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6/6/14 8:55 A

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Half-marathons aren't something I can do every month. So when I run one, I want it to be extra special. I enjoy the ones (Rock 'n Roll especially) where they make a huge deal out of it. In fact, I don't care for the small half-marathons at all. It helps me to have something divert my attention away from how far I still have to go. Passing a band every mile and having huge crowds yelling support are the way to go for me!!

Las Vegas H/M 2:32:33
Santa Cruz H/M 2:38:45
San Francisco H/M 2:44:38
Cowtown H/M 2:48:12
Run the River H/M 2:54:21
San Antonio H/M 2:35:07
Miami H/M 2:32:07
Disney Princess H/M 2:31:25
Nashville H/M 2:29:32
Sacramento H/M - 2:29:00
Savannah H/M - 2:20:16
Miami Beach H/M - 2:32:37
St. Petersburg H/M - 2:29:29
Washington D.C. H/M - 2:41:24
PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
6/1/14 10:19 P

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PATTI, You raise a good question. I think it's helpful to understand where these high fees come from because a better understanding of what races offer vs what one wants from a race enables more informed choices, particularly with the explosion of HM opportunities. (Even now I'm debating which of two HMs to register for in August!) And while race directors can say whatever they want to justify their fees, it's the customers who decide which races to patronize and which to give their hard-earned money and training. In that sense, discussions like these are interesting and valuable.

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PATTIA1311's Photo PATTIA1311 SparkPoints: (92,969)
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6/1/14 9:53 P

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II'm not saying its true or not, I just don't understand why it has to even be discussed. We all run for different reasons and why should those of us that lean toward wanting shirts or enjoying the social aspect be singled out? I will pay the fee of the runs I want to do and that will be it. Sometimes I wish the fee was lower or that I should get a part time job to participate in all the races I would like to! But that is my choice! emoticon No offensive to anyone or the stats, just how I feel about it "discussing" it or writing an article about it.

Don't put off till tomorrow what you can accomplish today!


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PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
6/1/14 9:34 P

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PATTI, You can post your opinion but statistics support that article's claim. I already posted the stats for the most expensive HMs in my area and how they all are majority female. Since I posted those, I also looked up the stats of the cheapest HMs in my area. Here are both - the 4 most expensive and 4 least expensive HMs in my area:

$175 96% Nike Women's DC HM
$115 62% Rock'n'Roll USA HM
$105 70% Virginia Wine Country HM
$105 94% Zooma Women's HM
.
.
.
$20 41% Riley's Rumble HM
$10 42% Bachman Valley HM
$6 27% NCR HM
$5 42% Gar Williams HM

Column 1 is the early registration fee. Next is the percentage of finishers who are women.


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PATTIA1311's Photo PATTIA1311 SparkPoints: (92,969)
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6/1/14 12:49 P

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I'm surprised by the need to draw attention to women making the price increase for racing. I personally love the social atmosphere of running races. I enjoy the after race snacks b/c I need something immediately following a race. I also appreciate the water stations on the course as well as those donating their time manning them. I WANT a shirt!! And a medal if I earn it!!! I saw a post on FB about how the race is more about the shirts than about the running itself and thought "That's me!!" LOL I do not necessarily need a ton of other bells and whistles, music, game, etc. But I don't think its fair to point the finger at one gender and say its their fault, male or female! Just my humble opinion!! :)

Don't put off till tomorrow what you can accomplish today!


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MBTEPP's Photo MBTEPP SparkPoints: (105,535)
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5/29/14 5:58 P

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Pamper is the wrong word to describe what I mean. I think these big races offer more bells and whistles, more entertainment value, for the self-centered gratification that these races offered, and I say this with kindness. I could go to an event alone and not be self-conscious either (I would not go the the movies alone).

Also, when I started to research races, I got smacked in the face with all these for-profit, RNR type races, and I really had to look hard for the smaller, more locally sponsored races. Truth be told, they looked like a lot of fun and it is easy to get drawn into fitness and FUN, until I started reading the reviews. I still get hunted down by all the women-only races, however, I am wiser now, and know where to find the more personal races.

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

PRs
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
5/29/14 1:56 P

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Even if I accept the arguable premise of your assertion, it nonetheless contradicts your earlier assertion of the situation being win-win. The situation is clearly not win-win.

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JUSTCHELLE75's Photo JUSTCHELLE75 Posts: 10,965
5/29/14 9:51 A

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So you would rather just a have a few people doing a bunch of Half marathons and being healthy than a large group of new people getting healthy by running

Chelle
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PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
5/29/14 9:45 A

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Chelle, It's not a win win. As the article mentioned earlier says, it is driving away the avid HMers. Yes, if you only do one HM a year, it's no big deal but every HMer that I know does multiple HMs a year. Or used to anyway.


