Is the cost of racing gone mad theses days??!!!! In some cases yes. There has been a 65% increase in the NYC race entry fee in the USA in the last 5 years. I mean I get it I know everything’s more expensive in new york but really $255 for a marathon.
Oh, and if you are unfortunate enough to live outside of the U.S., it is $347. If you wana play you gotta pay, so I am not going to moan about the cost of races, as there is no pressure for any of us to enter. I am merely noting that it does not come cheap for the glory of the finish line 🙂
All that being said I have come to the conclusion that Running is a business these days and the business of running is a very popular one!! The days of simply throwing down a chalk mark in the road, yelling out “ready, set, go”, letting the 200 or so runners fend for themselves as they weave through traffic jams they actually caused themselves and then finally cross a make shift finish line greeted by a few helpers and given some water and a congrats if they placed, maybe a medal…are long gone.
So do you ever wonder exactly where your entry fee goes after you enter a road race? Producing road races has become a significant business that comes with a lot of risk along with a lot of hands in the till.
However, today producing a road race is more about insurance, liability, medical coverage, media, security, technology, computers, charities, food and entertainment and less about road cones, ribbons etc. And, of course, all this “new stuff” just costs more and more and more money. Additionally, where and when the race is held also contributes to the ever-increasing expense of an event. The days where “everyone” involved offered his or her services free of charge are also looooooooonnnnnng gone. I have to state though that in smaller races this may not be true and there are alot of smaller trail races that people volunteer and thats all. They are there to do just what it says on the tin!!, receiving little or nothing in return and are quite happy with that too.
Without corporate sponsors, whether cash, product or services, it is virtually impossible to “make money” conducting a road race. Each race is different, of course, and as such, incurs different expenses. However, every race must deal with standard expenses in order to produce a half decent product. Typically, some of those expenses include but are certainly not limited to: