After a lot of thought and consideration -- I have decided to retire One Foot in Reality and leave it as an Archive. I will still monitor it to keep the trolls at bay, but will not be posting here any longer.

If you are looking for my new posts, please go to www.haroldlshaw.com .

Thank you for all they years of following One Foot In Reality.


Monday, June 29, 2015

Cost is What Stopped Me From Racing Today

After a lot of thought I have decided to move some of best of my old posts from Aging Runnah and A Runnah’s Story blogs, primarily the old reviews, maybe a few of the better posts and race reports that I have written over the years. I have a feeling that at some point, my WordPress.com blogs are simply going to go away and I want to still be able to go back and read some of the stuff I wrote.

If you are reading this blog post, that is why it is has been re-posted here.

Originally posted on: June 29, 2015

I was going to run the Augusta Rail Trail 5K race on Sunday, but I chose not to and this reason has been a factor in my deciding not to do some of the other races in the area this spring.

Why did I make that choice?

Was it because of the weather?

No. I know it was raining and about 56*F, but those conditions have never stopped me from running. Ssssshhhh if the truth be known, I rather like running in the rain, even the pouring rain. Yeah, you get wet, but after the first couple of minutes it is refreshing and relaxing to run in the rain.

Plus Bennie and I went out and ran 5.0 miles in these conditions, so that wasn't reason. Hell, I run outside in most conditions, so the weather doesn't usually stop me from running, as long as it is safe to do so.

Was it my race anxiety?

No. I was looking forward to running the race this morning. I have had a different outlook towards racing over the past few months. The old idea of having to go out and give 110% and give every race everything I have, every time has been let go. I still go and attempt to run hard 80-90% and only really go after it once in a while, but usually I don't go out and get deep into the hurt locker.

Just that subtle shift has made racing a lot more enjoyable.

Was it the time of day?

No. The race started at 7:45 AM, early, but I am up most days by 6:00 AM and was awake this morning at 5:45 AM and could have easily been there to register with plenty of time, since I didn't pre-register.

How about just not feeling like it?

No. Actually, I wanted to go, run the race, see other runners that I generally don't get to see all that often or haven't seen for a while. Plus I have a feeling after looking at the results, I might have done well in my age group today based on my past performances.

I have run pretty decently over the past couple of weeks and felt good this morning during the run I did in the rain.

These are all things that in the past have caused me to skip a race.

So what was the reason?

The Cost.

Registration for this 5K was $30 for early registration and if you registered late it was $35. Could I have afforded this - sure, but at the same time even though it is for a good cause (aren't they all), $35 to take part in a small, local race is pricey.

Too pricey.

This is the real reason for not racing today.

More of a Factor

The cost of race registrations is becoming a factor in more and more of the races that I choose or choose not to run. Especially when I am going to run in a race that takes 22-25 minutes most of the time.

I know that there are significant support costs to putting on a well-run event and the longer the race, the more support services are required to make them a positive experience for the runners. Even a small events have costs, but it seems to me that more and more organizations are looking at races as funding sources.

The proliferation of good causes and for profit races that runners have access to, is a good thing. It means more choice about which races we choose to run or the causes we want to support.

Unfortunately, at times I think it seems like runners are looked at by both the non-profit and for-profit race organizers as the cash cows that keep giving and giving. The runner's experience is secondary to the organization getting the money, that the race registration fees bring in.

I know that for me, the more race registrations continue to increase, the fewer races I run and I become much more selective about which races I will run. Oh I know the day of cheap races are pretty much over and done with - although our local trail race series at Quarry Road and Bond Brook have managed to keep their registrations really low. Which is a great thing.

What do you think, when do races become too expensive for you?

If you pay more for a race registration, do you expect more from the race? Like what?

What do you think about same day registration costing more than pre-registration, even though most of the time "late" or same-day registrations do not always get the so-called free "swag" or other goodies? I know it is a convenience factor for the race organizers to know about how many runners will be there, but is it fair to the runners who are paying more money and getting less?

Finally, does it matter to you what the "good cause" is or if it is for profit race?

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