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JUSTCHELLE75's Photo JUSTCHELLE75 Posts: 10,965
5/29/14 8:40 A

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I guess I look at the entire thing as a win win.. Who cares that more women could potentially be raising the price... It means that more people at least one Sunday of the year are getting out and getting active

Chelle
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KARENBROWN6's Photo KARENBROWN6 Posts: 498
5/29/14 7:43 A

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I am happy to pay for a tech t-shirt to remind me of a race providing it fits! Too many times I am left with another nightie instead of a running top.
I love medals too although am happy for a mug or other souvenir which I can use at work to cheer me up.
If the cost was too high I would not race but they all seem to be much the same near me.







Do not let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

It is a hill - get over it!


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LADYRINO's Photo LADYRINO SparkPoints: (76,081)
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5/28/14 6:51 P

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I also know that statistics can be manipulated to get the outcome desired. By anyhow...I will run no matter what...cheap or expensive...and know that there are many out there who will never understand...



"When I first started running, I was so embarrassed, I'd walk when cars passed me. I'd pretend I was looking at the flowers."
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MARGARITTM's Photo MARGARITTM Posts: 6,083
5/28/14 6:38 P

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Check your races carefully make sure it is right for you.

the best way to express your feelings: put your money back in your pocket.

Sadly though it will not be missed. there are many runners who will take your spot!

PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
5/28/14 3:28 P

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I generally agree that the large, expensive events are often pitched as more entertainment - do you think that's what attracts women more than men?

You mention pampering but I don't know about that. At these big events, you generally get pampered only if it can be done en masse. The larger the event, the more impersonal the treatment: From having to get up super early to avoid traffic congestion, then waiting in line to park, line to take shuttle bus (frequently needed because so many people), line for packet pickup, line for shirt, wait to cross the start line, line for portapotties, line for the food, line to exit the parking lot afterward, etc.

And on the offchance you need serious personal attention, there will be a line at the med tent and a line at the customer service table.

Don't get me wrong. I recognize that huge masses of people with the same goal in mind can be fun. I just don't associate such experiences with pampering.

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MBTEPP's Photo MBTEPP SparkPoints: (105,535)
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5/28/14 11:41 A

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If a race is for a good cause, I do not mind paying extra. I like the races that are sponsored by a not-for-profit org, or a local business. So I do like a little more personal feel. The last HM was sponsored by the Brain Institute, of which I have a personal connection (my largest one yet).

I love my bling, but even the small races have great finisher medals, and nice tech shirts, normally donated snacks from a local grocer, and sample protein bars I always come home with. Most of the races locally even offer $15 off for a no shirt option. I still get the shirt for my training runs.

When a race is operated for profit, marketed up the wazoo, attract huge crowds, I am not so interested in lining their pockets with even more profits (ie, diva runs, rock n' roll....) or paying for a lot of extras I will not be benefiting from, but it appears to becoming a big business, especially women only events which even I do not really comprehend. My assessment is that it is no different than men paying for fantasy golf camps and the like. It is a form of entertainment, pampering, as well as good ole' physical fitness.



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

PRs
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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MARGARITTM's Photo MARGARITTM Posts: 6,083
5/28/14 10:48 A

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A First Timer's medal would be sufficient (my opinion) We all don't need medals. I am also a big fan of paying less for no shirt....I have enough!


Edited by: MARGARITTM at: 5/28/2014 (11:37)
JUSTCHELLE75's Photo JUSTCHELLE75 Posts: 10,965
5/28/14 9:46 A

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Those are all big races that have mass marketing behind them which is a reason they cost more versus a small race that isn't being marketed nationally.

Chelle
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PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
5/28/14 9:42 A

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No, I'm not surprised that a "Women's HM" attracts mostly women. But why did they have to price them so high?! And why do women register for these events when everything else is far cheaper? The median price for HMs in the DC area is $60.

PS: None of those races are charity races - least not in the relevant sense. These HMs only donate to charity if people give extra money above the base registration fee. So charity is not the explanation for the high prices.

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JUSTCHELLE75's Photo JUSTCHELLE75 Posts: 10,965
5/28/14 8:49 A

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175 96% Nike Women's DC HM
$115 62% Rock'n'Roll USA HM
$105 70% Virginia Wine Country HM
$105 94% Zooma Women's HM

If the race has the word Woman in it, then who would be surprised more women finished it... And a Wine Country race seems to be is more likely targeted to market to women as well.

