I just registered for the NYC Half Marathon. I ran this last year and I had such a blast!
I remember last year there was a big uproar with Tri-Sate runners and NYRR members who did not get into the lottery. If I was still living in NY and participated in NYRR races I would feel the same. Many runners were chosen through the lottery and the majority of the participates were living outside of the Tri-State area and were International runners. You could run through a charity or if you booked travel through the official travel partner you could gain entry in the race.
This year NYRR has been doing a great job by communicating to people interested in entering the lottery. They have been meticulous with how lottery will be conducted and they have even given a breakdown to the number of participants..50% Tri-State, 25% National and 25% International. From what I have seen on the NYRR Facebook page people have been happy that NYRR has listened to everyone that complained last year and taken everything into consideration to improve and make this an even better experience for everyone.
Running it last year, I have to say that the volunteers and spectators were phenomenal. The only incident that happened was when we were running through Central Park at the beginning at the race, a woman was shouting at us that she could run and would never walk a race. For those that do not know, we do the Galloway Program which is a run/walk. So yes I run but I do take walk breaks. We ignored her.
Now the issue this year is not the lottery, there has been a problem with people logging into their accounts and NYRR is on top of it to fix it as soon as possible. The number one complaint is the fees. If you are a current member of NYRR the cost is $117 a non member pays $128. Upon applying there is a fee of $5 which is non refundable if you are not chosen through the lottery. There were many people voicing their complaint about the rising costs to run the race. I remember reading an article in Runners World with a breakdown of where are fees go. It is not just NYRR but many races that have had to increase the fees due to rising costs. Is running now becoming a rich man’s sport? In the past we all expected to pay around $100 for a good pair of running shoes. Clothing can always be purchased on sale and not unless you are a fanatic about tracking your training would you go out and spend $300 on a watch with a GPS, heart rate monitor and all the bell and whistles that come with it.
But it makes me think..how much do I really want to spend? Being a native New Yorker and having my family living up there, I miss it so much. I will search high and low to get the best rate to fly up and see everyone and to visit my city. I am lucky enough that I can stay with my family and not pay for a hotel and to eat out. It does start to add up.
Bart Yasso once said that the medal you are wearing around your neck actually costs on average about $1000. When you start to add up the entry fees, lodging, airline and so forth it sure does come up to that amount.
For the past 2 years, my sister and daughter along with me looked forward to running the Disney Princess Half Marathon. This year we will not be participating. The cost of the registration as of today is $150 so I would have to pay for 2 (my daughter) so that’s $300 right there. Hotel for 4 nights at an average of $120 = $480 So now I am up to $780 and this doesn’t even include food and my daughter’a airline ticket. As I see it our little girls weekend would cost me close to $2000 when all is said and done.
I am doing the Disney marathon and again I am lucky that it is a little over an hours drive from where I live. We booked a hotel for one night, which I am sharing with a couple of girlfriends so that won’t hurt my wallet too much. My fee when I booked it in July was $160 plus processing fee of $10. You see how it adds up.
So we as runners have to really think about what races to do. Personally since the Space Coast Half last weekend (see my last post) was worth every penny and it is a race I will do again. I am veering towards smaller races that are more personable and not filled with thousands of runners. I have decided that Disney will more than likely be my last full marathon and I will concentrate more on half marathons since I enjoy them more.
If it is a race that you must do then by all means do it and enjoy it. I have no regrets with running the NYC Marathon last month and I would love to run the NYC Half next year. I believe that our beloved sport has indeed become too expensive. Again and again I see how fees have continuously risen that we are not rushing to enter but instead contemplating if this is the race we want to do. How much do we love it? Are we still going to get the cheesy tech shirt or how about the lame goody bag if we are one of the lucky ones to actually get one with the one power bar, small water bottle and many items that we just throw away?
You have to ask yourself, “Is it worth it?” and when do we say enough is enough?
I have made a decision to support the smaller races in our community or even if it is a short drive to head on over and run. Running is my therapy. I have said it many times that with the stress of my job, being a full time mom, taking care of the house and everything else packed in my day, if I didn’t run I would become a raging alcoholic. So no I will not stop I refuse to stop I enjoy meeting up with my friends and through our tired and exhausting training runs, we vent about our kids, husbands, work. We laugh We cry and more importantly we are doing something good for our bodies and mind.
Go out and run Enjoy it and reach for your dream race I have 🙂