No, Races Are NOT Too Expensive

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I am probably going to take some serious flack for this opinion piece, but I think this is something that needs to be said… and it has been coming a long time, irrespective of whether the COVID pandemic had happened or not. – By Manfred Seidler

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29 thoughts on “No, Races Are NOT Too Expensive

  1. Races are too expensive now therefore I only go for the ones where I will get a goodie bag or a medal.

  2. I disagree! Races are far too expensive. Comrades doubled in price from 2020. Why do you think there are only just over 9000 entries as at today? It should have been sold out in an hour or two. Some races, like Jackie Gibson are still keeping prices down so why can’t the others? Very few are offering discounts to older runners, too.

  3. Races are too expensive we have runners who are unemployed and in most cases an employed runner will pay for race entries for disadvantaged runner.

  4. The cost of races ARE crazy and for that very reason I will no longer run races like the Comrades or Oceans.
    There are far bigger issues in the world to pay for. I can run for free anywhere and at anytime.

  5. What Peter Purdon says about Comrades also applies to the Two Oceans, so much so that the organisers abandoned the lottery system due to poor participation. With the main feature of doing away with all spectators, including at the finish has taken away the atmosphere of the event. Sadly I have been informed that the presence of Metro Police is one, if not the most expensive factor affecting the cost of an event. Perhaps organisers will have to look for non public roads with reasonable infrastructure, even with gravel roads that are in good repair and if that means having to do multiple laps, so be it. Multiple laps also have the advantage of saving on the number of water points and paramedics who will have a shorter route to observe. I personally wouldn’t like to go this route but it would be preferable to not being able to afford to take part in events anymore.

  6. Entry fees continued to increase. That would rise, an increased number of runners would be unable to afford to enter those larger events. I am also mentally disturbed and concerned that increasing costs associated with event organisation would result in the loss of the slightly more affordable, smaller local club events.

  7. I think the exuberant price increases are not justified and are hurting the running community .So sad

  8. As a comrades runner this might be my last comrades i am now doing my tenth(10th)Comrades and for me i just want to be the first man in my community to have green number. Will see what’s next !!!!

  9. It is true that races are expensive and I know that because I am working BUT already I can feel that punch from prices. What about those unemployed runners? ONLY few runners do not travel to the races, but in my experience of running for the last 18years of running thousands do travel to the races!!!!!!!

  10. Yes I agree – our races now are to expensive – make one think if it is worth doing races at all !!

  11. How about the more privileged making a donation on their entry ? This can then be allocated to a “Runner in need” account. Runners can sign up with some proof of income and funds can be allocated for their entry at half price.
    I realise this could be an accounting nightmare but where there’s a will there’s a way. I certainly can’t afford to enter runs.
    We have so much raw talent in this country, we need to discover & develop it.

  12. I completely understand and am grateful for the Metro Police Officers that are “on duty” during the road races, however, as this has now become the highest cost associated with events, could they perhaps pay a bit more attention to the event, the runners and the traffic – NOT be on their mobile phones on the corner of the street while the marshalls from the club (or otherwise) do their best to direct traffic, etc? Surely I’m not the only person who has noticed this?

  13. I agree the cost is not justified. I will also cut down on the number of races I will do in 2022. On top of the cost of the entry, there is the cost of getting to the races (fuel)

  14. Yes, Most Road Races are currently expensive. Virtual Races are affordable but it is not fair for Professional runners who are unemployed and depending on winning the price. May you please assist with reducing the prices. We understand fuel price increase but Race Entry Prices are costly.

  15. Anyone want to pay my R8699 entry for Ironman and I’ll pay your comrades entry? Quit complaining, by far the majority of races and clubs are non-profit organizations and do not host races for profit. Otherwise you have the choice of looking for races with low entry fees hosted by clubs that have their own venue and are fully sponsored and have volunteers as marshals.

  16. Race are two expensive and some people have loose their work due to Covid19 and while some of us we are not getting increment on our income! Was supposed to run my Third Comrade and Two ocean ! Due to Covid19 was supposed to do Fifth one for both of them . I’m humble asking our organisers please don’t kill us with the high amount of Registrations.

  17. The cost of entry is higher than expected, remember Covid19 affected majority of runners here in South Africa!! What’s function of sponsors in this races?

  18. I totally agree the cost of races are getting ridiculously expensive. Less people will want to just run races
    I have been running since the 80’s and race entries have quadrupled and we get less for our money.

