Giving up races

Organised races are not cheap. With the exception of some club based events, most professionally organised races cost £30-40 or a lot more for obstacle races or triathlons.

I’m really starting to question whether this is good value for money for me? What do you pay for in the average running race? An accurately measured distance, an official time, sometimes road closures and some kind of goody bag with t-shirt and medal.

How many of these things do I want or need?

  • Accurately measured distance – I feel that google maps can do a decent enough job here + fancy apps do an even better job
  • Official time – I have a watch or said fancy app (MapMyRun)
  • Road closures – This is often pretty good actually and I can’t organise this myself
  • Goody bag, t-shirt and medal – I have quite a few medals knocking around, none in pride of place. With very rare exceptions, the t-shirts [a day-glo long sleeved nike run shirt has been brilliant] are usually charity shopped either because the size is wrong or I don’t like the design. Not much in the goody bags that I’d miss!

In the plus column I could also add that running in large crowds can be pretty cool an add a sense of camaraderie. Supporters can also be great, even if they are not mine.

All in all, the only thing I’d want is the road closures and i’m not sure this is worth the £30-40 entry fee.

In 2015 I did ‘The Major series’ and the ‘Loch Ness Marathon’ both of which cost forty odd pounds, but these types of thing may be the exception. With the marathon an official time was really important to me and with obstacle races, they are things that would not be possible to organise myself.

In most road or trail races though, i’m really just ‘racing myself’ and unless i do a route multiple times any specific time is meaningless. Let’s be honest, i’m not going to be winning any of these things.


Organise my own ‘races’?
Inspired in part by all the adventurer type people that I read about and talk to I feel a lot more confident about just striking out on my own or getting a group of friends together.

I picked up a free book recently (Good Run Guide) describing 40 amazing looking trail runs in the UK. I might be better off targeting some of these or even making my own routes. The entry money saved could be better used on either more trips or some fancy kit that I lust after (or saved???).

The Lure of the Tough Guy
Before giving up the organised event game, an opportunity came up recently to enter THE TOUGH GUY race in January 2016. I’ve been hankering to do this for years but wanted to do so in a team rather than just on my jack-jones. It is eye-wateringly expensive but i’d only regret it it if I missed it. Yes, i’d regret not being immersed for 2-3 hours in possibly actually freezing water and covered in oozing mud. Yup, crazy is as crazy does.

Apart from this one time though, i’m out……for now…

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