Tuesday, February 09, 2010

NYRR sucks

I don't really blog (or run) anymore. Though I'm hoping to change both of that soon, as the weather gets warmer.

However, I thought I'd break my radio silence to give another annual rant about the rising prices at NYRR. See last year for why this bothers me so much.

For the routine 5K's and 10K's the price has only gone up by $1 for members and $3 for nonmembers. Not such a big deal, except they just raised them last year.

The marathon? $149 this year. Up from $138 last year, and up a whopping 75% from the $85 they charged only 5 years ago!

And let's not forget the ever-present $11 application fee. Over 100,000 applicants paying that fee to apply (online). They've even added a new tactic this year, by moving the application deadline earlier. In 2008 the deadline was June 1st. Last year it was moved to May 1st. This year? March 15th! What is the reason for that? Hard to believe it's to give more time to train, since about 99% of starters will finish the race. I believe it's to get a higher percentage of people to sign up who will eventually drop out. A lot of people have good intentions to train for the marathon each year. However, by June a lot of them will have realized that the marathon is not in the cards for them this year. Call me cynical, but I believe the NYRR wants to capitalize on those early feelings of optimism. They already have more than enough applicants to fill the race 3 times over. But if they can cash in on a few more $11 applications, then all the better for them. I don't believe they even send you a letter confirming your application. For $11 all you get is an email or two.

Why does this bother me so much? I feel that the NYRR always talks about spreading the love of running. You know, National Running Day and all that stuff. But then it's $33 in advance, or $40 on race day, if I want to convince a friend to run a 5K with me. They all think it's insane to spend that much when they can run for free themselves - and they're right.

Not that I have the time or energy for it, but I wish someone would start a competing running group here in NYC. I don't need to go to races where "prize money will be offered to the top three male and female finishers". I certainly don't care if the marathon winners finishing two hours before me collect over $100,000 each. All I want is a little water on the side, and no cars in my way. I don't think it should be free, but it could certainly be a lot cheaper.