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PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
5/19/14 5:56 P

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Another remarkable statistic: In 2014, four new HMs were announced (all within easy driving distance of me, less than an hour). This is incredible but I guess also just a reflection of demand. Interestingly, 2 are trail HMs.

If 4 is not incredible enough, just a year earlier (2013), there were 7 new HMs!

At the same time, HMs do continue to die (although at a much slower rate). The last to die was in 2012, the (stupidly named) Maryland Running Festival at Six Flags America Half Marathon. Should I hope that more die or more are created? If only the crappy ones would go away - but people keep signing up for them!


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RUNNERGIRLKIM's Photo RUNNERGIRLKIM SparkPoints: (1,382)
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5/10/14 11:52 P

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About the high price for the Nike Women's Half Marathon: I paid for it one year at a student discount (I think it was $125 instead of $175). It was expensive, but you get a Tiffany necklace at the end! Plus you get a finisher's technical race shirt at the end- mine is actually my favorite shirt that I've ever gotten from a race.

I wouldn't want to pay that much for every race, but it was fun to do once. It's pretty cool to get handed that little blue Tiffany bag at the end (by a hot firefighter, no less) ;)

PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
4/28/14 10:57 P

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Your rant about Active.com is interesting and I have some data about that based on 40 nearby HMs:

13 let you avoid an online service by using USMail (price of a stamp)
5 charge no service fee
3 charge a significant fee whether mailed or USMailed

Of those HMs which only allow online registration:
1 uses TicketSocket.com
1 uses GetMeRegistered.com
2 use imAthlete.com
4 use RaceIt.com
11 use Active.com

No idea why Active.com is so popular. Their rates and features are nothing special. The one good feature of Active is that if you do more than a handful of Active races each year, you can buy an ActiveAdvantage membership which gives you a discount on other Active registrations. (I've never found it financially worthwhile but it must be for someone, I guess.)

It is perverse that HMs let you avoid the online service fee by using USMail since doing so obviously *increases* costs to process the registration. That so many (13?!) HMs allow it is inexplicable.

PS: The Air Force HM (the good one here in DE :-) is one of the HMs that charges no service fee. Maybe you should tell the *other* AF HM to take note.

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SMITTY4RL's Photo SMITTY4RL Posts: 1,837
4/18/14 8:53 P

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Yes, and it hurt to fork over those 80 bucks, too. This marathon, half, 10K and 5K are the 'official' Air Force runs, not to say the one in Delaware is any less official but this one is the one sponsored by the Air Force as a whole.
As to the reason for websites, I have no idea. The newest rant I have is when the race uses Active.com as the registering place. It charges more for that and requires you to 'log in' with a password, etc. before you can sign up. Unfortunately, the AF half does use the site for registration.

~Smitty (Ann), EST

“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” -Groucho Marx


PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
4/18/14 11:40 A

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You paid $80 for Air Force HM?! Wow! The AF HM here in Delaware only charges $30 - and that includes technical shirts and medals. What are you getting for the extra $50?

Here's a link to the $30 AF HM: www.signup2raceusa.com/trisportseven
ts
/heritagehalf.aspx


One instantly obvious savings: They did not hire a website design team. Yet their website has one of the clearest HM descriptions. (Yet another topic: Why do races blow so much money on websites, making them so elaborate as to the point of frustrating to runners?)

Just to bring this back to the topic of gender (although I love talking HM pricing and websites too), the DE Air Force HM was 40% women. Perhaps low price turns off women? Could that be? Is there a correlation of gender ratio to race price!

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SMITTY4RL's Photo SMITTY4RL Posts: 1,837
4/11/14 4:10 P

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I've read the main reason for more women running the half is a second women's running boom, starting around the late '90's, with a jump in 2011. Related to that is the feeling that 'anybody' can run (a half-marathon). So maybe a shift in beliefs that running isn't just for skinny ectomorphs anymore helped foster the women/half craze. Although I hesitate to really call it a craze--I think it's something that'll be around for quite a while. The 'women only' runs help to keep the momentum alive, I think.

