6'0 Tall wife to Muscle Man, mother of 3, full time career woman, with an addiction to running wherever her size 10's will take her.

Thursday, September 17, 2009

Penny Pincher Race Anxiety

"It's good to have money and the things that money can buy, but it's good, too, to check up once in a while and make sure that you haven't lost the things that money can't buy."
George Horace Lorimer



  • Tall Mom- "I am Going to Disneyland!!"
OK maybe someday....but not anytime soon. Many of US live on one income, making pinching pennies a necessary evil. This weekend is my last officially registered race. I have been toying with running the Seattle 1/2 Marathon on November 29th (HERE)...I have printed training plans, put the date on my calendar, etc.. Today I went as far as to click the Bright shiny REGISTER NOW link... Then the $75 price tag shot me in the wallet..and I closed the window.
  • Can someone please help me to get past the race fee and REGISTER?

  • How do you rationalize the high cost of race fees?

28 comments:

onelittletrigirl said...

For triathlon, I volunteer for the RD's and get free races- otherwise I would never be able to afford it! As for road races, I always sign up as early as possible and scour for coupons. If it is too expensive I weigh how much the race itself means to me and decide from that point of view.

onelittletrigirl said...

For triathlon, I volunteer for the RD's and get free races- otherwise I would never be able to afford it! As for road races, I always sign up as early as possible and scour for coupons. If it is too expensive I weigh how much the race itself means to me and decide from that point of view.

Genesis said...

will your fee go towards some charity? I've only ever done a 5k and that fee went to help a Montesori school in town.

Shannon said...

I always try to register early...so that you don't have to pay the whole fee... But, $75?!?!

Kerrie said...

I haven't made the purchase yet, either. It's so expensive, I had to wait till payday a few days ago. Now, I just need to remember to do it. It's going to end up being part of my birthday present. That and new running shoes. Not sure if that's a good deal or not.

RunningLaur said...

I have 2 tricks:

1. Racing mainly local races or those put on by my racing club. Luckily the Arizona Road Racers holds races very frequently and for very low prices.

2. Volunteering for extra bucks off or other perks. Every event I've volunteered for has given me more than just the joy of volunteering. It's often some random swag that I wouldn't have to pay for otherwise or it's free / discounted race fees, which I love. My 20k next month was only $12 because it was a club race and I had volunteer discounts :)

Fair Weather Runner said...

$75 is stupid expensive for a 1/2! crazy. maybe you can ask for it as an early christmas present from a family member or from hubby? i feel you on the race prices, i have held back on many a race because of my wallet. boo.

Marlene said...

I know, I know... some of the race fees or extortionate!

For hubs and I, running and racing are pretty much our "entertainment". I mean, dinner and a movie can easily cost more than that! That's how I rationalize it, anyway...

Go for it. You've worked for it!

busyrunningmama said...

I would say, scrimp on things in Oct and Nov that you would usually buy and go for it. I keep telling myself this: I do not pay a monthly gym membership (savings of$40 a month at least), I don't get my nails and toes done on a regular basis, etc. etc. This is the one thing I do for me. I also make my coffee at work and save myself the $5 Starbucks run everyday (That's $150 a month / 2 races)!!
Only you know what your budget will allow for, and $75 is a pretty steep entry fee BUT remember that this is one thing that you truly love to do and that you do for yourself......and when MAMA is happy, everyone is happy!!!

Catey said...

Hubby and I had to plan and budget our races out ahead of time and let other things go so we could afford them this year. Most of our date nights consist of putting the kids to bed early and staying in now! : )

And sadly, $75 for a half sounds about average to me. I ended up bailing on two of the Tri's I was hoping to race just b/c of the cost to register. Dang.

If you could get a sponsor, that would be ideal! Otherwise I would think that you have enough of a following to do some sort of auction type thing going to raise the money. : )

One other thing we've done is to form a local community race board. There are a number of us right on the same street here that love to compete but are all feeling the budget strain, so we wanted a way to solve it for ourselves and for others.
Each month we host a run now, and hopefully next year we can do some duathlons as well. We get people to donate prizes so that there are top finisher prizes as well as general raffle prizes. It started out super small (I think 8 people at the first race!), but has ballooned to a much better turnout, even though it's still small (the last run was about 50 people). Our last run included all of our Mayoral and City Council candidates for the upcoming election and was a great way to meet everyone! And since everything is donated, it all stays free!

Lisa said...

I guess I rationalize it as an investment in my health. Without a goal race, I'm not as motivated to work out.

$75 is a steal compared to $120 - the price of the Disney Princess Half Marathon.

lindsay said...

ehh. i usually forget about how much i spent by the time the race comes around. i never factor in travel costs (flight, hotel) either so i always end up spending more than i "expect" (though my expectations are low). i've paid over $100 for a half before and over $200 for a full. i guess when i just want to run a race i'll fork it over! lol.

i also don't have a family depending on me though, so i know that's a huge difference. sign up! you will be fine!!

Running, kind of. said...

It is hard. But I think $75 is on the cheaper side for a half. Plus if you wait too long the cost will go up. Last year I was able to run at least one race a month, sometimes 2 (just me and my little buddy while the hubs was in Iraq). But this year I have only been able to afford a few races. It has been hard passing up races.

