Are Registration Fees Too High?

Mastermind Weekend 1/16

Hey there!

I'm Tina

I’m the owner of Carrots ‘N’ Cake as well as a Certified Nutrition Coach and Functional Diagnostic Nutrition Practitioner (FDN-P). I use macros and functional nutrition to help women find balance within their diets while achieving their body composition goals.


An in-depth, 4-week reverse dieting course for women who feel like their metabolism has slowed down, think they might have hormonal imbalance and can’t lose weight no matter what they do.

Good morning! Happy Tuesday! I hope you enjoyed your Memorial Day and, hopefully, a few days off. If you’re just catching up now, here are my posts from the weekend:

So, my morning is all out of whack today. I never finished my Feel Great Weight post for next week, so I woke up super early to edit it. By the time I sent it to my editor, walked Murphy, and ate breakfast, it needed to boogie out the door to Body Pump, so I didn’t get a chance to drink my daily glass of iced coffee or publish my morning post.

I finally took my first sip of iced coffee around 10:00 AM, and it never tasted so good!

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Breakfast was a big bowl of oatmeal with blueberries, peanut butter, and chia seeds in the mix. I didn’t enjoy a glass of iced coffee like I normally do because we ran out, so I brewed a pot of coffee and then let it chill in the refrigerator while I was getting ripped at Body Pump.

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Last Night’s Dinner

Last night’s dinner started with Arnold Palmers (half iced tea and half lemonade) on the front porch with Mal while we scoped out potential summer and fall races on his laptop.

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A little while later, I reheated some leftovers from Sunday’s barbecue. I had a cheeseburger on a Bagel Thin with pickles, ketchup, and mustard. On the side, I had some corn on the cob.

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For dessert, I enjoyed some Edy’s Cappuccino Chip ice cream. Mmmmm!

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Mal and I almost signed up for the Providence Rock ”˜N’ Roll Half Marathon in August, but the registration is $105! Yowsahs! I guess we waited too long because now the registration fee is wicked expensive. The price will be lowered to $92 tomorrow because of National Running Day, but I still can’t bring myself to pay it. That’s a lot of money for a race!

I’m sort of bummed that the cost is deterring me from running it, but I still have some pretty awesome races on the agenda for this summer:


Question of the Day

What’s the most you’ve ever paid to register for a race? Has the cost of a race prevented you from running it?

P.S. Want to celebration National Running Day tomorrow? Here are some ideas: 10 Ways to Celebrate National Running Day!



  1. You’re running the Boilermaker!! I live 5 minutes away! This will be my 5th one. I don’t know if you have run it before but its such a fun race!

  2. The most I have paid is $20.00 for a 5k. I just began running, only a block at a time the end of January. I now am able to run 3 miles and today I broke my personal best with a 10.24 mile. Pumped!

  3. I was thinking about signing up for the RnR Providence but threw out my reminder card when I realized what the price is. I’ve decided that any races I sign up for this summer need to be $30 or under – I’m hoping to find some fun local ones between the 5k – 10k distance! I’m already planning a $38 10k in the fall and maybe a half marathon.

    I just paid $130 for a marathon but it was for Disney, I started saving for my trip a few months ago, and I budgeted the registration fee when I started setting aside money for it.

  4. I have paid all over the board for races and I can definitely say that more $$$ is NOT always better.

    I think the most expensive races are Disney and I really don’t think they are worth the money. Of course, it irks me because I live in Orlando! One of the best runs that I’ve done was a half that cost $40 (tech tee & post party beer included!).

  5. I can’t stand how expensive big races are! But face it, you’re paying for the police to monitor street closings, an expo, race tee, medals, paying for the chip timing system, etc. I can justify that for a marathon but for anything shorter, no way. I prefer smaller races without the fluff. I don’t need a medal or yet another race t-shirt to feel accomplished!

  6. I’ve wanted to runa few races and the fee’s somewhere near $75 for a 10k if registered right when registry opens..and it only goes up from there. That’s RIDICULOUS for that distance!! In that case, I’ve run unregistered just for fun.

    Fortunately I’ve found a marathon that’s only $ for that distance, that’s really cheap! 😀 As for all other distances, $20-$30 is reasonable depending.

  7. That sandwich looks yummy! I love Arnold Palmers! They are so refreshing on a hot day! I made iced coffee every morning all weekend. I’m missing it right now 🙁

  8. These can be expensive. If you ever re-do a race, sometimes they’ll give you discounts. For example, the National 1/2 Marathon in DC (March) offers discounts if you register for the following year. You have to decide about 10 months before, but nonetheless it’s a bit cheaper.

