Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland

Monday, May 10, 2010

How much does it cost to organise a race?...
It's simple to organise a race, isn't it? What do you need......a box of numbers and pins, a few prizes, a few sandwiches, some tea, a hall......simple! Or at least a lot of people seem to think so.

A lot of people seem to use the 5 Euro for registered runners for Cork BHAA races as a benchmark and judge other races against it. The assumption seems to be that if it costs 10 Euro then the organisers must be making an extra 5 Euro profit and very little thought is given to what the costs of a race might actually be.

John Quigley of Eagle AC has sent on the following info and it should give you a insight into what the real costs actually are...

Your blog had several comments recently relating to race entry fees, so I thought I might outline the minimum budget for a low key race:

Ambulance hire € 200.00
Numbers € 95.00
Food € 80.00
Hire of hall € 50.00
Pins € 40.00
AAI Permit € 32.00
Sundry costs € 20.00
Plates, etc € 15.00
Line Paint € 10.00
Refuse sacks € 5.00
Sub total € 547.00

And you might want to give prizes too.....

So you see, at €5 per entry, you need 110 entries before you break even. A half-decent prizelist will cost you €1,000, bringing your breakeven entry to 310. Not too many races manage that. 

There are many other costs that aren't included and a larger race is going to have larger costs. 

Comparing ordinary club races for, say €10, with a BHAA race for €5 is not comparing like with like. BHAA race costs are partly defrayed by the BHAA itself - you've already paid a €10 annual registration fee towards this and it'll cost you €8 if you're not registered. 

The BHAA races cannot be surpassed for price and value, however anyone who feels that €10 for a race is literally paying 'money for nothing' is really not giving credit to race organisers. 

On the other hand, there seems to be no end of people paying €50 to €80 for some of these new races being held over 'scenic route'

If anyone feels that €10 a race is poor value, can I suggest that they might offer to help out at just one race. I think it might be an eye-opener for them to see what happens behind the scenes.

..................John Quigley, Eagle AC

Comments???.........Click on the 'Comment' link below


Robert said...

I’d like to echo the sentiments of the two Johns. Over the past number of months, quite a few comments have been made regarding race prices. To begin with, I think that if someone thinks 10 euro is too much for a race and would prefer to run a race that costs 5 euro then that’s what they should do. Just looking at the race calendar, there are now an abundance of races to run, at all different price and distance levels so there should be something for everyone. Similarly, if someone thinks 50 euro is too much to pay for a race, then don’t run it. I don’t think it is fair to encourage people not to run a particular race. With resources like the running blog readily available to us runners, we know well in advance what the price and distance a particular race is and can decide accordingly. I do agree that exorbitant prices are charged for some races but if you decide to skip a race on a Sunday and head to the pub on the Saturday night you will soon realise that 50 euro won’t go far!

Getting back to the point in relation to the cost and effort that goes into organising a race, I am on the organising committee for the Dunmanway 10k. Reading through the list of expenses that John Quigley listed, he is not exaggerating the costs and I expect our costs will be even higher than that and thankfully we have gotten some sponsorship to help us out in that regard. We have an organising committee of about 10 people, and cost issues aside, the effort that goes into organising a race really cannot be appreciated fully unless you are involved at the cold face. A lot or our time has been spent on simply promoting the race because as John Quigley pointed out you need a lot or runners at theses races just to break even, not to mention trying to raise money for charity. Like the majority of other local races, our aim from the outset has been to promote running in the local area. Most of the committee have been to many road races and hope to introduce locals to the “buzz” of running and racing also. So I’m going to continue to support Cork races and pay that extra bit if I see fit.

Unashamed plug – – 20th June 2010 - 10 euro on the day and 8 euro online pre-registration!

Robert Patterson
(Dunmanway 10k 2010 organising committee)

Anonymous said...

well said Robert Patterson, I have recently felt that people are lining up to criticise local clubs and the cost of races. I rarely let price put me off, I usually decide on a race based on location, distance and my training schedule. Not everyone can do this, of course, and I am not being flippant about money in these difficult times, but we are, as Robert says, spoilt for choice. If I can't afford a night out, I stay in. If you can't afford a race, look ahead to the next BHAA one and train towards that. Every time John Desmond has given us a great update on club races, I click on the comment box, knowing for certain that someone will be complaining about the price. We are all entitled to our opinions, but I think the complaints have been a bit too long and loud for my liking recently. And the unashamed plug worked on me Robert, will take a spin to dunmanway on the 20th!

Anonymous said...

Why was it that during the so called (Celtic Tiger) in Ireland there was never a rush to increase the Race Entry Prices.
The numbers were pretty stable, roughly 20% less to what We are seeing now, Yet now that there is a downturn in the Economy Prices for Race Entries have increased and there are more People running.

This makes no sense to me...

People have lost there Jobs...Its a lot to ask an unemployed Runner to fork out 10 euro for a race when a Race would be the highlight of the persons day.
Some of the race organisers have lost the run of themselves.

I would suggest that all Races should be subsidised for People who are unemployed.

The Cork BHAA have the perfect Model when its come to Race Organisation and value for Money.
Maybe some of the Clubs should follow on from this Model.

Unknown said...

Aside from the debate of a race being too expensive or not, thanks John for detailing the minimum required to organise a race. I have always wondered what that would be. I have taken part in both BHAA and Eagle AC races. 5, 10 or 15 euro to me is not expensive when you consider all the costs involved. I've always felt safe while takig part in such events and have always been amazed at the level of oganisation and commiment from the volunteers.
In other words, thanks for the quality of the races and for keeping them going year after year.

Anonymous said...

In relation to anonymous unemployed comment,"I would suggest that all Races should be subsidised for People who are unemployed." It's a great idea, but how would this work? who would subsidise the unemployed runners? would it be a case of the runners who are lucky enough to be employed being charged more, i.e. €11 for employed and €8 for un-employed, not so sure how that'd go down. Such a system may also slow down the queues for registration, the unemployed person being asked for proof of status, maybe not having such proof to hand, may cause some hassle, again not sure how it'd work. Might be worth looking into though.
In relation to your suggestion that all clubs should use the BHAA race model, if you do a little homework, you'll see that it's not that straight forward, the BHAA host these races for in most part local buisness, so the BHAA do not have to bear any of the costs related to prizes, spot prizes, catering costs, to name just a few. Don't get me wrong here, the BHAA are a fantastic organisation, and we Cork runners are so lucky to have such a dedicated group of volunteers who continously give their time and efforts to running in Cork. You also referred to the increase in the numbers of people who are now partaking in local races, and yes these numbers have increased, but it's also very noticable that it's the same people who are organising and helping out at local races. At the most recent BHAA AGM, it was pretty much the same gang as every year, the same people who give their valuable time to us all year. At the risk of sounding cheeky, might I suggest that you get in contact with either the BHAA, or a local club, and maybe you could give some of your time to participating in race organisation, and maybe you may be able to help come up with a race model which would keep everybody happy. Good luck with your running.