Google+ Running in Cork, Ireland: Half-Marathon Entry Fees...How much is too much???

Wednesday, October 15, 2014

Half-Marathon Entry Fees...How much is too much???

Over the last few days, I came across this article about the price of half-marathons in the US. The author was praising the face that a low key local half-marathon cost only $35 (~€28) to enter. She made a comparison to the local Philadelphia Half-Marathon which cost $125 (~€99).

There is of course a huge difference between some half-marathons. In the ones shown in the article, one was low key and staffed by volunteers. The other one was in a major city and a huge number of people needed to be paid for their services.

In an Irish context, there is a similar difference. You can't compare the cost of organising a half-marathon on quiet country roads to say one in a city where you need to close roads and have an army of volunteers at all the road junctions.

In general, the upper price of half marathons in Ireland has tended to be about €50 max. Recently however, it seems to be on the move upwards.

Over the last few days, I noticed that the Connemara marathon has a new website. This is a very successful event which comprises a half-marathon (13.1m), full marathon (26.2) and an ultra marathon (39.3m), is held in early April every year and seems to sell out well in advance.

I noticed however that the entry fee for the half-marathon is €70! I know that it includes a bus transfer to take people to the start line and all the usual things like dry fit tops, etc but €70?!?!

I have done the ultra up there twice and it certainly is a scenic and quiet course. I can understand why an ultra might cost €70.....the numbers are small and the course is a very big loop. But €70 for a half does sound excessive.

So my question much are you prepared to pay to enter a half-marathon? What is the maximum? Is it a case that say the €70 entry fee for a half is just part of a good weekend away? What is acceptable and what is too much?

How long is it before people start paying US prices of €100 to enter a half-marathon?


Anonymous said...

I think €25-€30 is fair for a half marathon. Anything more than that is a bit excessive. The costs don't be long adding up if you are racing every week or 2!!

Anonymous said...

25-30 but id stretch to 50 if it fitted in perfectly into a training plan.

Anonymous said...

I think that not only are the prices for half marathons increasing but also other races. I see that a 10 mile race in 2015 is now at €25 to enter,as opposed to Ballycotton for €15 (great value). The prices are becoming too expensive for us runners who like to compete in as many races as possible. What pay a large entrance fee just to get another dry fit teeshirt, we have loads of them already. I think prices need to be capped!

Anonymous said...

I think it will level off and dearer races will suffer. Some of the €50 and €70 races are huge events over a weekend and will involve hotels, dinners, travelling etc.. The actual cost of the race then is not major in terms of the overall weekend cost and most view it as a mini-holiday.
Most people will do one or two max of these in a year.
However local races that can be driven to and back in the one day should be a max of €25 if they are trying to encourage repeat business.
If it is higher than that then it needs some justification.
Screw me once and you won't see me again is not a good long term plan for any race organiser.

Anonymous said...

Stopped running a lot of HM races as they are too expensive. Hard to justify the cost of a half being more than €15-20 - dispense with the obligatory 'free' top most people don't need one (or want one) and drop the costs, but the tops are often used to artificially increase the cost of entry! Most organisers should take a leaf out of BHAA Cork to Cobh - €10.00 entry, great race - find your own way there and back! Never a single complaint plus a top is included!

Anonymous said...

About 20 to 30euro is the cut off for a half. I would like to do more half marathons but find the cost can put me off. At times depending on where they are you might need to stay over. Even you dont add in the charge of diesel to and from the event and it turns into an expensive event

Anonymous said...

70 EUR for Connemara half is excessive- besides getting a bus- you are dropped off at side of road in freezing cold waiting for start for some considerable time- no tent facilities provided-they tried to charge me 200 for late entry fee for half there 2 yrs ago

30 EUR for Dublin half marathon - worth the fare considering price of other halfs ranges from 45-70eur

cork to cobh race best value for money this year thx to Cork BHAA

weerunaz1 said...

Agree with all of the above particularly C2C now mind you the BHAA is a slightly different model having a rolling fund for maybe 15 + races a year but still at a five spot a race fair play to all involved
Also I think those races that are 100% fund raising for whatever club/charity and not for profit should blatantly highlight the fact on all literature,I don't understand how the AAI licence system works but if it's given to a commercial venture said venture should be made to use a special marking on all literature and perhaps we can start to regulate/make correct distinctions from there.

Anonymous said...

