A while back I wrote a post complaining about how expensive seemingly simple races are. My friend, Ryan, sent me a really great breakdown of what it costs him to put on a 50K race. I would like to clarify though, that my rant by no means was meant for the smaller race put on by runners for runners. I find these type races to be overwhelming fairly priced, and more importantly committed to giving back to other runners and the community in some way. My beef is really with the big corporate racing companies that have proliferated. I’m sure it does cost a fortune to close a chunk of a city for a marathon, so I don’t really have an issue with the big city marathons costing a lot either. It’s these fancy 5Ks, 10Ks, etc that just seem like too much to me. So yes, I’ll do the obvious and not do them. They are very attractive though to newer runners, and I do wonder if they take away from great events like Ryan’s. BTW, I have never done his run, because I am much too much of a wimp to start something that long at midnight. I fall asleep by 1000 most nights. So for those tougher and hardier than me…give it a whirl. Maybe this summer I’ll suck it up, drink some coffee and get my El Scorcho on…..after visiting the website I am very tempted! Ok, here’s the breakdown:
El Scorcho prices start at $60 and go up to $100. We do tiered pricing, where the first 150 people to register pay the least amount, and the price automatically goes up after a certain number of folks register.
The question is–where does all that money go?
We do not have a single monetary sponsor, so we look solely to registration fees to cover the cost of the event. Because our race takes place in a city park, after hours, and along a river, we are required to get permits from the City of Fort Worth, the Trinity River Authority, the Parks Department, and the Health Department. We also have to pay the Fort Worth Independent School District to use their parking lot for the race. We have to pay off-duty police officers to patrol the course and keep the park safe from 10 p.m. until 7 a.m. We also have to maintain two separate insurance policies. We rent porta-potties, golf carts, and radios for the event. We have to purchase aid stations supplies, including food, electrolytes, water, and ice (lots of ice). All of our runners receive nice, technical running shirts and custom medals. 50km runners also receive a special finisher’s pin.
After we cover all of our costs, we donate whatever is left to the Leukemia & Lymphoma Society. Last year’s donation was $10,000. So… I agree with you on the cost of some runs, especially those that are out to make a profit. But at least with our little race, the money goes to a good cause. (And even if you pay the highest registration price–$100–you’re still only paying $3.22 per mile, which is less than half the $6.50 per mile that 10 mile race was charging!) And on that, I bid you farewell and wish you many enjoyable miles.
Thank you to Ryan for his very informative response to me. I hope others find it enlighening like I did!