Every consider that big races are more expensive because they are marketed way more than small races. I mean maybe they are trying to make money where as most small races are charity and not trying to make money

Chelle
Houston, TX
BLC 28: Honey Badger Captain
BLC 27: Honey Badger Captain
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24 Shamrock Sheriff co captain
23 Shamrock Sheriff
BLC 22, Shamrock Sheriff
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BLC 20, Silver Spy co captain
BLC 19, Silver Spy
BLC 18 Silver Spy
BLC 17 Silver Spy

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SKIRNIR's Photo SKIRNIR Posts: 5,446
5/27/14 9:05 P

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Pasta: Very interesting statistics. Never thought of such a thing before.

3/31/12 Trailbreaker half marathon 13.1 miles in 3 hours 13 minutes
4/20/13 Neighborhood Watch 5K 39:17.6
10/5/13 5K Grace Pet Fest 38:47.6
12/1/13 Secret City Half Marathon around 3 hours and 4 minutes
4/19/14 Butterflies for Hope 5K for Lupus 39:23.8
2/7/15 Hearts & Soles 5K, San Jose 34:50
3/12/16 Hearts &Soles 5K, San Jose 34:16


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LOGOULD's Photo LOGOULD SparkPoints: (113,127)
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5/27/14 1:15 P

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Might explain why the most expensive raves I have ever run are the RNR series races.....and in that respect, I'm don't think I would ever pay more except if it was optional for those items.

"Success is the result of what you do when the Woo Hoo is all through....."-ON2VICTORY (Robert)

"The miracle isn't that I finished...the miracle is I had the courage to start." - John 'The Penguin



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PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
5/27/14 12:56 P

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Offensive though it may be, statistics support that article's claim. For instance, where I live, we have a lot of HMs so it's easy to see correlations. And the largest HMs are also the most expensive and all are dominated by women. Consider the DC-area HMs that all have early registrations over $100:

$175 96% Nike Women's DC HM
$115 62% Rock'n'Roll USA HM
$105 70% Virginia Wine Country HM
$105 94% Zooma Women's HM

Column 1 is the early registration fee. Next is the percentage of finishers who are women.

A brand new HM (Divas in DC Wine Country) was just announced nearby. (Note: Both VA and DC Wine Country HMs are in Loudon County VA just outside DC. Obviously, someone thinks the name matters while keeping everything else the same!) It's a safe bet that the Divas in DC Wine Country will skew very strongly toward women.

LADYRINO, I appreciate that you (and I) choose races as you describe but we can't use personal preferences and anecdotal observations as evidence that the article is incorrect given overwhelming evidence to the contrary.

Edited by: PASTAFARIAN at: 5/27/2014 (21:13)
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CK-DUBYA's Photo CK-DUBYA Posts: 1,820
5/27/14 12:32 P

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Speaking as a male, I also disagree with the gender statement. The men I know seek the social experience just as much as any woman I know. I don't see any gender differences there. Personally, when I look for a race I want the following: aid stations every 3-4 miles, nice shirt, scenic or interesting route, festive atmosphere at the finish line. I could care less about the finisher medals, raffle prizes, massages, 90% of the post race foods and booths. I recognize that my desire for a nice shirt increases the cost of the race unnecessarily, but if I didn't pay an extra $15-$20 at the race, I'd spend at least that much buying a shirt at a store. I run about as many races per year as I wear out shirts. My desire for the festive atmosphere is also negotiable, I don't want it for me, but it sure makes it easier for my wife and kids to want to wait for me at the finish line. It doesn't need to be fancy; a jungle gym at a public park is sufficient. Anything additional is just icing on the cake. If they don't have anything like that at the finish line, but it is a race I want to run, the family stays home (or goes somewhere nearby with activities).

With you on my team and me on yours we are bound to succeed!

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LADYRINO's Photo LADYRINO SparkPoints: (76,081)
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5/27/14 11:11 A

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I personally find that article rather offensive. I do races without consideration of the medal and have chosen to do some without as it was somewhere I wanted to run, fit my schedule, etc. I see just as many men in the big races as women and have yet to see a man turn down any of the supplies, medals, shirts, etc. I personally could do without a bunch of the extras. I think it is a "keeping up with the Joneses" sort of thing. Race A adds this and that and got so many more runners and positive feedback. So then Race B adds this, that and the other to try to get even more runners. It is not just a gender issue.

"When I first started running, I was so embarrassed, I'd walk when cars passed me. I'd pretend I was looking at the flowers."
Joan Benoit Samuelson
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SKIRNIR's Photo SKIRNIR Posts: 5,446
5/27/14 7:02 A

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Typically I want, port-a-potties. More than 4 for a half marathon course, please. I want a finishers medal. Some kind of food at the end, maybe some half bananas and some liquid, at least some water. And, someone to clean up the course afterwards, as I do cringe some when I see all the trash created and thrown on the ground during a half. For me water stops is less necessary, as I carry my own water, but do use them if I get low. Oh, and a well mapped out course with course info given ahead of time.

