Is road racing outpricing the ordinary person?

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Comments

  • Usain Bolt wouldn't be able to move any further than the hammer circle.

  • I don't mind paying £40+ for a marathon once or twice a year as long as there's a good medal, a t-shirt, a food tent at the end, good organisation and a well marshalled and scenic course to run. Baxter's Loch Ness marathon cost me the same as Edinburgh but was ten times the value for money.

    Cheaper races are easy to find, just need a bit of googling. This year I've done a few parkruns, a couple of club races (on tarmac bike paths) free, a few more for under a fiver, a marathon (with camping, use of sports centre facilities, pasta party, t-shirt, medal, goody bag and post-race massage all thrown in) for £25, and a 33 mile ultra for £13. Some of the offroad ultras are amazingly good value for money. I think road races are always going to be dearer just because they're on roads, and require closures, diversions, extra marshals and often a police presence.

  • I just used the RW Events search for Half-Maras, specifying "South" and then "North" as region, the first ten I looked at in each case had unaffiliated/advance entry fees as follows:
    South: 19,22,14,20,22,23,18,24,18,24 = 20.4 average
    North: 22,16,15,20,28,22,15,28,26,16 = 20.8 average
    so, more expensive in the North image

  • I used to go to footie and compared to a half mara I get twice as much time for my money by running...rugby internationals, the cheapest this autumn was _£25 and the All Blacks was -£75 and they only play 80 minutes!  Running is still good vfm and there are loads of races round by me under £20, well marshalled, good quality, good courses and good fileds. I've stopped going up to London for the Nike 10k as it's becoming stupidly expensive because the entry has gone up, as have hotel and travel costs.  Inflation doesn't just happen to entry feesimage

  • So what our OP means is that if it hasn't got a medal, t shirt, bands and balloons it isn't a proper race.....



    For our 8 quid in Wrexham yesterday we even got a medal !
  • And for our £8 at the Guys 10 yesterday we got a superbly organised, flat PB course and.....almost half a kg of traditional Lancashire cheese.

    What more could you want? image

  • Mmmmmm. Cheese.... image
  • More races should give away cheese. We should start a campaign. 

  • Medals made from cheese ?
  • Cheese is wrong

  • A recent `event' charged about £25 to run the York parkrun course.  The gimmicks being:-

    a. fireworks (an hour late)
    b. bands and food (late and very long queues)

    Also the race was an hour late starting in the freezing cold.  The leaders could not finish the race as back markers were clogging up the finish line area (it was a loop and a half). 

    Rat Race were the promoters.  It comes down to whether the motivation in providing the event is altruistic (to promote participation / competition) or self-serving (to make a profit for a company / individual).  I wouldn't touch anything not organised by a running club or an organisation with the right ethos like parkrun.

  • Bluebirds - I can sympathise with you. Yes, there are cheaper races out there, but most are too far from me to keep the overall cost down. In the end, I have just had to accept that I will only race once or twice a year. I am fortunate enough to have a parkrun just over a mile down the road, so it's a real life-line for me and gives me the chance to get something close to race-experience on a fairly regular basis.

  • there'll be bluebirds over....,, wrote (see)

    Not really interested in events being organised by the local pig farmer running knee deep in pig shit.

    This is unlikely to get you much sympathy.

  • Lou Diamonds wrote (see)
    there'll be bluebirds over....,, wrote (see)

    Not really interested in events being organised by the local pig farmer running knee deep in pig shit.

    This is unlikely to get you much sympathy.

    Agreed.

    Surely the prices of the big races is going up because thay are oversubscribed with people like you. If everyone was running in Pigshit then they would be forced to lower their prices.

    Personally I'm happy that the big races exist, it keeps all the non runners away from the race I want to do.

    And all of these seem cheap compared with an untimed 5k with no prizes, yet R4L sell thousands of places every year.
     

  • Interesting thread. Its not cheap to organise a race Ive organised on and off road. Even so called cheaper off road your expenses can be high, St.John, printing, postage,medals etc has to come from somewhere. Value is what you as a race director can put into it.

     

    Heres an interesting thought on this http://www.run-bmf.com/?entries_open

    The new Bournemouth marathon, in October will be hilly and pretty dull running along the sea front twice. Organised by the people behind edinburgh Marathon.You pay nearly £50 to enter then there's a CC charge, bus fare and parking. Over £60? Over £30 for the half and neraly £30 for 10k  hmmm? Kids race £7.50 ?

    At least Dick Turpin wore a mask. 

    The Bournemouth Half in the March is £10 cheaper and organised by the council.

