I race almost every weekend. I posted about it last week. Honestly it’s a hobby I really like to do.
With the exception of one race, I never win money from races. For every 5k this summer, I’ve paid full price. I don’t mind $20-30 dollars for a weekly 5k.
Hobbies cost money and paying for something I want to do doesn’t bother me.
You make time for what you want to do but you also budget appropriately for what you want to do. I was thinking a lot about budgeting for road races last week so I decided to compile tips of how I try and save money. Hopefully they can help you too! This also keeps in mind that I do not have children to take care.
So how do I afford to race every weekend?
For me, racing is a hobby and paying for races goes along with the sport. Looking back at the last few months, I’ve spent between $120-170 a month on racing. That is the cost of 2 half marathons these days or sometimes even one! Heck that is half the cost of the NYCM marathon!
- First, I’m very lucky there are many race options within 45 minutes of my house. I have the option of racing in Philadelphia, Wilmington and all along the shore. Each location is between 20-45 minutes. While I do live 90 miles from NYC would be a 2+ hour commute and with tolls cost me an extra 50 dollars. I would rather not pay 80 dollars for a 5k. So that is ruled out for “saving money”. Running at local races also prevents paying money on extra gas, hotels and even meals the night before. Local races are a lot more inexpensive!
- I scout out races by a number of factors:
- Price: if there is a 5k that’s 15 dollars and a 5k that’s 50, it’s easy to see which one I’ll choose.
- Location of where I’m working. Since I work at multiple places in NJ, I try and find the closest to work.
- Prize money: just kidding, I’ve only won prize money once.
- Friends status. Are any of my friends doing it? I love seeing local racers and hanging out!
- Google for discount codes. I once found a coupon code for 10 dollars off a road race just by googling. For that particular race, I only paid 10 dollars for a 5k. That is the cost of the amount of gas station coffee I drink daily (just kidding). I always try and remember to google to see if there are any discount codes!
- On another note: If you were looking for a great 5k, 10k, half marathon or all of them: I have a discount code for you! I’ll be running the Runners World Half Marathon. They were all also grateous enough to give me a discount code for any and all of my readers. Use the code: BlogFueledbyLOLZ to save.
- This is fairly obvious but sign up for races early. Many races cost 5-10 dollars less if you sign up the Thursday before versus race day registration.
- Check out the brochures running store. Sometimes race directors will drop off special coupons/discount codes at the local stores. We have plenty of race directors that do that at our store!
- Finally remember that every 5 dollars counts. If you save 5 dollars on each road race and run 15, that is 75 dollars. That is enough for a few more races!
The moral of the story is planning and strategizing for races can save a lot of money. If you research and see what is available near you, often times it’s a lot easier to save.
Questions for you:
How often do you race?
What are some tips you have for saving money?