But, holy cow, those prices you mentioned! Not sure I'll be running any of those soon. My last one was $25 dollars (early fee), $30 dollars late fee. Although I did pay the Air Force 80 bucks to run in their half marathon in the fall, I think I would choke a little at anything over $100.



~Smitty (Ann), EST

“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” -Groucho Marx


PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
4/11/14 12:14 P

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By the way, here are some interesting stats for the 5 DC-area women's HMs:

Nike Women's HM

I couldn't figure out the # of finishers for Nike. (Their website is awful.) However, Nike always hits its cap of 15000 registrants. Ironically it is the most expensive ($175). I don't know why but all logic seems to fly out the window with this one. BTW, men are allowed to run it.

Zooma Annapolis Women's HM - 1110 finishers

Zooma has a cap of 4000 but doesn't come close to hitting it. Maybe it's not priced high enough? The early price is "only" $105. Admittedly, it is a hilly race so that is probably what keeps more people away.

I suspect Zooma is making plenty of money on Annapolis as Zooma has announced yet another women's HM in the DC area, this one a trail race with a cap of 500 and a price of $75.

Western MD Women's Half - 150 finishers

WMD has no cap and likely will never need one. At $45, it's a very low key with no medals, no jewelry, etc. And it's in the middle of nowhere, MD. Ironically, it is the only true benefit race amongst these. I did it one year and got a statement showing how much of my race fee was tax deductible. (Try getting that from any so-called benefit race.)

VHTRC Women's HM 220 finishers

VHTRC always hits it cap so it's very hard to get into, although if you do, it's only $45. It is the only race that is truly women-only. (All the others listed here allow men despite the race name.)


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TIMOTHY53's Photo TIMOTHY53 Posts: 902
4/10/14 11:23 P

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I have run RnRPhilly and RnRUSA and I didn't find them too crowded. Just because there is a large field doesn't mean it's crowded. If it's in big enough streets it can be OK. I did not run Walt Disney World Half, but I did run the full and the numbers were similar and that course was wy too crowded.

Why the disparity between men and women participants? I think because the half is a very accessible distance that women do to feel that sense of accomplishment. I have been wondering about the need for "women's" half marathons anymore since most half marathons are already "women's" race.

Start by doing what is necessary, then do what is possible and suddenly you will be doing the impossible. -- St Francis of Assisi
MBTEPP's Photo MBTEPP SparkPoints: (105,535)
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4/10/14 12:10 P

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I wonder if the numbers include multiple races for a single runner. Now that I have 1 HM down, I plan 3 more for the year. It is a good way to keep me training at this fitness level by getting in the miles I need.

With all the races I have run, I have not exceeded 1500, and this is a manageable number. The next HM sold out at 4500 participants, so it will be interesting to see whether I will appreciate a big race (Chicago Spring HM).

My DIL ran the Shamrock Shuffle 8K with 40K runners! I said no way! But she was corralled behind the elite runners and did not have to fight the crowds.

Thanks for posting the article.

MB
Central Time (Chicago)

I am running from dementia. I exercise to save my brain.

My motto in life: I am not lost, I am exploring. ~Jana Stanfield

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Hero HM, 10/19/2014 2:34:27
Hero 10K, 10/13/2013 1:07:51
Space Race 5K, 09/21/2014 30:56
Fall Frolic 4M, 11/02/2014 41:07

Asheville, NC 1st HM, March 16th, 2014.




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PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
4/9/14 9:51 P

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I'm not aware of any men-only HMs but of the 5 women's HMs in my area (MD-DC-VA), only 1 of them actually prohibits men from running. (It's a trail HM with a very small cap: 240. Needless to say, they always fill up!)

