This Christmas/Channukah I asked for race fees as presents. I made a list of every race I wanted to run this year, and gave it to Thatboy. Which unfortunately, gave him a little insight into the costs of races. "How much have you spent in races over the past few years?????" he asked me one night after noting that one of the cheapest races on the list had a $50 entry fee.
He has a very valid point. And one that I had noted a couple years earlier. Which accounts for my running fewer races the past few years, and why I've been asking for race fees as presents.
When I first started running races, it was mostly 5ks. And they were between $20 and $25 to run. Now it's rare to find a 5k for UNDER $25. Most are now in the $40-$50 range. And it's really hard for me to justify spending that kind of money to run 3 miles. Which I do on a daily basis over the summer. For free. In fact, one of the runs on my list is a 5k that's on my regular running trail, 1/2 a mile from my home. And it costs $60. Guess who is NOT going to be running that one.
I can more easily justify the costs of half marathons. Because I am far less likely to head out and run 13 miles without some other motivation. And running with a big group of people, a finish line to acknowledge my accomplishment, and fun perks like a cool location, or great running route provides that motivation. At the same time, I usually limit myself to one half marathon a year, because they are so costly.
I'm running a lot less 5ks this year, because of the cost. Which is why my race calendar looks a little intimidating with all my "big runs." I'm still keeping my eyes open for some cheap shorter races and will throw them in as they pop up!