Sub two or cry!

One of my 2012 resolutions was to run 3 half marathons, assuming I was healthy enough to do so. Last night, I signed up for my third race – the Healdsburg Half Marathon on Oct 14th. I am very excited about it – I am secretly hoping to get under 2 hours. My Kaiser Half time was 2.06. I won’t beat that at the SF half as it’s HILLY but this route is pretty flat and I think it’s a good opportunity to do it. . However I also want to nurse my heart through it comfortably. The phrase ‘sub two or die’ doesn’t make me laugh, we’re going with ‘sub two or cry’. We’ll see how the training goes. But that’s my secret plan!

In my post-sign-up excitement though, I got thinking. Racing in the States is VERY EXPENSIVE. Ridiculously so. It really bugs me. I wanted to do a different wine country half marathon a few weeks later but it cost over $100 dollars to run it. Over 60 British pounds. SERIOUSLY??? To run for a couple of hours??

I would love to do more racing – ideally one per month, alternating between halves and 10ks, with some trails thrown in. But races here are so expensive that I can’t justify it. I’m a Stay at Home Mum, I don’t earn any money – I can’t ask my very lovely husband to stump up loads of cash so I can have a medal.

This half is costing me (The Husband) $75. That’s 50 British pounds. I looked at half marathons in the UK – admittedly not in somewhere as nice as Wine Country but just a simple half marathon. Ones local to my parents cost 14 pounds ($22), 12 pounds ($20) and 15 pounds ($23). Races here tend to be organised by massive, race-organisation companies who run franchises across the country. Races in the UK are generally run by local running clubs. They are low-key, you often don’t get the technical (badly fitting) t-shirt etc but frankly, I just want to race! (And a medal, to be honest. A small one is fine, but I like medals).

I do like silverware!

It really bugs me, this commercialisation of running and racing. I get that the States has a bigger litigation culture than the UK, I get that bigger events need bigger insurance and are higher risk but why is it three or four times as expensive to race in the States as in the UK? Why do more local running clubs not put on races in this manner? I’m sure there are answers, I just don’t know them. Does anyone have any thoughts?

But in the meantime…I’ve got a race in the diary!! SOOOO excited!

2 Comments Add yours

  1. I remember reading an article a while back about how race prices have been increasing exponentially, especially for big well-known races (the NYC Marathon is over $250 now, I think!) & the reasons for it. It’s definitely kind of depressing. If you want to run some cheaper, lower-key races, there are a few put on by local running clubs (the Dolphin South End Runners in SF come to mind – their races are in the $5-$10 range) — you just have to search them out.

  2. Cathryn says:

    I don’t mind paying for the BIG events like NYC but a local half marathon? I’ll check out the DSE guys – I think most of their races are on Sundays and I’d rather do most of my racing on a Saturday, that’s what puts me off. But yes, it is depressing. I wonder, if the UK can do it cheaply (and I don’t mean to imply the UK is better etc) then why can’t the US?

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