How much are you willing to pay for the "experience" of a running a marathon? That question seems fair enough given that the New York City Marathon has decided to raise the entry fees beginning with the 2012 race. Race organizers stated that the reason for the increase was due to the fact that the New York Police Department will be charging the organizers for traffic control and policing costs.
Here is a list of the top 5 U.S. marathons ranked by several sites:
1. Boston Marathon $150 = $ 5. 73 per mile
2. New York City Marathon
- Non member of NY Road Runners $255 = $9.73 per mile
- International partcipant $347 = $13.24 per mile
3. Honolulu Marathon $260 = $9.92 per mile
4. Bank of America Chicago Marathon -
U.S. participant $150 = $5.73 per mile
International Participant $175 = $6.67 per mile
5. Walt Disney World Marathon - $160 - $6.11 per mile
Note: The prices reflected do not include travel, lodging, etc.
Now to be fair, I know that some marathons offer early registration discounts. Take for instance my local marathon, the Detroit Free Press Marathon. The entry fee this week is a mere $60 ($2.29 per mile). After this week, the price rises to $80 ($3.05 per mile) and then on a sliding scale up to $125 ($4.77 per mile).
As a veteran of 20 marathons, I understand the idea of wanting to pay for an experience. Some people say that they would rather pay for an experience than pick up another piece of useless crap ( Tablet, e-reader, etc) that will be outdated in 3 months. I know that some people have a marathon on their bucket list, or have spent years and invested blood, sweat, and tears to get to the starting line to take their victory lap during the marathon. Some make marathons as their vacations and find it the best way to see a new city, often seeing things that are not mentioned in tour guides or would never see if you only stayed in the "tourist areas". You hope that when you pay your entry fee, your experience will be on par for what you have paid. In some instances, I have been happy with my return on investment (Boston, Chicago) and other times left scratching my head wondering where does all the registration money go (Nashville).
With rising registration fees, how much are you willing to spend for the experience of running a marathon?