Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Races for Profits, questions and concerns in the commercialization of running. A series.

While this post may get blowback, may ruffle feathers, may upset the apple cart, etc, I think runners are aware of the booming business of race proliferation.
More options mean more conveniences, but not necessarily better practices or better races.
(Disclaimer: I've reduced my racing substantially for numerous reasons. Family obligations, financial priorities, rebalancing life, and finally the question of Why Race, leaving less races as a natural thing.)
I enjoy supporting causes through some races, but I did some simple mathematics on a new "ultra" in my home area.
The race is mostly double track, following a five mile loop that is cycled 10X for a 50M relay and 6X for the 50k solo option. The race is held on private land. The event is "capped" at 500 participants. "Capped" at 500.
The 50k is 65 dollars increasing to 80. The 50M relay option is 40 dollars increasing to 50, same price as the 5 mile race held at noon.
Doing some averaging of numbers, (250 entrants in the 50k, 200 entrants in the relay, 50 in the 5 mile) I figured the total income would be around 29,500 dollars. Obviously there are costs, including insurance, trail maintenance, three bands and beers. Camping is included. Grilled foods will be sold and RV sites can be rented.
Concerns would include sustainability, land impact, and trail congestion. Sounds like a ball but 30k is a lot of dough for a race.

Anyone have any thoughts on the race-for-profit model?