  19. Prices of races are going through the roof. Soon, our petrol to get to races will be as much or even more than the race fee. Combine the race fee and the petrol, then we have a recipe for poverty and soon to be defunct races

  20. Before passing any comments take some time to read this excellent article that clearly provides detailed reasons for the continuous cost of races. As the writer stated that running races will become a personal preference considering various factors, for example, finances, personal choice and affinity to take part in event. Unfortunately it is a fact of life, cost will continue to rise as time passes. Thank you for this insightful article.

  21. The races become too expensive, it will become something for the rich elite. The “run for one motto” where everybody is able to race get lost. Also for the aged runners (I am now 76) no run for free anymore!
    So it will hurt the clubs as well.

  22. The ordinary road races are generally reasonably priced. The big, popular road races like the Comrades and the 2-Oceans are too expensive.

  23. There is a fundamental difference between covering the cost of an event and profiteering from a race. The most overused “explanation” is the cost of JMPD. If CGA and other bodies that oversee running (be it Trail or road) do proper audits, clubs will find it difficult to explain the cost of events. Not for a moment am I implying that ALL clubs are rolling in cash. Pay attention to the behavior of certain clubs. Everything is done for money. Unfortunately this is an ego driven environment. My race has to be bigger and better than the club next to ours. Clubs complain about a lack of sponsors. Sponsors no longer want to get involved with events as there is no oversight. I’m specifically referring to large regional clubs. Most (not all) don’t keep sponsors for longer than two years. I’m aware of clubs that charge R400 for a marathon. The medal you get is cheap and nasty. The mould of the medal was paid for three years ago so there is very little cost in making the medal with a picture stuck in the middle. You also have to pay for your t-shirt. You are encouraged to run with your own hydration. So, you charge R400 + R150 for a t-shirt. Sponsors cover the cost of JMPD, the medals etc. Coke and water is sponsored by ABI, or supplied at a greatly reduced price. The event is managed and supported by committee members and volunteers so there is no cost to the club for manpower. I am well aware that there is more to it than just coke and t-shirts. Transport, the DJ, the time keepers etc. But when you do a deep dive into the cost it does not add up. Here is a question I don’t know the answer to – why is it not a requirement from CGA and other provincial bodies that clubs submit audited financials to them on an annual basis, or is it a requirement that is simply not followed through on.

  24. Of course, many races have become unaffordable for the average working class person who doesn’t have the same purchasing power before Covid. Event planners didn’t do their homework in getting sponsorship for the races and thus passing on their costs to the runners. This has meant many runners ditching races in preference to club runs and having a less costly breakfast with the money they would have spent on an entry fees cost. It’s not our fault if municipal police have to be paid so highly, barrier hiring companies are making a fortune on fencing which doesn’t deteriorate overall etc.

  25. I notice that entry fees for races in smaller towns are less than in the big cities. Why is this so?

  26. Some races are ridiculously expensive than others, take for instance Om die dam entry fee of R650 whereas Irene Ultra is R350. How do you justify that. They cannot claim Metro police charges in this regard. Centurion is more busier than Harties. I think it is time we start boycotting expensive races and massively support reasonable races.

  27. R1200 for the comrades, NO thank you. Plus the cost to travel down, accommodation, club fees, new running shoes, etc. AND on top of this, to do peak training in the middle of JHB winter, also not interested to get vaccine. Forget it. Running has become to expensive & races will slowly die. Time to organise our own little race between friends & neighbours.

  28. Road running used to be one of the least expensive sports for runners. All you needed was a reasonable pair of running shoes which usually was the biggest outlay in your running budget. Unfortunately the greed of most clubs and poorly run municipalities continue to contribute to the frustration of the sport and in particular to the runner.

  29. Speaking to many athletes ongoing, including friends of athletes
    General consensus is that Races in their present forms are going to die a slow death
    Many athletes are still entering Races for now. This is to experience events that were not possible during Covid lockdowns
    This is a novelty that is wearing thin. Mainly due to High entry fees, no discretionary reduced fees for Seniors (GGM,s & +), no free T Shirts and Goodie Bags, JMPD are quite useless and clueless & are seen gathering in groups after Races (probably being paid additional hours at double rates).Road closures can be operated by Club volunteers. JMPD officers no longer man Traffic Light intersections (taken over by trained Outsurance personnel and Rag Tag, Homeless
    persons)
    The entire Race scenario needs a rejig, or it will peter out like Eskom, e Tolls, SAA, SA National Weather Service etc,

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