The Escalating Race Fee and How Some Experiences Just Can’t Be Understood by the Dollar
As race fees continue to go up, one needn’t search far to find someone with an opinion on the matter. From Runner’s World to the blogosphere to the regulars of my weekly group run, people are talkin’ about it and sometimes it gets FEISTY!
Earlier this month, I signed up for the now sold out 2012 Chicago Marathon. I was so paranoid of missing entry that I registered THE EXACT MINUTE registration opened. I whizzed through the many pages of sign-up and when it came to pay the $150 registration fee (up $5 from 2011), I didn’t even flinch.
I would’ve paid $300 to run the Chicago Marathon. Any more than that and I’d have to seriously check my budget, but to me, every single penny of that $150 is well beyond worth it.
I’m a dreamer. I love to picture myself doing extraordinary things. But reality is an asskicker.
I will never take a pitch in the Big Leagues. I will never drive the lane or shoot a game-tying three in the NBA. The NFL will never see my touchdown dance.
But on October 7, 2012, I will take to 26.2 miles of my home city like a rock star, running at top speed, supported by the voracious cheers of the million plus spectators lining the streets with their bodies and their roars. The entire city will stop for me. I will be on top of my universe.
I will never get that feeling at the St. Louis Marathon. Or the Houston Marathon. Or any marathon that isn’t a World Major, or at least treated as such. If one hasn’t had this experience, he or she will have a hard time understanding it, but trust me: it’s definitely worth $150.
Not everyone feels this way.
And that’s cool too. Some folks have a dollar per mile limit, like they won’t pay more than $3 a mile, so no more than $78 for a marathon. That’s totally cool. You can run the St. Louis Marathon for that.
But it’s lonely. You won’t feel like a rock star (unless you win it maybe). And you’re in… St. Louis. I would pay $78 for that kind of experience too.
But Chicago… there’s just something about Chicago…