Rant about outrageous race prices.

We live in a world of contrasts.

Take fell racing. Last time I entered the blencathra fell race, a lady sat in a deckchair, took my £1 (yes you heard it right, 1 pound coin) - I gave a name and we were good to go. A glorious race over some of the northern fells.  Even the big championship races are cheap. Last time I did Borrowdale, great community atmosphere , a real "must do" over some of lakelands highest fells, 18 miles but with 7500 feet of climbing that easily makes it "ultra" in equivalent distance.often a championship race. Cost £5, and there was a celidh for the night time.

But I love LDWA events too - my real passion.. I just entered the "four passes" , complete with manned check points with refreshments ( often hot tea! civilization!) and meal at the end for the princely some of £11.

I then look at the web and the world has gone barking during the period I was out for the last knee up.. Today for example I trotted round most of the course of the trail26 rivington trail. A very ordinary off road marathon, little different from any LDWA event. Yet they want £35!!!! for what???

What amazes me is how these overpriced races fill up. All sorts of non descript races trying to take anywhere between £30 and £60, and triathlons seem to be something else!

Now i can sympathise with such as the 10peaks events, that charge a fair wad , considering MOST of it goes to charity.

But the seeming creeping commercialism is not a change for the better - a lot of these races are just for profit, and there is no justification.





  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Pure market forces.

    Surprised the London marathon hasn't cottoned on that it could charge £100 and it would still be over subscribed.

    The people happy to shell out such money have invariably been priced out of much more expensive activities. 

  • I don't see the problem. Aren't the fell races and LDWA events still there ?

    So you can do those and the expensive ones are there if you want ?

    Commercial races have to make money.
  • Didnt we just have this conversation lol .......


  • If London charged £100 to enter and I would get guaranteed entry and not have to raise any money for charity, I would pay it.


  • Ric - ssshhhh on the London Marathon !!
  • too late - I just entered the london marathon and it was three quid more than last year. Shocking.

  • RicFRicF ✭✭✭

    Shit! that's torn it.

  • It'll be 35 quid soon, what a rip off!
  • Do you reckon mo paid ??15 for his half race last year ?
  • Not sure but hopefully he only got half a bag of rice and half a prune in his goody bag.
  • I dumped the rice it was just too heavy image


  • I wished I had. I dragged it round London all day before I realised what it was. I thought the bag was heavy as in years before there had been a can of beer in there.
  • The importance of value for money all depends upon the type of race you are entering.  

    When selecting a 100 mile race for example, getting value for money should be pretty close to the bottom of your list of priorities. 

  • I'm not sure you meant that the way it reads Ben but personally I think value for money should always be an important consideration when choosing a race, it's just that everyone has a different idea of what good value is

  • I might be influenced by considerations of value for money with a marathon or even a 50 miler.  

    With a 100 miler I will go with an organiser that I trust, and pay whatever they want. 

    Its only money at the end of the day. 

  • alwaysinjured - Costs can be kept pretty cheap as you have identified. I do enjoy the races where you pay £3 to run. Some of the bigger races provide more than just a number to pin to your shorts though and that all costs. Off the top of my head I can think of :

    - Medical cover
    - Insurance
    - Checkpoint food/drink
    - Finish line food/drink
    - Medals/Buckles
    - Tshirts
    - Transport to the start or from the finish back to the start
    - Venue hire for start/finish
    - Hire of timing equipment
    - Vehicle hire and fuel
    - Portaloo toilets

    The cheap races still exist, so if thats what you want to do you are not forced to pay any more. I don't see the problem?

  • WiB The example I cite is no different from any LDWA event, and pays for all in your list, BUT they charge £11not £35- so the costs are covered in the lower price.

    What really annoys me is races which coerce marshalls to marshall for free, in a clearly for profit race - and many are of that type which I view as a scam.  The OMM / Karrimor for example.  All should get paid, or none.

  • A quick look on the LDWA site and picking one of their challenge events at random they appear to provide :

    "Entry: £11 incl badge, cert; refreshments at some Cps & cooked meal at finish; transport for retirees"

    It misses a fair few of the points from my quick list above. That is how it is kept cheap. In fact that example misses nearly all of them.

