You don’t need much to run. A pair of running shoes, socks, some shorts and a t-shirt. Seems simple. Seems cheap. But lately I have realized that it adds up. It’s nothing like our brethren cyclists and triathletes pay, but it can cost a pretty penny nonetheless.
Here is what I pay for on an ongoing basis, cost is estimated and averaged. I shop online and at outlet stores, buying things on sale or discounted.
- Custom orthotics – $200 every two years
- Garmin or the like – $350 every two years
- Trail shoes – $100 every three months
- Road shoes – $100 every three months
- PowerBars – 10 a week at $1 per bar
- Gatorade Powder Mix – a box every ten days at about $5 per box
- 2-3 pairs of shorts/skirts a year – $25 per pair
- 2-3 shirts per year – $35 per shirt
- Socks – $40 per year
- Sunglasses – $50 a year. I lose them without fail.
- Misc. (water bottles, bladders, GU, etc.) – $250 per year (is a guess)
- Massage – $120 a quarter.
- Physical Therapy – $300 per year
And then there are the races!
It looks like I will do six marathons or ultras this year, average price is one hundred dollars per entry, which comes to $600 + the two I had to miss = $800 just in endurance events. I also enter a few shorter runs, with an average fee of $50. So I am looking at about $1000 just in entry fees.
I tend to do one or two per year where I travel. This involves the ~$100 race fee, ~$300 hotel for two nights, meals, gas, and in some cases, airline tickets.
I don’t normally think about this too much, but this weekend I signed up for two runs, added “buy new orthotics” to my to-do list, started looking for flights and hotels for my next marathon, gave up on my crap sunglasses, and realized I need new trail and road shoes within the next two weeks. Ugh! In today’s economy, every penny counts.
I don’t spend much money in general. I am not a shopper. I am not extravagant with my cars or my clothes or my vacations. I know my cyclist and triathlete friends might think, “One set of racing wheels costs more than all your events combined.” Fair, but I’m not a cyclist. I am a runner.
I am an endurance runner, which means running shoes must be flexible yet stable, t-shirts must be technical, socks must protect me from blisters, electrolytes must replenish me, watches must pace me, and races must challenge me. Besides my family, running long is my greatest joy. When you look at it that way, it’s worth the investment. Phew! Time to book those flights to Top of Utah, order my new shoes, and get another pair of sunglasses.