As you can probably tell, I love a good
race medal, I could easily and happily run one every weekend but I am not made of money.
Sometimes my friends do races, I’m immediately tempted to sign up and then I see the price. E.g. “just £50” for the British 10km. No matter how good the t-shirt, organisation and goody bag, it put me off. I just don’t have the pounds to be splashing out on a £50 on 10km. Not when I can do a fab one for under £20 and not have to spend on travel either.
To save myself some money I decided to set my self a race price cap based on a price per mile I’m willing to pay. This makes it easy for me to give a yay or nay to races without thinking and worrying about it too much. If it’s too pricey, it’s off the list.
I was really interested in The Royal Parks Half and Ultra but again the steep entry fees put me off. As much as the route is amazing, I could grab my friends and do it any time. Sometimes it’s a tricky decision, I had my head turned by the upcoming Gloanna race which offers Sushi, yoga and prosecco at the finish. But now I have this cap it makes decision making easier. I also wonder why it’s so expensive when I know Freixenet are sponsoring the event and therefore they won’t have paid for the prosecco. I suspect the same will be for the Sushi. As a marketing manager I know a lot of it is hype and marketing, they are profitable businesses after all. Don’t become the marketing man’s dream and fall for all the sparkle and bling! NB: There is nothing wrong with them being a profit making business with a marketing department. I’m just raising the point. If I could organise races for a living I would.
It’s not as simple as just a calculation, I have a few other caveats which are below. To start my calculation I analysed the races I had run/will run and assessed them based on enjoyment, what was included and the price per km.
The cap: £1.90 per km
What does that mean in reality?
- 10km = £19 The keen eyed among you will notice I have broken that. The race was actually free, I donated £20 to British Heart Foundation who organise it.
- 1/2 marathon = £40.28
- Marathon = £80.18
- I have not and will not pay for a 5k race. I can do parkrun for free every Saturday and still work my way up to a free t-shirt. For me, personally, paying for a 5k race is a waste of money. I run 5km regularily and it’s not a challenge, I don’t need a medal. But what about the social side I hear you cry, if I really want to be there to be with friends I will support or volunteer.
- My Marathon cap is really £60 which is one of the reasons I removed my name from the NYC ballot. If it’s one of the big ones I might break it but I’m looking forward to finding small interesting marathons in the UK.
- I round the decimal places down.
There are some great bargain local races out there, you just need to find them. Being part of a club, active on twitter and friends with runners helps me find out about these races. One I recently entered is The Wimbledon Trail Run series: 3 midweek races, £8 each, buy 2 get the third one free – I’ll write a report once I’ve done it. But what’s not to love!
If you are interested about costs of races then please also read these great posts
How do you decide whether to enter a race or not?