no?

11/12/2009 at 15:26

 £50 quid to go watch Chelsea play, makes our sport look cheap. 

I've read this thread with interest.  We're in the process of organising a triathlon to raise some money for a local charity and I have to say it's been the biggest headache in the world and is proving to be very costly.

What you also don't see is the hours and hours of time and negotiation and too-ing and fro-ing and begging and sleepless nights and logistics of stuff to organise an event that may last for 4 hours for 300 people. 

I get very tired listening to people moaning about entry costs.  It's been said a gazillion times before.  Just don't enter them.

12/12/2009 at 01:07
I have a lot of admiration for runners or charities who are organising races for runners and I should expect to pay a reasonable amount of money to enter these events. When a commercial organisation organises an event and charges what seems like an excessive amount of money something seems a bit wrong. Granted I don't have to enter but I should be able to expect some sort of  value for money or at least a justification of the high entry fee.
18/12/2009 at 13:48

It's quite simple really if you don't like the costs then vote with your feet and take your business else where.  I turn up and time a *lot* of race and the conversations about the prices of chip timing will make the average runner choke.

 Chip timing means you dont get much change out of grand and thats just the tip of the iceburg, if you look at runing events there is that permit scheme that likes to follow up your event with couple of fingers in your sphicnter muscle.  Triathlon is no different

First aid for a half marathon  this year  we paid just shy of £800

£750 for the drinks and the nibbles on the course and in the goody bags

Hiring two vans, £300 ( big sprinters)

Royal Mail £300

Finishers medals, engraved  £1500

and we do it properly, you can cut corners you can go light but we found, charge a fair price and put on a cracking event! =  happy customers

 even still after 48 hours of being up and working without a real break, stil people complain that the mile markers dont match their garmin and that the tunnel ( which we advertise as part of the course) was to dark!

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