Wednesday, 22 January 2014

What is 'expensive'?

I think it is expensive to pay R90 for a 21km road race at an event where there are 6,500 runners. While this often includes a t-shirt, I'm not there for the tee. I'm there to run. Race tees rarely a) fit, b) have a nice design or c) have a flattering cut (too long, too thick, no shaping). And it's around R130 to run a road marathon these days.

I also think it is expensive to pay R2,500 for a 40-odd kilometre trail run. But then the race has only got around 500 participants and it has tons of bells-and-whistles, if you like that kind of thing.

How about R4,250 for IronMan... a looped route... on tar?

And then there's the R23,000 per person for a staged mountain bike race...

As I've been promoting Forest Run to the road running community I've had a few people say, "That's expensive".

At R480pp, Forest Run is comparatively inexpensive - even compared to road running events with their thousands of runners.

At Forest Run runners receive a few goodies, like tea/coffee and muffing before the start, plus a sewn bag and a sustainable item at the finish (no medals, trophies or ugly tees on my watch).

There are only 150 runners (maximum!) so you really can run in peace and quiet, feeling like the forest is all yours.

It's a marked route... I spend three full days putting out route markers.

My marshals are treated like royalty because they're so crucial to the event - they're accommodated and (over)-fed for the weekend.

I have a medical crew on standby for the day.

And then there are all the other special bits that runners discover out on the course, which I don't advertise - because I love secrets and enjoy presenting the runners with lovely surprises. Lots of specialness at Forest Run.

Expensive is relative.

You can buy a cheap tee for R30 that doesn't quite fit right and where the fabric isn't that great and you trash it at the end of the season. Or you can buy a R180 tee that has quality fabric, a great design, good fit and will last you a few years.

That's the difference between Forest Run and any 'ol road race. The experience is remembered long after the race is done.

1 comment:

Robert Green said...

This is a tough one and so subjective. I evidently don't have a problem with the Forest run as I have entered already. I entered "Three cranes" a few years ago and thought the R2600 they charge for three days of tent accomodation, 100 km of running and meals is great value. I wanted to run the Wildcoast three day trail run that Staci Katsivalis raved about running last year but at R8000 for the three days( admittedly in hotel accomodation) I passed, especially when you have to add flights and transfers into that. How much would I pay to get an entry in Rhodes Run or Otter trail run? - not sure but a lot more than the R500.