Is road racing outpricing the ordinary person?



  • Agreed Cougie Im put off some races that are advertised too much. Cut the advertising drop the entry fee

  • Running in pig sh-t or not, the best value for money is Fell running. Two mile race, 30 mins outside Cardiff £1. Normal prices less than 7/8 quid for distances of 2-20 miles,

    Value for money every time.

  • Oh yes I was specifically talking about free promotion! Another option is to go along to parkruns and help out and promote your event (and club).

    Our club races are very popular...they sell out months in advance, but we offer transfers etc to help make sure everyone can run, have quite long cut offs (I know I stood around in the cold last year!), but still dont attract many beginners, its mostly word of mouth entries.

  • All the local running shops round here have copies of event entry forms, and there is even a quarterly brochure showing events and clubs in the north, so shouldn't be beyond the wit of man to find some cheap events
  • I agree re. parkruns. Club runners and beginners mingling, club runners encouraging beginners to join clubs, promotion of local club-organised events etc.. I found it a lot easier to go to my running club for the first time knowing there would be faces I knew from parkrun. Now, I can encourage unattached parkrunners to join our club, explaining that we cater for all speeds of runner, telling them about our "looping back" system on club runs so nobody gets left behind, and about the marathon training runs etc. etc.

    Maybe I'm lucky, but I've been able to enter local races of distances from 10K to 30 miles at reasonable prices, as well as doing free cross-countries for the club - and parkruns of course.

    bluebirds - maybe you should go volunteer at your local parkrun, if you don't want to run that distance, and find out about other local events?

  • Debra, that does sound a good idea & i'll give a parkrun a try before xmas, i've never been one for joining a club, for me personally i like doing my own thing & finding running on my own therepautic, thanks for the advice.

  • You don't want to join a club, you prefer to do things on your own, but you moan about the cost of mass participation events.......

    ...... not a Scouser always moaning are you ?
  • If you find running on your own so therapeutic, why in blazes do you want to race with 100s of others in your space?

  • I prefer to train on my own & have no interest in joining a club but prefer well organised mass events, am i breaking some kind of golden rule? By the way, i've run over 300 road racers over the years from major marathons to the local pig farmer event (for those without a humour, it was a joke) & i happen to prefer the bigger well organised events.Why is it moaning to say i struggle to afford them anymore?



  • MillsyMillsy ✭✭✭
    In my personal experience the smaller events have often been the best organised.
  • My experience has been totally the opposite, VLM is the nearest to perfection in organisation, while other big City events such as Cardiff,Reading, Bristol, Nottingham & Newcastle have been superb. Last low key event i run was spent zig zagging between cars,no mile markers & mainly run through a lane maybe that's quite rare but it was'nt for me.

  • Bloooobirds....problem is that as more and more people do the mass participation thing more and more "race promoters" jump on the bandwagon and keep hiking the prices ever skywards. I get the impression some are just out to make a fast buck and really don't give two hoots about serious runners, it's just a mass participation "feel good about yourself" event with a bulging goody bag and an ever bulging price tag.

    If you'd have phrased the original question something like " are mass participation events outpricing the ordinary person" I'd have said yes, they are very much heading that way.

    I did the BUPA Great Manchester Run earlier this year and had entered it months in advance as a goal to aim for (I was still at the walk/run stage when I entered) as I knew no better. It cost me around £70 by the time I'd finished with entry, travel, food etc and as I now realise, it is very, very poor vfm when compared with most local club events.

    Sure you don't get to run in the same race as the world's best, but as they started 2 hours before you what does it really matter?

    As an actual race for the average runner it's crap imho, especially if you're honest about your predicted time. Even as an hour + 10k runner (as I was then) I still spent the first couple of miles weaving in and out of walkers and groups treating it like a social club outing, gassing 4, 5 and 6 abreast whilst shuffling or walking.

