When is enough, enough



  • cougie wrote (see)
    These events aren't cheap to put on and expectations are higher nowadays. Chip timing. Technical tees. Goodie bags. Video screens etc etc.
    Plus the usual things that we all take for granted like portaloos, marshalls, etc.  One of the local races has a short section of course on National Trust land, who this year are asking for £2 per runner.  The organiser is trying to keep entry fees down but it's hidden costs like that which lead to accusations of profiteering.
  • ToucsToucs ✭✭✭

    VLM is cheaper partly because of the sponsorship monies received as well as charging the charities a huge sum for guarenteed places. 

    I am the race director for several events throughout the year and if anyone wants a break down of costs then contact me direct.  My other half and I have not taken money out of the events since we started doing them, partly because we have done the events to raise money for charities and partly because the margins are too small.  We do not take a wage, despite it being a full time job. Some of the events receive over 1000 entries.

    Organising events is very stressful and time consuming, however, when you find a route that you love to run and want to share with others and see the enjoyment on their faces at the end, this negates the negatives.

    The cost of the event depends a lot on what is involved and how many marshals are needed.  We have found you cannot please everyone all of the time.   We have a half/full marathon based on the Medoc Marathon where the cost is £40.  It has been mentioned that this is expensive on other forums.  What some runners do not see are the real costs of putting this type of event on. This is the third year and in the first two years the event has lost money. 

    I think there are some companies out there who do charge a lot and are doing it solely to make a profit.  I do not have an issue with companies who do this as we all have an option not to enter it. 

  • WilkieWilkie ✭✭✭

    There is a marathon run not far from where I live, put on by the local running club (ie. volunteers).  It's largely on the roads, has the permits, police permission, etc., chip timing, goody bag, medal and t-shirt.

    The entry fee is £23 for affiliated runners, £26 for non-affiliated.

    The event has been put on for many years, very successfully.  The club does not lose money on it - in fact they make a sizeable donation from the proceeds to local charities each year.

  • I do have a problem with companies who think they can come to Brighton and do whatever they want and charge what they want. The Bacchus estate can do what it likes but if Tim Hutchins wants to take over my town he can answer to the tax payers of Brighton.
  • Who is this Tim Hutchins you keep on about? Is he that comedy atheist? Or is that salvador minuchin? Or is he the one that went out with Paula Radcliffe while she was married to Bob Geldof? image 
  • SR - if you'e entered a week or so ago you could have had Brighton for £45 (plus the £2.50 charge) which is a more realistic price imho

    but they are milking certain things about the event with extra charges although I think the spectator charging thing is only for those wishing to go into a reserved area at the finishing line - not for all spectators in this area (from what I understand anyway)

    there will always be a big discrepancy in costs put on by local clubs vs commercial organisations so I don't think the comparisons are fair - too many different dynamics involved. and as Toucs says, many RDs do this for love, not to make money

    but - it's your choice whether you wish to pay or not - nobody's forcing you to enter.
  • "if Tim Hutchins wants to take over my town he can answer to the tax payers of Brighton"

    well - start a campaign if you don't like it!! it doesn't sound as if the City Council are worried by it - it brings revenue to the city and is a good promotional event for them (not that it really needs it - there's enough going on anyway)
  • Not for meimage I feel that the price is to high guess as long as they fill the race they will keep nudging it upwards. Accept lots of costs involved but this event does seem to be pushing the boundaries hope others do not follow.
  • HappychapHappychap ✭✭✭

    Caz, I think it's an inevitability.  Costs are rising all the time.  It's only a matter of time before councils start demanding expensive road closures.

    We are living in a golden age of races but unfortunately many low key club races will be squeezed out or forced to increase their entry fee to cope with the costs involved.  

  • FB-I think our local Green led Council will always support events like the marathon. My hypothetical response was to the post by Toucs that stated that organisers can do what they like and if we don't like it we can shove it up our arses. If you are running round your own private estate then do what you wish but in towns, villages and cities they are answerable to the local community and their representatives.
  • ToucsToucs ✭✭✭

    Sussex runner - I didn't actually say 'that organisers can do what they like and if we don't like it we can shove it up our arses' what I said was:

    'I think there are some companies out there who do charge a lot and are doing it solely to make a profit.  I do not have an issue with companies who do this as we all have an option not to enter it',

    This meant that if the cost is too much then we do not have to enter. If we do not enter then the event will not exist.  All the time people are willing to pay more money then the organisers who are in it for the money will keep putting the prices up.  

    I do not have an issue because I know how stressful organising an event is and how do you measure what someone should be paid?  And as FB has stated each event is different and it is really difficult to judge costs from one event to another. 