I find it hard to be motivated without a race on the schedule. I think you could volunteer to be a pacer in the race, but then you can't push yourself to go faster if you want (if you are the 1:50 pacer or something like that).

Also we don't do a lot of extra stuff, no movies, dinner out once in a blue moon. So I would rather spend $75 on a race than a night out drinking margaritas! Although that is fun every now and then. :)

There are a lot of great ideas here!!! You will figure something out!!

Mark said...

I hear you on the fees and we are a two income household! I usually will run races that will bless a cause, unless it's a specific marathon I'm shooting for.

Alisa said...

I can't justify that much for running races anymore at least not half mary's. Neither of my Tri's were that expensive and I figure if a company can put on a three-sport event for less than it's not worth it for a half for me.

We do try to conserve money on other things like going out to dinner since we both like to race.

Lacey Nicole said...

i think you should find a cheaper race!!!!!!!!!!! they are out there i promise. sometimes it's worth it to pay the price... (this i found out)... but that doesn't mean you have to break the bank for every race!!!! they def add up. same with sneakers etc!!!!!! boo... but keep looking! :)

and -- your comment about slimer made me run off into this incredible imagination of a race featuring obstacles etc. like double dare!!!!!!!!! how cool would that be. time to get messy... lol.

IzzyBubbles said...

Oh, I know...I almost didn't sign up for the Wichita half this Sunday because I didn't want to pay the $35 race fee, not when I'm doing 2 more races in November and probably 5ks in October and December. Oh, and maybe the Disney World marathon in January? Um...yeah - race fees add up after awhile. It's easier for me to justify at this point because I know I won't be racing nearly this much (if at all) once we have kid(s)...so I'm having all my fun now while I can have it. At least that's what I tell myself.

I also cut back other places - I generally don't eat lunch out, I don't go to movies, we eat dinner at home most nights of the week, I *try* to limit shopping (not always so successful with that, sheesh) and when I travel for races if I can I ask for $$ for gifts to cover the expenses. The only way I'll do Disney World in Jan. is because I have a free place to stay and think I could get the race entry fee as a Christmas present.

Candice @ I Have Run said...

Just last night my hubby commented on how my running is not a cheap hobby. I don't have any answers for you though... Wish I did! Let me know if you find out any secrets!!

Katie said...

I love to run. Racing makes me happy. People don't understand it, but I'll crazy amounts on it it's cheaper then therapy. I used to show horses so in comparison running is cheap ;)

Janice {Run Far} said...

$75 for a half is pretty steep. I love the full marathon with a passion, i would run them every month if I coudl afford to. I actually trained to run one this sunday and when I finally went to register for it 2 weeks ago, the hubby said... WAIT... no $$$ in the budget... I post-poned till Oct 18th... The louisville marathon will be my next. I made my hubby promise.

HEATHER @ runfastermommy! said...

I am not a typical girly girl. It seems everyone other female I know around here is talking about coach or dooney and bourke purses, or lily pulitzer clothing and what they found at the MAC counter this weekend. I don't do any of that. Heck, I've had the same $20 purse for 4 years now, and my one pair of heels came from Target and I think they are pretty :) That my friend, is how I justify my running expense!

Plus, I agree with Katie, it's SOOOO much cheaper than therapy!

Mel-2nd Chances said...

i try to sign up early when i can so that the races are cheaper, but that's also bitten me in the a$$ being plagued with injuries.... hope you can find a way to do it.

Mama said...

I'm another "it's cheaper than therapy" girl. Running is quite literally my anti-depressant. Races motivate me to run when I might otherwise not.

That said, I've spent a ton of money on races this year, particularly since we've travelled to a few, so I'm trying to run local and cheap for a bit.

MCM Mama

I Run for Fun said...

I hear ya! At most races, I tell myself it's going to charity...and I cherry pick my races!

Shelly! said...

I like the idea of volunteering....interesting...

I am so picky about what races I sign up for just so that I can pinch my pennies. I try and register early. If I cannot pay...then I usually run a faux race on my own at the same date/time. Gives me the motivation but with out the out of pocket expense.

Right now I'm trying to figure out if I'm splurgy enough to get DH and I into an upcoming race...

Oz Runner said...

some races are hard to rationalize the cost, honestly, especially in today's economy...$20 is one thing, but when it gets up to $70-$80 dollars, that makes it tough...definitely have to limit the number of pricey races you can do and pick your expensive ones wisely...

Robin said...

Here's my two cents: (ha ha, get it?.. sorry - lame!)

Seriously:
New kicks: $$$
Bras, shorts, tops: $$$
Race fees: $$+
Health insurance if you don't run and aren't healthy: $$$$$$

Crossing the finish line/setting the example for your kids/achieving a goal: PRICELESS

That, my friend, is my justification.

We often spend soooo much money on unhealthy/unnecessary things in our lives. A few hefty race fees are the balance, I think. (Coughing up $120.00 for the Disney Princess 1/2 in 3/2010.. Ugh!)

I choose carefully, look for races for charities, and put a few dollars here & there into my 'running piggy bank.' Remember the jar your dad used to have for loose change?? Yep a real jar just for running stuff: gear, races, etc... My $$ deposits pay off in healthy (literally) dividends.

Hugs from Orlando... r.

Britt said...

Ugh, I hear you. I've really cut back this year on races. Last year I tried to do every single one in our area, but just can't justify it this year. I've just been trying to hold out for the really good ones.