So far in 2013, I’ve run 6 races. My total expense for races run thus far this year is $133. That’s not too shabby! Here’s the breakdown:
Tralee International Half Marathon – $68 (this is an estimate, as I paid in Euros…)
Wenatchee Half Marathon – $0
Dilettante Women’s Triathlon – $0
Wild Woman Marathon Relay – $50
Ragnar Trails Tahoe – $0
Pound the Ground Half Marathon – $15
Here’s my advice for how to save on race registrations:
Volunteer – While none of the races above were free because of volunteering, I have free race registries coming up because of volunteering. Throughout the US, you can get a free race entry to the Spartan Races for volunteering. (I wasn’t able to do it this year, because Husband Saign went out of town unexpectedly and Ada the Dog would have been left home alone for too long). In Western Washington, Evergreen Trail Runs offers free race entries to volunteers (I’ve got a credit for a free race with them), as does Pro-Motion Events. The Tacoma City Marathon Association offers discounts on race entries to volunteers, and the credit is equivalent to their costs for 5Ks…so you can run a short race for free, or get a discount on a longer race (I’ve got credit with the TCMA as well).
Run Small Local Races – My $15 half marathon was a teeny tiny little local half marathon. It included pre-race pancakes and beverages. Such a great deal! Small local races typically lack the she-bang of larger races – they’re often at local parks, rather than on blocked-off streets, they may have fewer aid stations, and may lack swag. But, they offer convenience and low cost.
Follow Races on Facebook/Twitter - I won a free entry for the Mustache Dache this year by being the first person to correctly answer a question that they posted on facebook. Not only do you have a chance to win free entries when you follow races on social media sites, you will also be more informed regarding entrance fee increases, or discounts they may have available.
Blog – Two of the free entries from above were because of being a blogger. Nuun gave me a free entry for Ragnar because of my blogginess, and the race director for the Dilettante Tri gave me a free entry for blogging. I’ve been offered other race entries that I haven’t been able to accept, simply because I blog.
Participate in Running Groups – I’m part of two different running groups that have facebook pages. Quite often people post about discounted races or inexpensive local races. The insight of other runners can be very helpful in catching the deals!
Buy your Entry Early – As we all know, race prices increase as you get closer to the date. Some races have big discounts on the first day that registrations open. Of course, the risk with this is that you may injure yourself, or make other plans that prevent you from participating in a race that you book way in advance.
So, there we have it! Be thrifty and fab! Never overpay for a race!
What are your tips for saving on race registration?