Wednesday, July 3, 2013

In Choosing Your Races

In the evolution of races in the Philippines, it has become more and more improved compared to the previous ones. Also, race organizing evolved to become a perfection in giving quality races. We all know everything is fueled by money, more means more, and thus the increase of registration fees are inevitable. From what I know from the time I started out 21K races would cost around 500-600 pesos but now it will cost you around a thousand pesos.

We all have a choice, and we must do it wisely!

Lets do some math. Since running has become a hype, there is seldom a week that there's no race that will happen on a Sunday, they even have Saturday races now. Lets just say you are a very dedicated runner who wants to join all races of Sundays in a 21K distance, assuming that the registration fee is 800 pesos. Registration Fee of 800 pesos x 4 Sundays of the month = 3,200 pesos, and that's just registration fees. How about your transportation? food? nutritional expenses like buying gels and other stuffs you use on races? Lets say you spend 500 pesos on that. Miscellaneous expenses of 500 x 4 Sundays of the month = 2,000 pesos. If we are to tally everything, 3,200 + 2,000 = 5,200 pesos is what you spend in a month. Ofcourse if you are rich 5,200 pesos is nothing but what if you are a regular office employee with a take home pay of 10,000 pesos? That will leave you with 4,800 pesos to spend on your needs and necessities, and most probably you will spend your days living like a pauper until the next payday. If you would venture into Triathlons, Aquathlons, Duathlons, Ultra Distance Running and other races that requires you to get out of the city, then prepare to get yourself into spending more.

A sample computation of what your expenses will be in a month... Huge!

I've heard some runners complaining about the cost of registration fees of races nowadays, not realizing that organizers also spends a lot to give quality races to all its customers. In the Philippines, everything is becoming expensive that the cost needs to be adjusted in order to create the best race and where do you think they will they get the funds for it? Ofcourse from the Sponsors and the turnout of the registration. It's just a simple supply and demand chain.

If we can't do anything about the price increase, the best way to do is to choose our races wisely. So for runners like me who are just regular income earners, it is but wise to plan out our races.

Here are some of the questions I ask myself before I shell out for registration:

1. Is this race worth the bucks? - Some races may be expensive, but you'll get more than what you paid for but ofcourse, some are just expensive. Know what you will get; if there's a singlet, finisher shirt, loot bags and medals. It's your right as a consumer to know your options well.
2. Will this race happen near my place? - I avoid races that will require me to spend much time on travelling since races are so early in the morning and it's not safe to travel alone without a car, and ofcourse it's expensive to take a cab. I take races which is mostly just near my area where I can just walk to and walk back home afterwards (Which is BGC).
3. Is there a beneficiary? - As an advocate of diabetes awareness, I am also devoted to support other causes. It is important for me to know who is the beneficiary of the race so I would have a feel good aura when I think that I spent my money for a cause. 
4. Is the Race Organizer a good one? - Nothing major for me but this will somewhat give you an idea on how will the race turn out as a whole since you can check the races that they have handled before. I just want to be sure of what I would be expecting during the race, or if I should bring extra supplies come race day.
5. Do I really want to join this race? - Sometimes, you just register for a race  because you feel you need to have a race every Sunday. This is not necessary. The road is free, run on it!

Also, here are some tips on saving up for races and registration fees:

1. Join contest! - There are lots of online contest on Facebook and Blogs that offers free registration for those who will win their contest. It's worth a try! Check out Pinoy Fitness, and other runner blogger sites on my blogroll.
2. Make a race bucket list - Great races happens mostly every year. Put it in your bucket list and stick with it!
3. You have a running group? Register as a group! - Race Organizers usually gives discounts on mass registrations.
4. Eye for the early bird registration - Some races have an early bird rate you can take advantage of.
5. Race with friends, go to races together, carpool! - It's fun to join races together with friends, and it will cut your transportation cost too!

The road is free. Run on it! (Photo credits to Running Atom)
Just a piece of thought: Running on a race is a great way to enjoy the route with friends safely, but it doesn't mean that you cannot do it out of the race. Why don't you and your friends plan on a group run? It would be a great bonding moment and you get to run on places that you like to go to together without spending too much money. Just pick those races you will join in when you want to compete or hit a PR, if not, just run at your own place, at your own pace!

So I'll see you on the road during races or not. Just wave and say "hi!"

Good Vibes everyone and Sweet Running! ^_^


Bicolano Penguin said...

Good one. A helpful article with all those math. Specially liked "The road is free. Run on it."

Michelle Manait said...

Thanks Bicolano Penguin! Hope to meet you on one of the many upcoming races! ^_^