I’m currently thinking about running a 10 mile road race in April. Specifically, I’m thinking of running in the Tar Heel 10 Miler in Chapel Hill, NC. As I mentioned in my goals for 2015, I want to get back into the swing of exercising. In particular, I want to get back into the swing of running.
The cold weather of late isn’t making me too inclined to lace up my shoes and get out there. While I figure it out, I figure there was no better time than now to plan out how much this decision might cost me.
Tar Heel 10 Miler Cost Estimates
Overall, I estimate that I would rack up costs for food, gear, cross-training, the race itself and travel.
Food – approx. $10 – $30
It almost sounds silly to add a food expense to the cost of running in a race, but training for a long(er) distance race means fueling oneself properly. Generally, I like to use something like CLIF Shot Blocks, GU Chomps or GU Energy Gel when I am training for a longer race. Since it’s only a 10 miler, I would probably only end up needing to use about 3 or 4 packages total for training and the race.
If I end up buying energy supplements at my local running store a la carte, I expect that I would spend under $10. If I were to go the Amazon route and order by the case, I’d probably spend around $30, but would have supplements left over for the next race I decide to tackle.
Cross-training – $0
I currently have a membership to my local rock climbing gym. This membership gives me access to the gym for 3 months and cost me $210. I was tempted to add this as a cost of running in the race, but decided to not include it because I will be paying this membership regardless or whether I run in the race or not.
However, it’s important to note that cross-training is important for properly training for a race. There are plenty of ways to cross-train, both for free (riding your bicycle, doing body weight exercises, etc.) and at a cost (gym memberships, classes, etc.).
Gear – $90 – $120
While I have plenty of exercise clothing, it’s almost time to invest in a new pair of running shoes. I’ve had my trusty Mizuno Wave Rider 16s (identical to the infamous pair worn by Wendy Davis’ filibuster) for a few years now. I’ve had them a long time, but haven’t replaced them yet, because my mileage in them hasn’t been that high.
If I commit to this race (and running more in general), I will likely invest in a new pair of running shoes sometime between now and race day, which adds another expense to the list.
Race Fees – $60 to $70
Depending on when I decide to register, my fee to run will change:
- $60 before March 1
- $65 before April 1
- $70 until the race
What do you get with the race fee? Entry into the race and a t-shirt. I’m sure there will also be a few other goodies included when I pick up my packet, but those are the major things that the cost of entry gets you.
Travel to Race – approx. $175
I do not live in Chapel Hill, where the Tar Heel 10 Miler occurs, so that will add to the cost of my excursion.
Since Chapel Hill, NC is pretty close (especially compared to when I lived in Rochester!), I would plan to drive down for the trip. Google maps tells me that Chapel Hill is approximately 250 miles from where I live. With highway driving, I can often get up to 300 miles per tank. Let’s round up and say that I will need two tanks of gas throughout my trip. With gas prices hovering near $2.00/gal. right now and an average tank (for me) costing $23, let’s assume that my fuel costs will be about $50.
If I go to this race, my plan would be to stay with one of my friends for two nights. If I were just going to a race like this by myself, I could easily spend $100 to $300 depending on what hotel I stayed at and whether I stayed for one or two nights.
Food & Entertainment – $125
Part of the point (and fun) of doing this race would be to visit friends at the same time. A twofer, if you will. I expect that I would incur the following expenses:
- Friday night food on the road: $20
- Post-run breakfast/lunch: $25
- Dinner & drinks out: $60
- Sunday food on the road: $20
If I choose to run in the Tar Heel 10 Miler, I would likely spend somewhere between $335 and $395. I’m feeling a little sticker shock as I read that number, but I’m trying to keep in mind a few things:
- A majority of the costs will be for travel ($175) and I’ve been wanting to go down to Chapel Hill anyways
- These expenses are split across two months
- I’d be getting new running shoes in the next couple of months anyways ($90 – $120)
When put that way, it seems a bit less scary. After all, the race itself costs $60 and the cost for the energy gels is not high either.
At this point, the only thing that is keeping me back is the training itself. I technically haven’t started to formally train, so there is some chance that I wouldn’t be able to properly train in time.
Disclaimer: This post contains affiliate links. If you click on them, I receive a small commission for referring you. As always, all of my opinions are my own!