    There is a place for both types of events and we have the luxury of choosing which we do. On top of that there are events that take the p!ss with their price but they are pretty easy to spot and avoid...

  • WiB - Now check out LDWA guidelines for event organisers, instead of reading event summaries.

    Where relevant, all of them are covered. You cannot operate an LDWA event without adequate insurance, medical cover etc. Only point to point event need transport, and my analogy - the trail26 rivington is not point to point, and I will warrant it uses the loo facilities at the venue, not portaloos which tend only to be needed for massive fields in out of the way places.


  • ai - I think you're onto a loser here mate!
    I wouldn't call £35 for a trail marathon "outrageous"
    what about that race up Snowdon for £149? image
    we both know that LDWA/fell races are a lot cheaper, but let's keep that quiet eh? image


  • AI - I couldn't see those guidelines on the LDWA site. The only info I could find on what is provided is in the event details.

    Daz - Everyone knows that LDWA/Fell/XC races are cheaper, they are no secret. They are also great races on some great routes. However, they do provide the same as some of the more expensive events. 

    As already said, both exist and we have a choice. I tend to use £1 per mile maximum as my guide to race fees. Very happy to pay a couple of quid and go XC racing though image

  • Triathlon is worse - take £200 for Ironman UK 70!

    I started the thread out of mischief rather than anything else...to point out that the LDWA have run such events for many years at far lower price including a meal at the end: so that there are alternatives to the new wave of commercial events.

    But one really serious issue is the one I raised above - that events must decide whether they are profit or not. And if they are all should get paid including marshalls. If voluntary, all should be voluntary. In my view, old karrimor style wealth transferrence from out of pocket marshalls to jen longbottoms retirement fund is not really an ethical way to do business. I am happy if others do not share that view: but that is mine.

    I do websites for fell races, totally free, but only those that are not for profit.





  • Everything is cheap compared to Ironman image

  • I'm with Wib on the £1 per mile general rule but as with most things it's flexible, I'm sure we all love the LDWA events but there's also a place for the bigger races. I think I paid somewhere in the region of 160 euros for the UTMB but I was happy to do so because of the race it was, I certainly wouldn't pay the same for the ONER down on the south coast.

  • Triathlon is expensive - but you need a lot of support. You cant swim without safety boats (usually - lets not mention the race that went ahead with no water safety), you need racking, you need security to stop the bikes going missing, you need police on board, you need food and liquid on course, and then all the bells and whistles that people expect.

    At the end of the day - I think there's plenty of choice out there - I usually do one expensive race per year and the rest are much cheaper, or if they are pricey then they'll be local and so cheaper overall.
  • Beachy Head Marathon went up from £20 last year to £32 this year and if you want to transfer a number it now costs a fiver - it used to be free.

    from what was an oversubscribed and friendly social event - they never called it a race - it's now becoming a revenue generator for Eastbourne BC. they're also putting a 10k race on alongside it, and having cut-offs (which has pissed off those who used to walk it).   in previous year's it sold out early - it only sold out in mid-September this time - which maybe a sign that regulars are staying away from it.

    or maybe other events are attracting them.

    or that EBC have pissed them off (I know a few in this camp)

    but it's still not bad value for £32 - but I suspect it will be closer to £50 next year

  • Centurion offers free entry to those marshalls doing an 8 hour stint, that's as good as being paid. Plus, without wanting to sound trite, marshaling can be an invaluable learning process and a chance for runners to give something back.

    I think the message here is vote with your feet.

  • For a lot of race organisers/organisations putting on events is a means to earn a living. They are out to make a profit that is how a business works.

    When I quote a job I don't think about going in for a loss just to please the customer. No one in the country would be in business.

    No one has to enter an event they don't want to.

  • No one forces the volunteer marshalls to marshall................its choice..at outlaw and ironman you get a t-shirt and some lunch if you marshall or do a feed station.........

    your choice if you feel you want to take part.........they coudn't afford to pay all those people....

    and yet they have to pay a certain amount of people.those who take charge of certain aspects and who work all weekend doing a job not just 4/8 hours of the day

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