Run with an Idea #2 : Race Fees – Would you pay £50 for a 10km?


This is the second topic for Run with an Idea, a bi-weekly blogging debate about health and fitness issues. The first topic about the “The Olympics one year on” certainly generated some good discussion and opinions.

This week’s debate topic is about race fees, and “Would you pay £50 for a 10km?”

My answer: “Yes, I would.”

Would I pay £50 for every 10k race? No, I wouldn’t.

£50 is a lot of money for a 10k race, but there are many races out there that cost that much and many thousands of people have run them. Including me.

How much is too much? I think it is a personal decision. It all comes down to what the individual perceives they are getting for their fees and if they think it is worth it.

Outside of the tangible items like medals, shirts, drinks, magazines, energy bars etc –what I call the ‘swag’ (cut me some slack, I’m an Aussie) – there are the intangible items like where the race is run, the scenery, the people taking part, and most importantly, that person’s relationship to the race – the reason they are running.

For me, it is these intangible benefits that inform most of my decision making about a race and the fees. If I feel I’m getting increased ‘benefits’ from a race, I’ll gladly pay more for the opportunity to run in it. If it comes with a good swag, then all the better. But I wouldn’t run a race just for the ‘swag’.

Conversely, if I think the race is too expensive for the ‘benefits’, then I have the choice not to run in it. With the growing popularity in running, and especially in racing 5k and 10k races, it is a bit of a ‘buyers market’. Race organisers need to balance what it costs them to organise, hold and administer a race, with what people are actually willing to pay for their event. Too little fees and they can’t put on a good event, or they go out of business, too much fees and they run the risk of people feeling they aren’t getting good value and subscriptions will drop.

If I see a race I am interested in, but the fees seem high, I speak to people I know who have run the same race, or read reviews of the races online to see what people are saying about their race experience to help inform my decision.

So far I’ve never run a race where I felt that the fees were too much for the whole experience and *crosses fingers* I hope my good luck continues, and I hope yours does too!

If you think £50 is too high for a 10km, or if you have an experience of a race where you thought the cost outweighed the ‘benefits’, I’d be interested to hear your thoughts in the comments section below.

Happy racing!


Get Going, Get Running

About getgoing-getrunning

Hi, I’m Bernie and I’m a just guy who writes about the things which get me going and get me running, even though my running is never going to result in me standing on a podium!

Posted on July 29, 2013, in Articles, Blog, Races, Run with an Idea and tagged , . Bookmark the permalink. 2 Comments.

  1. Like you, I try to balance the race fee with the swag factor. Some of the larger marathons are outrageously expensive (NYC), and it’s an expensive city to stay/eat in. Boston is the same. I prefer smaller races and cheaper fees, but I still want my medal and race shirt!

    • However, being an Aussie who lives in London I might think a race-cation in NYC is well worth it!
      But, generally, for ‘normal’ races fees have to be reflected in the swag!

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