Thursday, September 10, 2009

80 bucks DOR? WTF?

80 bucks DOR. Are you kidding me? It's not like I've been living a completely sedate lifestyle the past 4 years. I've just been racing bicycles. Pretty much every bike race is 20 bucks. You may see 25 bucks every now and again. And a lot of my races were 75 - 80 miles. Which last a little more than 3 hours. And bike racing does not get the numbers that running does. Stage races, with 4 stages and about 230 miles of racing over 3 days, with support cars, neutral feed zones, etc, and those were 80 bucks. That makes more sense to me.

I know I've been doing this stuff for a long time, and from the prices I remember paying it may seem like it's been a lifetime. I think the first marathon I ran in Virginia Beach in 1993 was 20 bucks. Now I realize I only made about 6 bucks per hour back then, so I had work over 3 hours to pay for entry. Nowadays the 80 dollar entry is earned in a lot less time. However, 80 bucks is still 80 bucks. Early entry does save money and from the price increase I would assume it is highly encouraged. But please…80 bucks is a little steep. And there are races that are plenty more expensive out there. Which is why I run so few races. I don't want to run with 20,000 people, and I prefer to do it off pavement if possible - I assume a lot of people run for the socialization of the event, which is fine, the more active people the better- it's just not my preference. Anyhoo, the 80 bucks thing is a rip. I wonder if I went to the race director 5 minutes before the start and said, "Here's 50 bucks! Can I run?" It's 50 more dollars in his pocket or to a charity or whatever. It's better than running as a bandit which I probably could get away with, but wouldn't feel comfortable doing. I don't want any awards, I don't want a shirt, I just want to make a training run a bit more enjoyable. Is this contradictory to everything else I said? Maybe.

I think I got soured on the whole entry fee inflation a few years back while doing triathlons. I put a comment on one of the checks I wrote to the Kirkland triathlon stating that I thought their race was way overpriced. The promoter, I think her name was Carolyn or something from AA Sports called me and told me to stay home. We then had a pretty lengthy conversation about everything involved, which didn't really shed any light on anything I didn't already know. The one comment she made that pissed me off though was, "I'm sure in whatever your job is you want to make as much money as possible." Well, not if I have to sacrifice my integrity to exploit a chunk of the population for the money, that's just not my style. I haven't been to an AA Sports race in 6 + years, and don't plan on ever going back. They can time the race, just not promote it. I'll never have a problem with paying a large sum of money to race if the entry actually goes to a charity. Earlier in the year I ran a 5K that cost 30 bucks, which is a lot of money for something that won't even take me that long to run. But 100% of the proceeds went to a great cause, so think that is a great thing. When the race benefits the chamber of commerce or the promoter, that's when I draw the line. I understand they need to make money if that is their only job, but for the same reasons I won't go to a Mariners game I won't do an AA sports race, those people are not getting my money.

I was thinking of running the _________ _________marathon as a training run this coming weekend. But after seeing the $80.00 price tag I decided I would be better off doing a solo run on the Centenniel Trail in Snohomish and pocketing the money. I will just carry some Gus, a powerbar, and some water bottles and be ready. I can also spend a lot of the time running on a dirt surface, lost in my thoughts as I plod along for 3 1/2 hours at 8:00 pace. I also don't have to worry about getting caught up in the race as I know I'm in pretty good shape right now. But this is not my goal race.

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