    The point I'm trying to make is that it's getting harder to find MP events that are really well organised and with a reasonable price tag so if that's what "floats yer boat" than you may find it harder and harder to find races that meet your criteria.

    Personally I'm learning to love the smaller club events that are there first and foremost for the benefit of the athletes (I quite like the odd pig farmer event too image).

    If you want the big, carnival/festival type events then the current trends dictate that in most cases you will pay handsomely for the priveledge.

    It's not so much that your breaking a golden rule, more that what you want is becoming an increasingly rare beast.

     You can get a good MP race, but a good MP race with a cheap pricetag.....??

  • Lytham LT, good post & you make some good points. When i first started running every borough held excellent council run road races that were superb, cheap to enter & excellent prizes but i suppose in these health & safety obsessed times they bit the dust & these kind of races have been replaced with huge City events with the main priority is making a killing.Oh well, maybe running knee deep in pig shite at a local event being held by a enthiusiastic road running pig farmer is the way forward for me.image

  • Sorry Bluebird. I hadn't realised you were such a newbie.
  • say cardiff is superb................not sure how you make much problems with starts and finishes and of course lying about the change of course and therefore getting everyones PB's erased from the record booksimage


  • Thanks Bluebirds, you make a good point over the H&S angle too.

    My own opinion is that high profile events have been hijacked by so many people using them as a means of self justification, agrandisement (is that how you spell it!!) and promotion: "look at me, I've raised £xxxx for charity, ain't I just so brilliant".

    Now I'm not saying there's anything wrong with doing things to raise funds for charity, but it's all getting to the point of total overkill and the idea of running a marathon for charity has almost become a cliche in itself now with the main reason actually being a vehicle for self promotion in these "15 minutes of fame" obsessed times.

    Businessmen have recognised this and exploit it to the full, meaning that many of these races are full of well meaning people who are going to walk/trot/trundle around the course in the name of their good cause (and another nice little tick on the CV) and in the process make these event promoters a very tidy sum.

    Personally I support a number of wide ranging charities, but I don't feel the need to use it as a vehicle for self promotion!

    Sorry if this sounds cynical and I wish to offend no-one, but that's one of the major reasons imho why these races are going the way they are.

    That's why I think it's doubly important that we do our best to support and promote our local clubs and their events, otherwise we'll all end up feeling as frustrated as Bluebirds image

  • No probs Daveimage

    seren nos, i ran the half in October & really enjoyed it, superb new course & no hiccups at all.Did'nt run it last year due to injury so can't comment on that but yes, i do think there was a problem over the distance.

  • I don't run on road but I do take part in trail races organised ususally by independent companies such as Endurancelife. I sign up to their races and travel sometimes a long way, last one I travelled 150 miles one way and stayed over in a hotel. But I'd rather race one good one than a stack of local road 10ks or halfs or even city marathons. I race rarely but put my money on the best experience.

  • ACDCGirl, I'm with you on that too. I for example love the Lakeland Trails races and find them great fun and reasonable value. I know LT as a company is there to make a profit but they don't pretend otherwise and put on a very enjoyable event which I choose to participate in. I'm doing EL at Anglesey in Jan (just the 10k for starters) and am interested to see how they compare, I suspect they'll be a lot tougher.

    Trouble is I'm now just as happy doing as many local races as possible and find trouble fitting them all in without enduring the wrath of the wife and kids image

  • DustinDustin ✭✭✭

    i'm a bit confused bluebird...
    on page one you complain as some race suggestions are over a 300 mile round trip, but recently have said that the organisation at "big City events such as Cardiff,Reading, Bristol, Nottingham & Newcastle have been superb". Has Newcastle moved? as that must be closer to 300 each way, Nottingham must be over 300 round trip, and Reading over 200.
    Reading is near to me, and recently they have got their house in order, but on 3 or 4 occasions in the recent past the event was delayed, and start held up. The finish in the Madjeski is the only plus point imho. Fleet and Basingstoke both host half marathons (Fleet same day as Reading, Basingstoke in October) and are both superior to Reading, oh , and cheaper.
    So in answer to your post, I don't think its wrong to suggest it is a struggle to pay for big city races anymore, but I suspect that reducing your travel costs may mitigate the situation.