     

    But because its new and maybe on home ground people will enter......but after a couple of years what then when a lot have people have done "the marathon challenge" entries what then ? When entries drop and club runners have been put off by the price?

    Races need on the whole to make a profit, but what do you define as profiteering?

  • chubby bloke wrote (see)
    Lou Diamonds wrote (see)
    there'll be bluebirds over....,, wrote (see)

    Not really interested in events being organised by the local pig farmer running knee deep in pig shit.

    This is unlikely to get you much sympathy.

    Agreed.

    Surely the prices of the big races is going up because thay are oversubscribed with people like you. If everyone was running in Pigshit then they would be forced to lower their prices.

    Personally I'm happy that the big races exist, it keeps all the non runners away from the race I want to do.

    And all of these seem cheap compared with an untimed 5k with no prizes, yet R4L sell thousands of places every year.
     

    Your right but Race for Life is being squeezed they are halving the amount of races they organise and have started hard sell advertising on TV and Radio. I have nothing against R4L or any charity race. I dont like emotional blackmail or hard selling though

  • Most of the runners doing R4L dont realise that the entry fee is just to cover the costs. 

    Unless they get sponsorship on top - the charity doesnt get anything. 

  • Then they are harassed for ever more by R4L 

  • As others have said, rule no1, join a local club and you'll get a bucketful of races either free or cheap.

    I joined my local club in May this year and have since done 30 races. The only "biggies" were the Great Manchester Run 10k (highly unlikely I'll do this again but I didn't know then what I know now image) and the Conwy 1/2 marathon which was actually pretty damn good for the money and I will happily do again.

    Most of the others (Lakeland Trails aside) have been smaller, lower level club races, plus local league meetings, road relays, in house club handicap races and a couple of localish parkruns.

    This weekend I'm having my first crack at running XC for my club and the cost will be minimal. We also have a midweek league Spring to Autumn on roads/trails with 6 local clubs taking part, plus a fell league and the XC league in winter. Add that to the monthly midweek handicaps and you can get an awful lot of competitive running in for less than a quid a week!

    So as I said, join a club - if I can do it, anyone can image

    Beyond that you just need to pick your events.

    My own feelings are that the local clubs provide so much for runners of all levels that their events should be supported first, as without the clubs we'd only be left with the mass parcipitation type events catering for the "once a year charity runner" at increasingly extortionate prices.

    I'm not saying these events don't have a place, but we need to ensure that they don't kill the "affordable" events for those that want to race regularly and I now include myself amongst those.

    I don't mind the "commercial" races where the costs are proportionate (Central Lancs 1/2 in the New Year @ £12 being a fine example), but some events really are taking the p*** now and my only hope is that people start to see through them for what they are, a purely commercial enterprise taking as much as possible in return for as little as possible.

    Trouble is, the once or twice a year "casual" or "charity" runner isn't going to care about that as long as they get a big medal to show how ace they are for doing their bit for charidee (starting to sound cynical now image)

    To summarise:

    1) Join your local club

    2) support your local club events

    3) shop around for the best value races

     

     

    ....and can we have more prizes made of local cheese please image

  • parkrunfan wrote (see)
    Crash Hamster wrote (see)

    None of these is 'cheap', but they don't breach my 'don't travel for longer than it takes to run the race' rule, so I'm happy enough to pay.

    What a funny 'rule'!

    Not really; I suspect everyone has something similar, but perhaps more nebulous. I doubt many would drive 500 miles each way for a 5k, for instance; after that, it's just a matter of degree.

    parkrunfan wrote (see)

    Good job you're not an 800m runner then image

    I spurn such fripperies (though I could do a couple of Parkruns without being in breach of my rule)  Anyway, I'm spectacularly slow at 800mimage

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Organised by the people behind edinburgh Marathon.You pay nearly £50 to enter then there's a CC charge, bus fare and parking. Over £60? Over £30 for the half and neraly £30 for 10k  hmmm? Kids race £7.50 ?

    The elements that organise these type of events first establish their cut/wages, and then work backwards to the final price.

    There's a whole raft of people out there with a cover my own arse first business model. Daily expenses of £300 plus for starters. Talk their way out of a corner for finishers.

  • parkrunfan wrote (see)

    And for our £8 at the Guys 10 yesterday we got a superbly organised, flat PB course and.....almost half a kg of traditional Lancashire cheese.

    What more could you want? image

    Not a lot, it was everything a race should be. Backs up my thoughts to support local club events, hats off to Garstang RC for a pretty much perfect local event.