    The majority of race directors I know try to keep the price down as much as possible and consider what the runner needs first and foremost.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭
    There will always be someone prepared to pay what to most of us is a small fortune. The same sort of people who assume £300-£500 per day for being consulted is just average.
  • Thanks for the inciteful posts that technical t-shirts and chip timings can make races more expensive. Us simple folk can't understand that. Perhaps you can explain, how a race three years ago with chip timings and t-shirts and potaloos was viable, with a £40 entry and 9000 people. Now it can can cost over 40% more with 6000 more people entering?

    Toucs - is math not your thing luvvy?
  • NLR - I'm guessing out the race organiser will know of the costs for that specific race ? Maybe email him rather than asking us ?
  • I entered. I think it's pricey. I didn't like the online entry either, which took ages with loads of pushy "whaddaya mean, you don't want to run for charity? Are you sure, you selfish bastard?"- type questions.

    I won't be doing it again unless it turns out to be exceptional.
  • I was making a statement rather than asking a question Cougie. I did vote with my feet and decided not to enter this year.
    Good luck for next April JB
  • fat buddhafat buddha ✭✭✭
    "Perhaps you can explain, how a race three years ago with chip timings and t-shirts and potaloos was viable, with a £40 entry and 9000 people."

    was it viable?? do you have any information to say the organisers turned a profit or covered their costs??

    if I recall from 3 years ago, they priced it "competitively" to get the race off the ground and to make it an alternative to VLM for those that didn't get ballot places. they also offered rebates to those who had entered Brighton but found they they had VLM ballot places and preferred to do that instead. as a marketing guy myself, that was a very canny piece of marketing - hook people in and give them options. remember - people are suckers for deals.

    now, 3 years later, they no longer need to get the race off the ground - it has it's own momentum as an alternative to VLM. many would prefer to race Brighton than London - myself included.

    so, in marketing terms, they have a business model that now works - they have a ready market wanting to enter the race so can price it accordingly. it's akin to Apple marketing - people want their products and are prepared to pay what Apple charge even though there are lower cost alternatives "just as good" (although Apple geeks would argue different there!).

    and they're still keen to hook people to enter - hence lower costs if you pre-registered at their Expo; "early day" lower entry fee of £45; and both have worked if you see how many did enter early. now it's £55 for those who have come later - but many people will pay.

    all the rest of their costs are peripheral and optional - spectator areas, merchandise etc - so if people want to pay for those they can do so.

    and all that irrespective of increasing costs to put events on which puts prices up

    the Brighton organisers aren't daft - they have a business model which will attract up to 20000 entries - good luck to them.

    as I said before, it's up to each individual whether to hand over their cash or not. sure, £55 is pricey but compared to other events I take part in (triathlon) where entry fees can cost $1000 (Ironman New York), then £55 is a relative bargain

    so I, and Petal (my other half), are in

  • Listen to him *points upwards* - he speaka da truth.image

    I'd rather run in Brighton than Blackpool.

  • Mr PuffyMr Puffy ✭✭✭
    I can't think of anything I'd rather not do in Brighton than in Blackpool. Except be on the first train out!
  • Both still not as great as Bournemouth. Hey thats my home town, so i'm biased image

    ...and you can lie on a proper beach image

  • looking for a cheaper well organised lovely flat marathon..try Llanelli next April image

    i agree that costs are rising and i do vote with my feet........but I also hate the admin charges...........its all done electronically now.you are not paying someone to sit down and go through thousands of enteries.....the processing should be part of the fee.....
  • And another thing... I had an email from Brighton the other week saying the same, entry is now £55 up to 19th (I think) of May. Then, if there are any places left it goes up to £65.00!!!!!

    I was due to run Brighton this year and was toying wheterh to defer to next year, which to be fair would only have cost me £45 as an early bird incentive. Can't believe it has gone up. As much as I love Brighton, I won;t be paying those kind of prices for a UK marathon.

  • It seems a bit much to me and I organise a few races...still it's not for me, I prefer small club races such as Abingdon. There seems a market for it so good luck to them. My only gripe is that as police now charge to come to these events small club races that survived for years are now closing.
  • Watchdog investigated hidden charges on this week's program which were nowhere near as dishonest as the Brighton Marathon's admin charge. Can they justify increasing the entry fee as time goes on? Maybe some people didn't have the money at the time to enter. What justification do they have to increase the price? I don't want my races run like some cash cow to bleed the money from runners. I shall be sticking to the small club races as best as I can. Seaford half here I come.
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