  9. The most I’ve paid is $145 for LA Marathon (+ registration fees). When I can, I use paper-sign ups, although they are starting to charge fees for that, too. Some of my favorite races have been the less expensive ones. I just did the reasonably-priced Fargo Marathon, and they gave us star treatment (cookie dough & pizza at the finish line, great medals, tech shirts).

  10. I’m running the mini 10k next weekend too! It will be my first EVER race – I am super excited but also super nervous

  11. I think the most I’ve paid is $80, and I agree–race fees are EXTRAVAGANTLY high. Although, there are a lot of reasons why they are so expensive–gear for the runners, the medics they have at the race, etc. Since I’m on a budget, I’m just picking 1-2 races to do this year.

  12. I DO think races are getting too expensive. I got into a huge debate with someone (who doesn’t know how to debate fair btw) who jumped all over my comment about how a half marathon should not cost the same as a full marathon. I STILL believe it should cost less.

    I know races need to be supported BUT they are often run by volunteers, and they are totally pimping products and corporations so NO I don’t think the “races have to be expensive because they are supported” belief is valid.

  13. Try signing up for triathlons -$300 for a half ironman. I do realize things cost money but racing has become a business for many and I don’t want to be handing my money over ot some Huge corporation (like ironman or Disney or the Rock and roll people). There was a very interesting letter to the editor a year ago or s about racing fees and volunteering. NONE of these races would work without volunteers and the corporations keep all th money (can you tell I have a strong opinion about this???)

  14. The NYC Marathon is my most expensive race, I think it was around $150 for the entry fee. My second most expensive was the NYC Half at $89. I agree that the RNR fees are ridiculous.

  15. I signed up for the Providence RnR! I wish you were running it. I think it was still pretty pricey for me, even though I signed up kind of early – around $90. Now that I put it out there, that’s a lot of $$$ for a race! Oh well!

  16. The most I’ve paid for a race is $55, but lately the races that are making me a little upset are the ones that show you the registration fee, but do not include the shirt cost in the fee and the shirt is an extra $20 – $25. I mean…the shirt is part of the fun of the race 🙂

    I really want to do the Disney Princess at some point though so I know I’ll have to shell some $$$ out for that one!

  17. I get totally bummed by high race fees! I actually drove 3 hours south to avoid paying for a race that was 10 minutes away because I hated how expensive the race fees were! I ended up paying about the same for hotel+entry fee as I would have for the race fee if I’d stayed close!

  18. I just registered for a 5k. They’re around $30 each which is pretty expensive for me, so I can only imagine how it feels to pay for a marathon! I guess you’re paying for the experience and the awesome feelings you get from it, though!

  19. The most expensive race I’ve run is the Disney Marathon. It was $135. Expensive, but worth it. I just paid $90 for a half marathon in October. Race fees are outrageous.

  20. The Boilermaker is so much fun! I went to college about 20 minutes outside of Utica, and ran the race every year. Loved it! Enjoy refueling after the race concludes. 🙂

    I think the most expensive race I’ve ever run was Gasparilla — I did one of the challenges, and while I can’t remember the exact amount I paid, know it was easily over $120.

  21. i think the RNR races are notoriously high, unfortunately. i typically pay 60-75 per race, and try to register 3 months or more ahead of time. i might do the LA marathon next year, which might cost me 100 or more… but it’s such a classic marathon, i would deem it worthwhile.

  22. Races definitely cost a lot, but I’m not sure that most of them are too high. I think they’re special events, especially some of the longer distances, and for people who train just for that even the price isn’t going to scare them off. I think the most I’ve paid has been $120 for a marathon, but I’ve only ever paid for in 2 years so the price never really bothers me. It just forces me to pick ones I really want to run.

  23. Yeah, my summer races were shot because I am moving in July and need to bulk my savings…so I can only do local and cheap races. I agree with Tami…triathlons are soooo expensive. I’ve paid 100.00 for races, but that’s my cap.

  24. Yes reg fees are way too high! I wanted to sign up for the Providence Rock n’ Roll as well – since it was an RnR close to home – but I just couldn’t get my wallet to get as excited as I was!

    I know a lot goes into the race committee and shirts and goodies – but honestly the goodies I get at some of these races are no where near the dough doled out!

    I signed up for Newport Marathon, and am trying to find some smaller races to incorporate into training – so if you know of any cheaper Boston-local races coming up – shoot em my way 🙂

    p.s. I love leftovers and I am indulging in mine for lunch too 🙂

  25. The highest was the P.F. Chang’s Rock N Roll Half at like $115 or something like that? Rock N Roll’s are always super expensive!

