Tuesday, September 27, 2011

Highway Robbery - Another Post About Outrageous Marathon/Half Marathon Fees

A few weeks back a friend posted a status on her Facebook about how asinine it was for a local entity to send her an email with a coupon for $10 off of a new marathon here in town. 

An indoor marathon.

That costs $125.00.

I am stunned.  Absolutely stunned. 

Its no secret that prices for not only marathons and half marathons have gone up exponentially (even since I started running in 2005), but also for 5K's, 10K's etc.

The thing about this is, when pushed for an answer on why?  why?  why?, the number one reason they give out for an increase or for the price in general is that they have to pay for road closures and cops for said road closures.

OK, thats great I guess.  Maybe they get a raise every year or something.  OR the cost of shutting down the roads goes up.  I don't know...(insert sarcasm here).  But when you increase the number of runners, you really shouldnt have to increase the price by $10-$20 per runner....

Anyway, thats a whole other topic...

The thing is with this particular marathon???

Uuuuuuuuuuuuuuummmmmmmmmmmmmmmmmm....Its indoors!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!! 

According the site:
The Houston Reliant Stadium course is a 1.2 mile spiral loop contained within the massive facility.
  • The marathon and half-marathon begin on the playing field.   
  • Runners exit the playing field and travel immediately up 3 ramps to the Spectator Field Level loop – a 35 ft. wide pedestrian thoroughfare that circles the interior perimeter of the stadium.
  • After completing the Spectator Field Level loop, it's time to climb again – 8 more ramps to the Upper Concourse section – another expansive pedestrian thoroughfare.  The Upper Concourse loop also provides runners a panoramic view of the Medical Center and Downtown Houston skyline as they pass through the North Terrace zone.
    • At this point, runners have completed the Spectator Field Level loop, climbed a total of 11 ramps (with a total elevation gain of 165 ft.), and traveled around the Upper Concourse loop.  It's now time for runners to return to the playing field.
    • After completing the Upper Concourse loop, runners descend on the northwest ramps all the way back to the playing field.
  • Runners will travel the entire 1.2 mile loop in ONE DIRECTION – making it easy for faster runners to pass and ensuring an overall smooth flow of participants.  
    • Marathon – 22 laps 
    • Half-marathon – 11 laps
Guess what?


And why is this a 2 day event?  With 4 different start times for half marathoners?  Registration is closed as of October 15th, but I am wondering if this will be extended due to LACK OF PARTICIPATION!  Do you really think you are going to have that many half marathoners that you need 4 start times over 2 days?  They say each start is limited to 750 participants...I dont understand any of this...or why anyone would want to do it to begin with!  Sure its climate controlled, and a zero percent chance of rain or humidity...but I just dont get it...I just dont.

Anyway back to my original point....why is the cost so damn high when there are NO road closures, NO cops to direct traffic and/or runners, and certainly no rental fees for any equipment etc.??????  According to the website, you get a finishers shirt and a medal.  Nothing out of the ordinary there...

I will tell you why....money.  maker.

Maybe...the jury is still out on this one.  I will be watching this one closely!

What are your thoughts on this?  Would you ever run an indoor half or full marathon?  For that kind of money?


Theresa @ActiveEggplant said...

Ugh - I don't think I could handle an indoor race. 5k maybe...but a Half or Full? Doubtful.

I agree that race prices are insanely high. My only thought for this is maybe the event organizers have to pay a pretty steep fee to rent out the stadium in the first place. (Which begs the question...if it's so expensive, why hold the event there anyway?)

Jamoosh said...

I don't know if the organization is a for profit organizer (like Competitor Group, Inc. which puts on the Rock n' Roll series) or not. But they do have to rent out Reliant Stadium, which I am sure is not cheap.

I think this would go over better in the middle of summer when people would love to run a local marathon in air conditioning. The other indoor marathons I have seen are in places like Milwaukee and Minneapolis in the middle of winter.

saroy said...

I considered it just for the novelty factor. But I'm not trained for a half right now and it's too expensive. Like the others, I'm guessing it costs a lot to rent the stadium. As for the multiple waves, no clue why they need that, and agree it seems silly.

Junie B said...

I would rather do the hamster ultra marathon in NYC around 1 city block ... 3100 miles. First person to complete it, wins. I saw this on Today Show not too long ago.


Junie B said...

better info: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Self-Transcendence_3100_Mile_Race

Mel said...

heck no. I hate being inside and running in circles

Running a marathon that had 3 loops outside is mental beatdown enough!

Xaarlin said...

Yikes! I'd get dizzy running in circles. That fee is outrageous! I can see paying $150 for a marathon on a road. The organizers aren't making much profit there because of road closures, permits etc. But inside!?! I'll pass on that one...

GeorgiaSnail said...

it's time to hit the race organizers where it hurts the most-in the wallet. Come over to the dark side and start looking into trail/road ultras. The average 50k (only 5 miles more than a marathon) is in the $50 range and you get just as much swag as you do at high priced road marathons. Perhaps more, depending on how much time you spend in aid stations!

Reese's Runner said...

That sounds like pure hell.