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SMITTY4RL's Photo SMITTY4RL Posts: 1,837
4/9/14 8:38 P

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Yep, interesting about the stats and I saw a HM just today that is for women only--do they make one for men only? I've only run one HM, but love the distance--the 5K seems to be a sprint and if you're going to run a 10K why not go for a HM? My race was about 1000 or a bit more...and seemed really perfect. No corrals, just one large start, but it wasn't a cluster for some reason (and that was with the marathoners as well, about 600). Have not run a large race yet, but will do the AF HM in the fall, so I guess I'll get my taste of a large race then, lol.

~Smitty (Ann), EST

“Outside of a dog, a book is man's best friend. Inside of a dog it's too dark to read.” -Groucho Marx


LISABRO5's Photo LISABRO5 Posts: 7
4/9/14 5:41 P

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Interesting!
I love the half marathon distance as the training is not too overwhelming and still provides that real challenge to see what you can push yourself to do. As for more women then running... Hmm, from my personal perspective I know with my group of friends we will try to find a race we can all sign up for together and train with each other, it's a good excuse to chat and have coffee after too. 😉

As for race sizes... I've run 3 halves. My first had over 7000 people and I just remember every water stop being a complete cluster. My favorite was one around 700 people. Enough space to spread out and not feel like a sardine. I've run the Falmouth road race the past three years, and while I love it- with 13,000 people, if you are not in the first two corrals it becomes more of a slow jaunt not by choice than a race! Lol

PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
4/9/14 5:40 P

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It's not just *during* the race that's an issue. The size matters before/after as well. For example, I hate crossing a finish line and then getting in a long line for food.

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ANNIEBANANIE80's Photo ANNIEBANANIE80 Posts: 288
4/9/14 5:26 P

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That is a really good point! It also just seems like a manageable distance, I am still not sure I want to run a full...

I have only done one Half so far, it was a Rock N Roll with 16,000 people. I was corralled by my pace, but I might have been the only one paying attention. I didn't start running until a half hour after the first heat and I spent a LOT of time running around people that chose a faster pace corral.

I would however do another one in a heartbeat, it was really well organized and the timing chip what I go by rather than the actual finishing time. Also the amount of support along the route was so inspiring.

Edited by: ANNIEBANANIE80 at: 4/9/2014 (18:16)
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EMMACLAIRE5's Photo EMMACLAIRE5 Posts: 116
4/9/14 5:17 P

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That IS interesting. Speaking from my own experience, my need to lose weight coincided with an increase of free time because my kids were finally older - do you think it could be connected to other boomers having more leisure time to devote to personal fitness in that timeline? And women traditionally working in jobs that may allow for more leisure time as well? I'm interested to see other people's theories.

As for preferred HM size, I have to say my largest so far was just shy of 6000 and the smallest has been several hundred. I have purposefully avoided the Rock 'n Roll series races because they just strike me as being too big. I've yet to be "corralled", and don't know if I'm interested in being so! I don't mind my small races, though, because they are locally run, so lack of other bodies on the course is made up for by familiar faces and venues.

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PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
4/9/14 4:59 P

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www.runnersworld.com/races/the-half-
ma
rathons-amazing-growth-in-3-charts?cR>m_mmc=Facebook-_-RunnersWorld-_-Cont
en
t-News-_-HalfMarathonGrowth
has some interesting charts showing the ratio of women:men in HMs and the overall growth of HMs. I understand the growth but not why the ratio is so unbalanced. Any theories?

I'm also astounded to read of HMs much, much larger than any I have done. From that article, the biggest 10 are:

45,126 Goteborg (Sweden)
40,763 Great North Run (Great Britain)
30,371 Paris (France)
30,059 500 Festival (Indianapolis)
26,406 Nike Women's San Francisco
23,148 Walt Disney World (Florida)
22,739 Disney's Princess (Florida)
22,232 Berlin (Germany)
21,427 NYRR Brooklyn
20,665 Rock 'n' Roll Las Vegas

I'm curious to hear your max and min # of runners for HM enjoyment. For me, the limits are roughly 3000-4000 (where HMs feel too congested) and 150 (where HMs feel too lonely). Of course, some races handle their size better than others. Alas, promises of wave starts don't seem to be a reliable indicator of congestion.

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