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 marathon entry fees
Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

marathon entry fees Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 8:25 pm 

Runnersworld had a discussion of marathon entry fees that got me thinking. What's the most you've ever paid for a marathon? What's the most you'd reasonably be willing to pay?

The Napa Marathon I'm running in March was $85, registering 2 months in advance. That was a shock. Fortunately I received the entry as a gift, but it's still a pretty big chunk o' change. I know some of the larger races are even more expensive.


Bricks
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Chicago
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Re: marathon entry fees Posted: Thu Jan 27, 2005 9:54 pm 

i think chicago is like 90 bucks this year and i paid it without thinking about it. i suppose when it hit tripple digits i'll think about it, but i view it more like giving to a good cause than paying for a service. if my 90 bucks keeps the gatorade-a-flowin' then it's worth every penny. think about what you'll waste 90 bucks on and think about what you 'get' out of your money at the end of a race. it's worth every cent every time if you ask me...

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: marathon entry fees Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 8:57 am 

I guess you are right... the costs of everything are increasing, and race fees aren't immune. I used to think that the amount on spent on race fees in a year was negligable compared to shoes and other gear, but that's rapidly becoming an illusion. If you race 10 times a year at distances from 5K to the marathon, you could easily spend $300-$500 just on race entry fees.

Still, I can't begrudge it too much. Having looked into it pretty extensively myself, I know that most races struggle to barely break even. It's a lot more expensive to stage a race than you might think at first.


mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: marathon entry fees Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 11:53 am 

Fortunately for me, I spend much less on racing than I would if it weren't for the New York Road Runners Club (sorry, I don't mean to hype the NYRRC). It costs me about $35/year to be a member of NYRRC (less if I join for more than a year at a time). I get discounts on all sorts of running gear, classes, clinics and free lectures, a subscription to the Running New York magazine, and best of all the cost of each race is discounted to $11, or $14 if I wait until the last minute to register. Best of all, there is a race nearly every weekend of the year and so I have plenty of races to choose from. I've never run in a race better organized than a NYRRC race, and of course there is always a T-shirt (or some other premium) and food at the end of the race. I have to run a minimum of 9 NYRRC races to qualify for entry in the NYC marathon. So, I get my $35 membership fee back after the first 7 or so races. I often end up running more than the 9 qualifying races; there are special races, fun runs, and training runs that don't count towards qualifying for the NYC marathon but are discounted just the same.

So, if you aren't a member of a running club you should look into whether or not joining one might provide some valueable benefits beyond just the group workouts and social events.

Also, check out USATF. Some races provide a discount to members of USATF. But of course you have to keep compare the cost of joining to the cost savings you expect from the number of races you plan to run that provide USATF member discounts.


OldManRunner
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Rochester, NY
Joined: 28 Nov 2004
Posts: 262

Re: marathon entry fees Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 4:15 pm 

I don't know about the most I've paid, but the Buffalo NY marathon's still the best deal around that I'm aware of at $35 bucks (last year at least). Good traffic control, a t-shirt, good food and drink. It's hard to beat. Of course, there were no bands, no balloon rainbows, no jackets or gels, but I bring my own gels, thanks, and I can happily do without the rest.

Rickshaw
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
San Francisco, CA
Joined: 26 Nov 2004
Posts: 1157

Re: marathon entry fees Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 5:13 pm 

Wow, $11 for a well-organized race is incredible. Around here you'll pay $25 at a minimum for anything, even a fairly lame 5K. The only good deal I've found is one local running club that has weekly races for $5. But the races are about as bare bones as you can get: show up at the starting area, and someone describes the route to you, and off you go. Open course, no monitors or directions of any kind, no aid stations, no shirts, not even race number bibs. But there is a big clock at the finish!

mfox

South Orange, New Jersey
Joined: 19 Dec 2004
Posts: 367

Re: marathon entry fees Posted: Fri Jan 28, 2005 5:31 pm 

I have to admit that I think I'm spoiled by the NYRRC races. Since I own my ChampionChip, and as a member of NYRRC, I have a permanent bib number. I get a packet of reuseable bib numbers (each good for four races) that have the tear-off tags to exchange for a shirt. So I can register on line and then just show up at the starting line and pick up my shirt either before or after the race. Most all races are timed using the ChampionChip and race results are printed and posted as people cross the finish line (showing official clock time and chip (net) time). Each mile is marked and there is a person at each mile calling out times. There's usually a large enthusiastic crowd at the finish (with 1000-3000 runners there are a lot of friends and family, not to mention other people visiting the park). The standard free snack after the race is bagels, fruit and water. But if a sponsor is involved (fairly often) it can include additional goodes such as ice cream, engergy bars, and even waffles. Most races also include some twist; the annual "Dash and Splash 5-miler" includes a dip in the huge Lasker pool in Central Park after the race , and there's usually a few races that include a raffle for round-trip tickets to some place like Ireland. And every so often there is a celebrity visitor/runner to send off the runners and greet them as they cross the finish line. All for $11. Not bad. It certainly makes the local neighborhood 5K pale in comparison.

Bricks
Runworks 2005 5M Racer
Chicago
Joined: 09 Dec 2004
Posts: 222

Re: marathon entry fees Posted: Sat Jan 29, 2005 9:30 am 

NYRR seems to have it's act together, sounds impressive. Comparing the marathon there and here, they seemed similar, but the fact that they put the same effort into all their races regardless of distance is refreshing, not to mention it adds continuity. I'm really looking forward to the race there next month!

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