  • forest of dean half is usually resonable and a good run.............i found llanelli worked very efficiently............of course many smaller clubs have had to stop their halves because of problems............

    main,y the traffic on a sunday now is major compared to 20/30 years ago,............then you could ask the odd driver to stop so that the runners could have priority without closed roads you can not get the thousands of people who are travelling to the supermarkets or the diy stores or to see little johhny play stop to let some runners go past.........

    so most clubs have taken their runs off road and onto trails..........still brilliant races 

  • And Cardiff to Anglesey for a 10k ? Again your travel costs outweigh the race entry ?
  • So, in a nutshell, this thread is about the OP moaning about road racing being expensive if you choose to enter the most expensive races?



  • parkrunfan wrote (see)

    So, in a nutshell, this thread is about the OP moaning about road racing being expensive if you choose to enter the most expensive races?



    and travelling a long way to enter said races......

  • To play devils advocate though, the "big" events do appear to be getting more and more expensive and maybe more people will begin to realise what relatively poor value they offer as they watch the pennies more and more. Possibly even it just "feels" more expensive as disposable income shrinks?

    12 months ago I'd have quite happily paid big bucks to enter a big event with lots of fun runners and first timers, but now that I'm a little quicker and more confident I wouldn't dream of paying such extortionate fees for a 10k for example.

    I recently saw one 10k advertised not too far from here (organised by the local round table or similar) at over £20 to enter, to run a standard sea front route but with a high quality medal, t-shirt, fruit and goody bag. Fine for the once a year types, and by all accounts they get big numbers entering, but not for me anymore thanks. I've a family to look after and I can do a month's worth a decent races for that.

    You can see the pattern emerging though. The big MP events give new runners, slower runners, fun and charity runners a place to go where they feel comfortable in a race environment and get lots of goodies to show off afterwards. It's fine and it has it's place, no doubt about it. These events do come at a price though.

    What we must hope for though is that n increasing number of these make the leap from "fun/charity" runner to club runner and become more actively involved in their local scene.

    On the upside, we are noticing a fair old increase in interest at our club post-olympics, and not just from older runners either. Turnouts at things like relays, inter club events and the cross country are very much on the up, with many new runners happy to get stuck in and give it a go, even if it means trailing in near the back to begin with - I know first hand, I was the slowest senior man at the NW Road Relays but I got loads of encouragement for taking part and really enjoyed it.

    The more "beginners" who take part, the more it encourages others to do so as well and it's amazing how quickly you improve.

    It's not all doom and gloom image


  • Lytham LT wrote (see)

    It's not all doom and gloom image


    Didn't know there was doom and gloom,   most of us seem very happy with the races we are doing and what they cost


  • Just in bluebirds world image

  • I want to join a running club, but my "local" club is 9 miles away, one return trip just to the club without travelling to any race is £5 in fuel. You do that a few times a week it isn't cheap. Like wise my "local" Parkrun (hey theres always a one nearby, bullshit) is 28 miles away, £16 return in fuel, and no, apart from maybe once or twice a year (as a tune up) I can't see the point in driving 45 minutes each way for a 20 minute+ race. If the only "local" races are going to cost you up to £20 in fuel you may as well do one thats a distance you actually want to do (I don't want to run 5k, can't see the point) and you get a medal and a day out for, either way, if you live in a rural location and poor you're only going to be racing a few times a year due to petrol costs and the cunting government.           

  • Well £8 for a 10k on Sunday and even got a medal, And no pig sh!t in sight

  • Not sure how the government is stopping you racing, But I suppose some people are glass half empty....

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