This is the second topic for the fortnightly Run With An Idea blogging and debating collaboration. If you missed the first set of posts about the Olympic legacy then you can check them out over here. The posts generated lots of debate and covered many different points of view – exactly what we were hoping for.
This fortnight’s topic is race entry fees – how much is too much? Would you pay £50 to enter a 10K?
The short answer to the second question is yes, I have paid £50 to enter a 10K race. It was the British 10K last year held in central London. It turned out to be the worst race I’ve taken part in from an organisational perspective and I would never run it again.
£50 is a lot of money to shell out to run 6.2 miles, so I’ve been thinking about what it was that made me sign up in the first place. Part of it was the fact that it was taking place in the Olympic year – they really hyped up that aspect of it. The race pack included a medal and two technical T-shirts – one a special commemorative one for 2012. The route was beautiful, through the heart of London. I was also looking for races to give me something to aim for post the London Marathon and thought this one fitted the bill. Somehow I justified to myself that it was OK to pay £50.
For all the reasons I covered in my blog post. I will never run that race again, to be honest I wouldn’t even if the entry fee was halved. It was just unpleasant and dis-organised.
Putting the British 10K to one side, race entry fees aren’t all about the price per mile from my perspective. Or even about the goody bag at the end. Some races offer something a bit different that makes me prepared to pay a bit extra. Take the National Lottery Anniversary Run for example. More expensive than your average 10K and it was only a 5 mile course, but offering something different from a standard race. I’m definitely prepared to pay a bit more for the chance to run into and around the Olympic stadium!
As a relatively slow runner I generally prefer bigger races, for the simple fact that I am less likely to be right at the back. Smaller races might on paper be better value but I really don’t enjoy being the last person home. Bigger races are without a doubt a better experience for me and I’m prepared to pay the premium associated with that.
There was a time when I’d first started running when I was entering races here there and everywhere. These days I’m focussing more on quality rather than quantity. Quality is of course a subjective matter but it’s something that I am prepared to pay for. So while I won’t be paying £50 to run a certain race again, I wouldn’t rule out paying that much again for a different 10K, but it would have to be offering something pretty different from the norm.
So over to you – would you pay £50 to enter a 10K – (by the way for my American readers that’s around $75 and for my Euro followers around 60E). How much is too much for you? Ever paid a lot to enter a race that you later regretted? Or found a race that offers great value for money? I’d love to hear your views.