3/31/12 Trailbreaker half marathon 13.1 miles in 3 hours 13 minutes
4/20/13 Neighborhood Watch 5K 39:17.6
10/5/13 5K Grace Pet Fest 38:47.6
12/1/13 Secret City Half Marathon around 3 hours and 4 minutes
4/19/14 Butterflies for Hope 5K for Lupus 39:23.8
2/7/15 Hearts & Soles 5K, San Jose 34:50
3/12/16 Hearts &Soles 5K, San Jose 34:16


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KKINNEA's Photo KKINNEA Posts: 2,986
5/26/14 10:42 P

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I like a few porta-potties, water, sports drink and something bready at the end of the race. Everything else is extra and if I want those, I pay for the expensive race. If I don't, I'll do a cheaper one.

You can exceed what you think you can do.
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PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
5/26/14 10:31 P

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LOGOULD, Do you realize that a $5 tech t-shirt gets turned into a $28 cost to you. And a $2 medal gets turned into a $15 cost to you. (Those costs come from recent races (Baltimore and Cherry Blossom) that allowed optional purchases of race shirts and medals.)

So when you say you'd like a "decent shirt, medal", you're opening yourself to an $43 increase in race registration fee.

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LOGOULD's Photo LOGOULD SparkPoints: (113,127)
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5/26/14 10:16 P

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Oh yeah, about three to four hydration stations and one or two porta potties

"Success is the result of what you do when the Woo Hoo is all through....."-ON2VICTORY (Robert)

"The miracle isn't that I finished...the miracle is I had the courage to start." - John 'The Penguin



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LOGOULD's Photo LOGOULD SparkPoints: (113,127)
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5/26/14 10:08 P

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A decent shirt, medal and a couple oramge slices would be fine for me

"Success is the result of what you do when the Woo Hoo is all through....."-ON2VICTORY (Robert)

"The miracle isn't that I finished...the miracle is I had the courage to start." - John 'The Penguin



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PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
5/26/14 10:02 P

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Sorry about that. Ok, I fixed it.

In answer to SKIRNIR's question "Do you really think participants want all that when they do a HM?", yes, there is overwhelming evidence to support this. Just compare the attendance at the expensive events vs the inexpensive events. (In my area, the most expensive events are also the most popular.)



Edited by: PASTAFARIAN at: 5/26/2014 (22:12)
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LOGOULD's Photo LOGOULD SparkPoints: (113,127)
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5/26/14 10:01 P

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Link doesn't work for me either.

"Success is the result of what you do when the Woo Hoo is all through....."-ON2VICTORY (Robert)

"The miracle isn't that I finished...the miracle is I had the courage to start." - John 'The Penguin



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SKIRNIR's Photo SKIRNIR Posts: 5,446
5/26/14 9:59 P

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The link did not work for me. Do you really think participants want all that when they do a HM?

3/31/12 Trailbreaker half marathon 13.1 miles in 3 hours 13 minutes
4/20/13 Neighborhood Watch 5K 39:17.6
10/5/13 5K Grace Pet Fest 38:47.6
12/1/13 Secret City Half Marathon around 3 hours and 4 minutes
4/19/14 Butterflies for Hope 5K for Lupus 39:23.8
2/7/15 Hearts & Soles 5K, San Jose 34:50
3/12/16 Hearts &Soles 5K, San Jose 34:16


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PASTAFARIAN's Photo PASTAFARIAN Posts: 2,211
5/26/14 9:50 P

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Link fixed: articles.baltimoresun.com/2013-07-10
/h
ealth/bs-hs-race-fees-20130710_1_racR>es-corrigan-sports-enterprises-dave-gell


This article has insights from various RDs explaining rapidly increasing race prices. While many reasons are given, these two paragraphs caught my eye:

"Running was once dominated by ultra-competitive males. Women now fuel the growth, and while they are competitive, they also want a fun, social experience."

"Driving the rise in registration fees is the increased cost to put together a race, organizers of racing events said. Races were once simple affairs, but are now complex events that are as much a social outlet for people as a competitive race. Today's races include a festival with live music, post-race snacks for runners and T-shirts made of the latest-developed fabric."

I'm surprised they didn't mention the demand for bling, too. Most races over $50 are giving a medal that costs $2. Yet I know of 3 bling-free HMs in my area that don't exceed $10.

Edited by: PASTAFARIAN at: 5/26/2014 (22:02)
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