I Can Run For Free
One of my favorite signs I see at running events reads, “Remember, you paid to do this.”
For Lent, I gave up buying unnecessary things. I hadn't already registered for anything, so running events are out for most of February and March. I mentioned this in a conversation with a few people. One of them stopped and said, “You pay to run?”
Someone else who had learned this earlier from me said, “Yeah, that’s what I said too.”
Honestly, it’s not something I knew when I started. The few events I had been to before I started training for anything were either sponsored by my employer or free community events. I didn’t pay for anyone of those.
So, yes, you pay to run. There are barricades, water stations, Port-A-Potties, medals, shirts, marketing materials, timing systems, bibs, sometimes prize money, etc. I’m guessing permits too.
I enjoy participating in running events, and I can't imagine all the work that goes into planning one.
Now, the fun part: How much do you pay? Personally, I’ve ranged from $10 to $80-something. That covers the costs of 5Ks to half-marathons.
I don’t know if I’m just being more budget conscious, but there seems to be quite a price hike lately. Short of a windfall, the days of me paying $25 or more for a 5K are gone. Even $20 is iffy, depending on the cause.
I’ll be honest. I scoffed when I saw the $65 early registration fee for the inaugural South Padre Island Marathon at the San Antonio RNR expo.
(For reference: At the San Antonio RNR expo in December, I could register for next year’s RNR half-marathon for $50. This is an established race with a large expo and a big concert.)
Then I got an email reminder the month of the SPI Marathon, and the price was listed at more than $100. That time, I laughed aloud.
The event sold out or almost sold out, so there are plenty of people interested in the event at the price sold. But there are a growing number of races outside my budget.
A few years ago, I was able to pay for my registration and the registration of five relatives at an event. For the last two years, I couldn’t afford to register even myself for this event.
I really hope local organizers will lower their prices for a 5K. Most the ones I see with $20+ registration fees are new events without official timing systems. There’s nothing particular special about the route. Basically, there’s not much difference between the 5K event and me running on my own.
Admittedly, I know nothing about organizing the events, so it’s an uneducated suggestion. Have you noticed a price hike in 5Ks? Or do you have some insight on the pricing?
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Former high school water girl (really) finally running.