    It wouldn't have pleased the medal/t-shirt and balloon brigade, but you got what you paid for, a well run and well marshalled race on quiet lanes in lovely countryside, a course made for a PB (apart from the very slight bottleneck at the start, but that's nit picking) and of course, the lovely big local cheese image.

    Wesham Road Runners 10k the previous week was another excellent example as was, dare I say it, our (Lytham St Annes RRC) own Green Drive 5 miler a few weeks back.

    image SUPPORT YOUR LOCAL CLUB RACES image

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Support your local races! I agree. Sometimes its not enough.

    Races in my own area that are no more.

    1. Harrow Marathon
    2. Harrow Half Marathon
    3. Harrow 10k
    4. Hatch End 5
    5. Stanmore Half Marathon
    6. Old Millhillians 5 & 10
    7. Rickmansworth Half Marathon
    8. Hillingdon Half Marathon
    9. Hillingdon 5
    10. Harrow town centre 5k
  • We're finding the rise in "commercial" races in our area is having a detrimental effect on our club events in terms of the numbers entering, especially from unattached runners so I agree, the "club community's" support isn't always enough, but without it the local race scene would be doomed.

    We were talking a few weeks back about finding ways to make "club" races less intimidating and more attractive to unattached runners, especially beginners and less experienced runners new to racing.

    The rise in participation is there for all to see, we need to find ways to attract the newer participants to the club races and to the clubs themselves.

    As someone who was never much of a runner at all, but enjoyed it nonetheless, I have made enormous strides (pardon the pun) since joining my club and it is without doubt the best move I ever made, even if I was rather sceptical beforehand.

    I continue to be amazed at how it has turned my whole life around in less than 12 months and I get a huge amount of pleasure out of running with the club as well as a massive amount of help, encouragement and sound advice.

     

  • I'm pretty new to running - only done one marathon (Edinburgh) and two halves (Bristol & Cardiff) so far. To begin with I was nervous of entering the smaller events because I thought they'd be for 'proper' runners - but now I'm doing the Portsmouth marathon which is much cheaper - and by the sounds of it will be better vfm - but it is a totally different sort of event to the big road races. Overall I'd agree that running is one of the cheapest mass participation sports and in particular it doesn't cost much at all to get started - which might partly explain the rise in its popularity.

    Anyway I'm moving to Vancouver next month and you can count yourselves lucky with UK prices. I've entered a small local half there in February - 40 quid! and the Vancouver marathon is 109 quid!! Cost of living is higher there but still. I have no plans to fork out that much for the privilege of running for three and a bit hours. Just hope that the UK doesn't follow north america's example.

     

  • Lytham LT wrote (see)

    We were talking a few weeks back about finding ways to make "club" races less intimidating and more attractive to unattached runners, especially beginners and less experienced runners new to racing.

     


    The barriers between beginners and club runners has always been a huge hurdle to overcome.

    But not any more - there is now a fantastic meeting of the two in .... parkrun.

    Each parkrun is happy to be used mercillessly as a recruiting tool for local clubs. Because beginners are mingling with club runners every Saturday morning in a relaxed atmosphere the barriers just simply disappear.

    There are 25,000 people running at a parkrun every Saturday morning, many of them beginners or unattached and lots of them would love to belong to a club if it didnt seem so scary.

  • I have to say that if clubs want more beginner runners at their events then they need to promote them more - club runners (like me) find out about events from the club or other runners at the club.

    Non club runners dont have this - stuff like twitter and facebook can relly help here nd having a decent website that gets updated regularly and has lots of information really helps. Experienced runners generally ignore this stuff, but for newbies to the club race scene some of the websites look like mickey mouse stuff which makes the visitor think the race will be mickey mouse (quite the opposite usually)!

  • Fair point parkrunfan, we did have a "mass turn out" a couple of months or so back at Preston but we perhaps need to do more to "use" parkrun as an advertising medium.

    Curly45 - your point re club websites is very valid and is something we're already working on with a view to getting our race website looking more attractive to all, rather than just preaching to the converted.

  • That's the thing though - the club races are put on by amateurs- who although they are keen - haven't always the time or budget that professional race organisers have to promote their races. 

    I think its up to the runner though - googling isn't hard is it ? And I dont think I've ever been put off by basic details on a website.  If runners think like that then they're missing some of the best races out - more fool them. 

     

  • I recently went to a road race event that charged me £10 to enter. This is why I think parkruns are so good:

    1. They are free

    2. They are my kind of race distance.

    If you haven't already, I would suggest you doing parkruns which are every Saturday morning at 9am and there are loads across the country so there is bound to be one near you.

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