Race Costs

Creative Commons License Andrew Magill via Compfight

People often ask me how I can afford to do so many races.  The answer is good budgeting and sacrificing in other areas.

But that got me to thinking what an average race costs me.  Not a runDisney race – those are expensive.  Fun, but expensive.   So I decided to track my costs for my most recent half marathon, the Frederick Running Festival Half Marathon.

Frederick is a “local-ish” race.  It’s about an hour drive, but Jen and I opted to spend the night there the night before in order to do packet pickup and not have to stress the morning of the race.

So what did I spend money on?

  • Race registration – $65.00
  • Mileage – $14.00 (calculated using an online fuel cost estimator)
  • Hotel – $41.42 (split with Jen and Melissa)
  • Parking for lunch and shopping – $1.00
  • Lunch – $6.75
  • Shopping in Downtown Frederick – $66.15 (here, where I bought for myself and some gifts)
  • Dinner – $23.00
  • Snacks and drinks for the drive home (I opted out of breakfast because I wasn’t feeling 100%) – $8.69

So the “requireds” (registration, mileage, and hotel) cost me $120.42.  In total, I spent $226.01.  Considering that over $66 of that was on relatively unrelated shopping (meaning it wasn’t at an expo, it was just at a shop that I love that happens to be in that city), that’s not so bad at all.

However, it’s clearly not something that can happen all the time.  I’d say this race falls in the mid-point of race costs.  My previous half, Rock ‘n’ Roll DC cost significantly less because I could sleep in my own bed, less than 10 miles from the start.  Races involving air travel cost significantly more.

It’s all about balance.  Some people think I’m crazy, but this is where I choose to spend my money.  Some people love fancy shoes or clothes or home accessories or electronics.  I like running.

It does make me wonder what I spend on running in a year.  I don’t think that’s a calculation I want to do!


4 thoughts on “Race Costs

  1. I feel you! These 30 races are NOT cheap. I figured it’s money better spent on my health than you know a purse (or a down payment on a house, right?!) 🙂

  2. Cost is one of the biggest factors discouraging me from doing more races. I normally try to make sure my calendar will allow for the training/time, but by that point, I’m close enough to the race to have missed the earlier/affordable registration options, and it’s just a bummer all around.

  3. I find that registering for a race is what keeps me motivated to run. It forces me to FIND time. Which is easier said than done.

  4. I don’t want to calculate how much I spend on races and running in a year, either… I think it would make me sick in the stomach a bit… but at the same time, you can’t really put a price on something that makes you happy or keeps you healthy, can you?

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