    Congrats on the half marathon finish over the weekend, and that six pack of beer with Mal’s face is hysterical!

  26. I’ve never paid TOO much for a race. The most was $75 for a trail half marathon, but the swag was great so I won’t complain. I prefer cheaper smaller races anyway–I don’t like the big crowded ones!

  27. I shelled out $150 for the Chicago Marathon this year, and now I’m probably not going to be able to run it.

    If race entries were more easily deferrable, it might make shelling out that much money a bit more palatable.

  28. I think I paid almost $100 for my marathon last fall. And your supper looks delish and super-summery….YUM! I’ve been rockin’ the Arnold Palmers lately too.

  29. I’m kind of curious as to why everyone says that Disney races are worth it for the fees but it seems like not for the other ones? All said and done, I’m guessing that they are the biggest corporate purveyor of races, but everyone seems to be okay with them. I wonder why that is?

    Because of my work, I’ve met race directors/event management people and I have to say, despite using lots of volunteers, they still require year-round staff, especially for the bigger events. It’s not easy to coordinate it all and yes, bottom line is that it IS a business! But isn’t that why we do them and we like them? I don’t think that because it’s a business, it makes it inherently bad. Because that means it’s organized and that costs money: streets are blocked off (permit fees and procedures are logistical and financial nightmares), t-shirts, all of the water that we like to have to drink at water stops and also renting space for those day before expos is really challenging and expensive. So yeah, if we wanted to we could all just run/bike/swim ourselves without these events, but that wouldn’t be as fun right?

  30. The fees are way too high! I would love to run more half-marathons but usually limit myself to one every other month due to the cost!

  31. Who says you have to pay a fee to run through public streets? Just run the race without a number and use your Garmin to record your time!

  32. I just signed up for my first half in July…8 weeks away, 1st Old Port Half! The fee was pretty low but that’s because it didn’t include a technical tee which you can purchase separately. The cost of running Ragnar this year totally deterred me from doing it! There is a free 11.6M run in in Ocean Beach, CT, fyi! I want to do the Boilermaker but I was a day late! I can’t believe it closed out so early!

  33. whoa! i’m doing 3 of those races – mini 10k, boilermaker, and nyc marathon. it’ll be my first time running the boilermaker, but i’ve done the other two (both awesome, but esp. the marathon – obvi). the most i’ve paid for a race is probably the nyc marathon entry. yikes. but so beyond worth every penny. i promise 🙂

  34. Arnold Palmers are the bomb! There have been many races that I have not run due to the price, I’m hoping someday after I get a big girl job that this won’t discourage me quite so much… probably not huh? haha

  35. I know races cost money & why but a large reason of why I haven’t ran any is because of the price. I sometimes feel like I’m getting punished for picking rent over a race, you know? Some of us aren’t lucky to have THAT much disposable income – even $20 for a race.

  36. I’m planning on shelling out the 85 bucks required for the RnR Philadelphia… gonna hurt, but I can’t wait for my first big race in a big city!

  37. I paid $80 for my first race, which was a half marathon. i didn’t really know much about how much races cost, and i don’t regret paying it for my first half marathon, but i definitely couldn’t do that on a regular basis. especially as a college student! $105 definitely seems pretty stiff

  38. The most I’ve paid for a race was $35 and that was for Susan G. Komen. I know the race money goes towards a good cause but anything over $50 is a BIT much.. to just run. I can’t believe they want over $100 for the rest you refused to sign up for. That is just crazy. There is so much more I could do with $100 and just fun my own half marathon for free! Sounds like these races are starting to get over-rated. Although some races that are huge events like the Boston Marathon I could understand how they could raise the price to join that just because the demand to be in that race is so high.

  39. I really want to do the Disney Princess Half Marathon, but it’s like $125 or something ridiculous. The registration fee, plus the price of the flight and hotel and everything that goes along with it, has prevented me from entering. Someday, when I have money to burn! 🙂

  40. I shelled out $92.00 for the Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon ($85.00 registration fee and $7.00 “processing fee” – whatever that is). It’s a lot, but it’s my first half and I’m super excited about it despite the price tag. Race fees have definitely dettered me from registering for certain races. I feel a bit better when I know the money is going to a good cause, but as a young professional struggling with her finances, there is only so much I am willing to shell out to run.

  41. You’re running the NYC Marathon?? So am I! And at $167 (application fee included), that would be my most expensive race ever. The Boilermaker’s a fun race too (I ran it in 2009), partially because you get a free beer glass and free Saranac beer at the end.

  42. $115 for the SD Rock and Roll Half! Tomorrow I’m going to register for the LA Rock and Roll Half and it’s going to be $72- so excited for the savings! 🙂

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