Tuesday, 31 May 2011


In a recent previous post I conceded that, after more than a year of unsuccessful searching, I found a bit of my running mojo during the Bay to Breakers in San Francisco earlier this month. Despite the attempts by the race organizers to wring all the fun out of the often-bawdy event, those who took part refused to give in, and partied from sunny start to rainy finish.

Since then I have been looking for some half marathons and even a full mary to sign up for. I do best when I have goal to shoot for that's been paid for..but, holy moley, people, who can afford this stuff anymore?

As you may know, I am planning a big bike trip in the UK next year to celebrate 60 years on the planet (at least in my current incarnation?!). That journey is going to take about a month, during which I will not be working. I don't get vacation time. So, you do the math. I have to sock away over a month's worth of regular living expenses to keep the home fires stoked and burning AND another month's worth of trip funds (beer? fish and chips? hostel beds?). In other words, I have very little discretionary cash now, and don't anticipate that changing anytime soon. Unlike Washington, I can not just raise my debt ceiling and keep spending.

So, imagine my surprise, when tooling around on the web thing, I discovered many footrace organizers are, IMHO, being a bit goofy in what they think their events are worth. Up front I will admit, no one's being forced to enter these races...but I just wonder if they'd raise more money for their causes if they lowered the fees to "affordable" so more folks could sign up?

Some examples. My first thought was the Santa Rosa Half Marathon. It's close by, and I love the city. I have friends there who have already agreed to pay for post-race brews. But...it's $75-90...for a half, depending on when one enters. You think that's bad? The San Francisco Half, which is even closer to my house, is $105!!! The full 26 is $150! But wait! December's Honolulu Marathon...$155 to 260!!!!!!!! And that does NOT include a hotel room! Or even an umbrella drink or two. WTF? I could use that $260 to pay for about a week's lodging during my cycling adventure...or a week's worth of post-ride English ales!

I had all but given up finding a race I could commit to...until yesterday morning when I was greeted by an email message from the kind folks at Living Social. Ha! Half price entry into the new Nor Cal Half Marathon and Marathon in September in San Jose. $30 for the half, $40 for the full. Now we're talking. I did not hesitate. I bought. Now, I'm in. Looking forward to the race...and not feeling ripped off.

In an effort to pay forward my good fortune I told some running buddies about the deal...and some of them have signed up, as well. I guess that's the social part of Living Social.

The goal now is to drop ten pounds before race day. Race day weight goal...178.

Gotta run!


rUntoNamAste said...

Hells yea, Living Social. That is indeed a steal and I'm glad you hopped on it. I'm hoping more deals like that pop up in my area. Happy training :)

RoadBunner said...

I'm glad you found a race that fit the bill. I'm sad I'll miss you that day, though!

Melissa Cunningham said...

yay for finding a race!
and i hear ya about the cost of all this stuff!!!
hang in there!!!

Rachel said...

i cannot agree with you more on the skyrocketing prices of races! triathlons are even worse, especially since you need more gear to compete, too! glad you found a deal though, sounds like a fun race!

Anonymous said...

You can try http://www.brazenracing.com/ . Their Half's are usually under $50