€30 max for a HM. Re costs of technical tops, after googling, and seeing the costs for t shirts and tops there, I`d no longer accept that you have to pay an abnormally higher entry fee for races including such garments. If you want a crowd, get the entry fee right.
Personally, I`d prefer some dri-fit socks rather than t shirts :-)

cathalhistory said...

Bandon half, Charleville half, Clonmel half are top notch and well priced events. Tullamore is excellent as well. Cork / Cobh is a brill event.

Anonymous said...

Have been running half marathons for four years now and have noticed a steady increase in price each year. Would love to run more half's but find myself restricting to only a few due to price. Cork to Cobh is really great value. Running is getting more and more popular so let's get more people running half and full marathon's and keep the price down.

Anonymous said...

Its a tough one to call the bigger races can be expensive as they require a lot of road closures, staff on top of the volunteers, prize money to get elite runners etc. while the smaller races need to increase the price to be able to keep a float due to low numbers. i suppose its up to the runners to pick and choose and over time the better races (not necessarily the biggest nor the cheapest nor the dearest either) will survive.
we vote with our feet!

Anonymous said...

Agree, anything over €30 is expensive. I was going to do the Clonakilty half in December but when I saw the price (€50) I couldn't justify it. The Waterford half is on the same day at €25, might try that instead. I know Clon have a great atmosphere and is well run, but come on lads, ye are pricing us out of it. A few of my "race buddies" feel the same and have pulled out of Clon because of the entry fee. It seems to me if you are someone who does a lot of the runs throughout the year(the 5k's / 5 miles etc), the cost adds up quickly and you'll find it hard to pay overpriced entry fees, but if you run a couple of races a year then the price probably doesn't matter. I don't like moaning as I appreciate all the hard work that goes into organising the races, but reduce your fee and increase your number of entrants. The more entrants you get the better for the town it is held in, partners, family etc will travel and spend in the town. Get local businesses to sponsor / subsidise the cost. They'll score by having lots of heads around. While I'm on - Thanks to Cork BHAA and Ballycotton group for putting on some very enjoyabe races throughout the summer at very small charge to the runner.

Don said...

Just to make you guys jealous, I'm planning on doing a half-marathon the first Sunday next January in Southern Slovakia and it's costing me 5 Euros!!! The accompanying marathon is 8 Euros!!!, and it's a 1 lap course. You don't get a T-shirt, but when I did it 2 years ago, we did get a hot lunch in the price plus shower facilities. There was a cannon start and a horse escort for the first 2 kms in the town, instead of the leading car or bike. The riders were dressed in maybe 17th century clothes.

Anonymous said...

Amsterdam Half Marathon, taking in all the tourist sites.

Mizuno Half Marathon

The Mizuno Half Marathon will take place on Sunday October 19th, 2014.

The entry fee is € 25.00 (incl. chip)

The registration fee includes:
- bib number with name;
- information map;
- care during and after the course;
- clothing check;
- medal;
- video service;
- MYLAPS BibTag.

John Desmond said...

Some of the comments left on the Running in Cork Facebook page...

Catherine O'Neill Wharton...Half marathon prices can be to high. €35-€45 should be enough.

Anne Murphy...20 to 25 euro is enough its robbery when i see 50 and even 60 euro these rip off races should be cut out and i often wonder how do people afford that high price

Martina Mc Inerney...20 to 30 euro is more than enough to pay for a half marathon

Aidan Cooney...€30 is enough

Vincent O Leary...For me it depends on what you get for the entry. That said €50 should be max and include Chip Timing, Water stops,Tech top,medal & refreshments afterwards.
A lot of local cycling sportives are under €30. Fair enough you don't get a €5 medal or a €5 top.
It's a shame us runners don't have done sort of system where you join annually for a fee and are given a race number for the year, chip included. Enter races at a discount then with option of buying tech top.
Some of the Chip timing companies out there have rediculous prices and usually f it up. On numerous occasions I've had to email in my time from my Garmin. Not good enough when you're paying for chip timing.

Anonymous said...

How many of you runners are actually involved in organising HMs? It takes a lot of money to cater for 600+ runners and it's quite hard to get businesses to put in decent sponsorship. If a hm is cheap it's either got a lot of good sponsor or they've got no shirt/food/road closure etc. I think anything over €40 is excessive but for a club €25 or under there's no point in having the race as we're just losing money then

John Kissane said...

Can't manage the Conn ultra this year cause I got an entry for Boston the following w/end so was thinking of doing the half 'til I saw the price so will pass. 70 is too much for a half for sure!