5: Tuesday Topics: How do you budget for races?

I am doing NaBloPoMo this month. 30 blog posts in 30 days. Come join me. #nablopomo2019

I am linking up with  Kookyrunner and Zenaida  for Tuesday Topics again this week and we’re talking about how we budget for races. 

First I’d like to say, when I picked up running, I thought that it was a fairly inexpensive new endeavor. Yes, you need workout clothes (which I already owned) and some decent running shoes (which I did have to purchase), but other than that, you don’t need much gear, right?


I had no idea all the follow-up costs of my new hobby. Shoes have to be replaced on a regular basis. Even better, if you have a few different models that you rotate for different workouts. And other ‘needs’ will pop up, like a GPS running watch, running belt, hydration pack, you get the idea. Who knew I would get so swept up in running (oh, only every runner could have told me that!). 

One question though that I haven’t really “actively” thought about was how to budget for races, tbh. I don’t run too many races throughout the year, maybe 5 or so. Most of the races that I run are local or within driving distance, so I am not incurring a lot of expenses besides the entrance fees, which I usually absorb from a general “running” budget category.

I allocate some money every month to that category in my budget and then pay everything running-related from that “pot of money”. If an expense comes up and I don’t have enough saved up in my running category, I usually supplement from a general spending category. 

I do try to take advantage of early bird pricing or coupon codes when available, which depending on the race can make a significant difference.

I am curious if you have a budgeting strategy for races, and, if you’re inclined to share, how much you spend on average on races per year. 


  1. I don’t run, and obviously don’t budget for races. But I am budgeting for some home improvement projects, and what I basically do is stash all my $1 bills in an attempt to build up enough to take care of one issue at a time. It’s a constant thing, as something always comes up. But what can you do? I’m just thankful I’ve been able to manage that way.

    About the running: I have several friends who are really, really into it. Doing the races and all. I just never could. My asthma keeps me from really being able to do it, but I would like to get started trail running, or at least hiking, one of these days, as I have an energetic dog who really needs the exercise.

    1. Oh stashing away $1 bills (or some people do $5 bills) is a great idea to build up some extra cash!!
      I hope you can do some trail runs or hiking…. it doesn’t have to be a race! Just do it for you!

  2. Running can definitely be an expensive hobby, but so worth it!

    1. Definitely worth it! Thanks for stopping by!

  3. I run very very few races, when I’m actually a runner (I’m so not one right now but will be again some day). I typically would only do about 1-2 races/year and it was usually a 1/2 or full marathon. I won’t pay for any races shorter than a 10k but usually nothing shorter than 10 miles. I don’t get enough out of the race experience to justify the cost. So my race entries for a year would usually be pretty low. I did used to do a destination race with other runner friends but we haven’t done that since chicago in 2013. Most of us got married and started families so it’s really hard to get together for a destination race. Hopefully we’ll do it again some day, though!

    1. I totally get the “I won’t pay for any races shorter than a 10k” mentality. I have done a 5k walk with J, but usually the short distances doesn’t justify the costs! I do hope you can run races again sometime in the future.

  4. No idea what my annual costs are LOL I just know they are high. I do take advantage of early registration as much as possible, especially for the BIG races I know I”ll want to do anyways.

    1. Yes! Early bird pricing can be a significant discount on the entrance fees!

  5. I also thought that running would be fairly inexpensive…that was before I started racing, lol
    I love your budget strategy for races.
    Thanks for linking up :)

    1. Haha, yeah, running is not an inexpensive hobby if you run races LOL

  6. Running sure can be an expensive sport! Not sure how much I spend each year and not sure I want to :)

    1. Haha, good point, I probably wouldn’t want to know either ;)

  7. It would be interesting to know how much money I’ve spend on race and running gear. But then again, do I really want to know? I am sure it would make me cringe and cry. :-)

    1. Haha, I don’t think any runner would like to *really* know what they spend on running.

  8. I had no idea running could be so expensive!

Comments are closed.