on... Running up that Bill

There’s been a lot of talk about the cost of the IAAF World Half Marathon Championships, based in Cardiff next April. More precisely, the “Mass Participation” race taking place. Now £64 is a lot of money for a “Fun Run”, especially when the proceeds aren’t going to charity.

There’s been talk in the past of the “price per mile”, with the most expensive Race that I’ve run being the “Cardiff 5k Corporate Challenge” - £18, closely followed by the “Mo Run” (though that one’s for charity).

Right now, I’m more interested in the “whole cost of running” - it can be quite an expensive hobby.

I was lucky enough to get a place at the Great North Run back in 2013. I was overjoyed to find that my ballot entry was successful, but then I looked at how much the trip was going to cost and I begun to question my luck just a little.

Great North Run - Race Entry(approx) £ 40.00
Flight (one person) £ 125.00     
Airport parking £ 23.00
Travel to Airport (inc Tolls) £ 20.00
Accomodation (Student) £ 87.50
Food / Drink £ 30.00
Total  £ 325.00


This year, I’ve been even luckier, I secured a ballot place for the London Marathon.

Plans are to take my wife and daughter, at the following costs:

London Marathon - Race Entry £ 31.00
Hotel (2-nights, decent, close to finish) £ 600.00     
Train £ 100.00
Baby-sitters for remaining children £ painful (don't ask)
Trainers (two pairs) £ 120.00
Food / Drink £ 100.00
Physio Appointments £ 60.00
Total  £ 1011.00

Now, these are just rough calculations, and I know that you can do things cheaper, but I just wanted to comment on how much these things can add up to. Suddenly, the IAAF cost for a World Class race (i.e. it’ll be on the telly) on our doorstop seems far more reasonable.

Even the Cardiff Half last year, I accidentally ended up in the wrong car park and paid £17.00 for the privilege.


Bringing things back to a more positive note, think of how amazing parkrun is. For free.

Next best value, how about the Races that you get for free just by becoming a member of a Running Club. The GLCL cross-country season has just finished and the GLCL road races are coming up shortly - all great fun, and paid for by the Club. Those lucky enough to get on the Relays later in the year get to run some tremendous events for free, subsidised or far lower rate.

While my wallet is out, I’ve just paid my club dues. Best value for running that there is. Especially in the first year, when the club even throw in a free vest. Plenty of races, support, training, membership of Welsh Athletics (so that you can have fun finding out what your “Run Star” name is), not to mention the £2 off many of the big races. If you haven’t renewed your vows to Lliswerry, I’d recommend that you do it right now before you forget - there’s a “late fee” nowadays, and no runner wants to be late.

Last word goes to the IAAF Booking Fee - ouch. That just hurt.


This Random Thought is based on a chat with Matt Creed in the gym, and with apologies to Kate Bush.

The photo is not really relevant, but Wayne says that he likes photos when I write. Look who's in the background :)