Wednesday, August 29, 2012

Has Race Pricing Gotten Out of Control?

**Soapbox out (because it's MY blog!!!)**

There is a local 5K tomorrow put on by a big-name company that benefits a local, charitable organization.  The race includes a goody bag will the usual non-useful stuff and a t-shirt.  There is also a party after the race that includes a band, food (not just bagels and bananas), and alcoholic beverages.  The cost for employees is $25 and they can bring one guest for $35.  The cost for the rest....$125.  Yes you read that right.  ONE HUNDRED TWENTY FIVE EFFING DOLLARS FOR A 5K!!!!!!  They're not serving caviar and Dom Perignon.  It's hot dogs and keg beer!

Rumor has it, they don't want people from outside the company to actually participate but yet tout this as a fundraiser and that's why the price is what it is.  I don't know, call me crazy, but

ARE YOU EFFING KIDDING ME?!?!

What runner in their right mind would pay $125 for a 5K?  And wouldn't you think you'd get even more runners and therefore, more dollars for the charity, if the price was more reasonable?

I was having a discussion, that turned heated, with my coworker regarding this race and the price.  She said lots of people from outside the company do the race (I'd beg to debate that).  She said that people would pay that much because it was for charity.  I said no real runner would pay that much for a 5K no matter what the money was going to.  The debate turned into an argument and it's been silent ever since (thank god, she drives me insane!!).

So, help me out blogsphere?  Am I the one who totally off-base?  Have I become one of those elitist runners (which, I'm totally okay with by the way)?  What is the maximum you'd ever pay for a 5K and why?

17 comments:

Stefanie Frank said...

In my former life as a lawyer I would not have hesitated to pay $125 if it was something I really wanted to do.

Now, with my own business still in the growing phase and having to watch my spending there is no freaking way.

I realize this is not exactly the point of your question but it is what it is for me. I agree with your previous posts that the pricing for 5ks has gotten way out of hand in general.

Andrea Hill said...

I think your comment about "real runners" hits the nail on the head. An event like this isn't about the run. It's about the other stuff with a run thrown in.

Just look at all the crazy theme runs these days: color runs, zombie runs, mud runs, etc etc etc. These are events that offer something beyond 3.1 miles of road. If it gets some people off the couch that's great for them, but I personally wouldn't consider them races and likely wouldn't participate. Heck, the course is probably not even the right length!

Steph said...

I'm doing a 5K next weekend that also benefits a charity. The cost is $15 and they get well over 1000 participants every year.

No, I would NOT pay $125 for a 5K, no matter if it was for charity or not. I hesitate to pay that much for a half or full marathon!

Tara said...

Good Lord.... There are times when I have trouble paying that much for 26.2 miles of fun. No way would I ever pay that much for a 5k. Crazy!!!

Heather @ Running with Heather said...

That is outrageous! I have noticed prices going up everywhere. The races I ran last year signing up somewhere in the middle were cheaper than the early-bird specials this year.

I will not pay more than $30 for a 5K. Granted I only run 5Ks that support specific causes such as the shelter that we adopted my dog from or traditional runs such as our Thanksgiving Day run as a family each year.

tri like mary said...

In my racing experience MOST running races (especially 5ks) benefit a charity. $125 is insane.

Murph said...

$125 is INSANE! I don't pay that much for a Ragnar (Well, it's really close to that much) But for a 5K... Not even if I watched them magically convert my cash into sandwiches that I personally handed to starving refugees along the route.
A 5K isn’t worth more than $25 to $30… tops.
This doesn’t sound like a fundraiser, it sounds like an excuse for a little run and a kegger.

James Ford said...

No way I am paying $125 for a 5k. To be honest, there are not that many races where I can tell you what charity is benefiting from the entry fee. There are some races I do because they support a special cause, but not all of them.

I kinda think it is irresponsible of this company to have prices like that and would make wonder what else they are doing that is henky!

Betsy said...

I won't pay more than $25-30 for 5k (actually I haven't done an actual 5k years) and I will NOT pay for any 5k or 10k or race of any distance that is a gimick and not about running (think color run, mud run, etc). Again probably the difference between "real runners" and entertainment. The only way that I would pay $125 if it was for the 1 or 2 charities that I really care about and regularly write checks/pull out the credit card for.

Melissa C said...

You know my opinion on this subject. That is WAY out of line. I won't do the rock n roll series b/c they are out of line with their half prices. It was PAINFUL to sign up for the IM due to the cost, and I sacrificed my whole Christmas for it. I won't pay more than $25-$30 for a 5K. $10/mile is about my limit.

Karen said...

Yeah, there is no way I would pay $125 to run a 5k. It is weird that they are trying to exclude non-employees for a fundraising event.

Katie said...

This is one of my soapboxes as well. :)

I think $125 for a 5K is OUTRAGEOUS!!! I'd pay maybe......$30? If there was a nice tee-shirt. Says the woman who keeps signing up for IM (sigh). But at least the cost per mile is fairly low there.

Kyria @ Travel Spot said...

Um, to risk joining you in the elitist group, when you said, "no real runner would pay that much for a 5K no matter what the money was going to," I think you hit the nail on the head. NO real runner is running that race.

Blink said...

You should get an entire A&F outfit for that price!! I've done it a couple of times. I believe the first year it was free and then a nominal charge after that. To this day, my only A&F attire!!

Katie Duffy said...

That's nuts. If I wanted to donate $125 to a charity, that's what I'd do. If I want to run a 5k, I pay the $20 or whatever and run the thing. $125 is marathon price (and they benefit charity, too) or even a super cheap half-iron distance tri (there's one near me in that price range). 5k? What the hell?

Megan said...

That's just insane. I have a hard time justifying paying that much for a marathon, but a 5K?!?!?!? Hell no.

Tony Lipscomb said...

Wow, that is an insane price. Still don't have the courage to run in an "official" race, yet, but didn't know it could get so pricey!

Also, do you think you could tell me how you made that cool banner with your picture on it? Not that great with computers. Just started a new running blog, but I don't know if anyones reading it!