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November 22, 2014

Stretch Your Budget This Season with These Bargains

Written by Dena Evans

63-Free-Retro-Clipart-Illustration-Of-Man-Carrying-Big-Bag-Of-Money-With-Dollar-SignWith the holidays around the corner, spending an extra few dollars on your next goal race or the gear to get you there can challenge the budget.  With so much giving to do, here are a few ways to stay on track by taking advantage of some great bargains.

 

Register early and save big!

In many cities, and for lots of walkers and runners, a big local race is often a yearly goal, regardless of what else is on the calendar.  Oftentimes, these races offer deep discounts for next year’s event when you are at the expo for this year’s race, or via email at what may seem like a far too early time to make the commitment.   Registering early can save a large percentage of the last minute or race weekend fee, and can help you commit well in advance and stay on track. Consider it, especially if you have maintained a pattern of registration for some of the same events year in and year out.

 

Want a fitness test without paying big bucks?  Try cross country or an all-comers track meet.

Many recreational runners and walkers don’t consider themselves cross country or track and field athletes, but these races are often low cost ways to mix things up and compete between big goal efforts.  Many all-comers track meets only charge $5-10 to compete, and provide the most fail-safe, flattest course on which you can measure your 5K or even 10K fitness – a track.  Although the change of scenery found on the roads may be more your style, an indoor meet during a snowy winter or a lit track on a dark night may prove a better alternative for a hard effort every once in a while.  Since cross country races for adults tend to cater towards club athletes and not the general public, they tend to have modest fundraising expectations and lower entry fees.  Cross country may also provide a solid shorter alternative to longer trail runs, with much of the same types of course challenges and fun.

 

Run a Relay!

You may want to take part in a local event, but may not be quite prepped to run the entire distance or able to justify the entire entry fee unless you are well prepared.  Some longer races offer relay options, which are a way you can both share the experience with friends as well as take part at a lower price point.  Again, the earlier you register, the better the price!

 

Crack the code!

Before you sign up for your next race, consider if there may be any discounts to that race for groups to which you already belong.  Check your email for discount codes you may have been sent through a running or walking club, a local retailer, a gym or fitness center, or another running connection you may have.  If you know you have a group of individuals or part of a club that may want to run a race, go ahead and ask if you can get a discount for bringing a group.  The worst the race management can say is no, and for a couple of seconds of checking your email, the worst you can find is nothing – this time.  $5 or 10% off might not make a big dent in your budget once, but over the course of a year or two, taking advantage of any code available to you can make a difference, particularly if you end up saving others a few more dollars.

 

Many races exist to help others, and there is a time when a full donation is the appropriate thing to do and is done gladly.  However, taking advantage of opportunities to save here and there can help allow each of us to race a bit more, which helps everyone involved.

 

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