For those talking about Galen Rupp's aqua treadmill, Galen is the poster boy for running at its cheapest. Pretty cheap "hobby" if you make over $200k per year from it. It's also pretty affordable if you get a D1 scholarship for it.
Just got back from practice. We were on the track doing intervals, and total cost is as follows:
Shorts: $0, old pair of brooks running shorts that are part of our sectionals racing uniform, coach PROBABLY won't ask me to return them for a while
Shoes: $50, brooks cadence, local running store gives HS runners discounts, switched into spikes at the end and those were around $40
Shirt: $0, got it for free as runner up in some low-key invite last year.
Socks: $2, from a 10 buck 5-pack of socks
Watch: $20, super cheap from amazon, basically has a stopwatch/timer and the time
Adds up to $112. If you're dividing by the number of days/miles/etc. I'm putting into everything, probably comes out to like 10 cents.
Entry fees for all-comers meets with electronic timing in my area are under $10. Fee to join the school team was around $50, but the coach doesn't give a damn if we pay it or not since all the money goes to our (crappy) football program anyways.
Pretty damn cheap. Playing soccer, tennis, and basketball in middle school, I had to spring for shinguards, mouth-guards, balls, rackets, shoes, and much higher fees just to be part of the team.
Running shirts seem to be really expensive. I've been paying $20-$25 dollars each. I do get to race for free though after I buy the shirt.
People need a garmin and all the gear to go jopping.
it's cheap if you want it to be at least in uk where lots of races are local. There are overpriced races but also lots of lower priced local races
My biggest expense is shoes and that really isn't that bad. I only need to replace them every 3 to 4 months so I'm spending about $400 a year max.
I haven't been doing a lot of races lately so I'm saving some money there. Even when I'm in good shape and racing I DO NOT jump into every over priced 5K fundraiser on the schedule. I find the lower key cheaper races. If I am training for marathons, I do 2 a year MAX. Not a lot of money.
Shirts and shorts last me years. My newest shorts are about 3 years old at this point and I have had some over 5 years. Not a big expense at all.
I do not get into fuel belts, compression sleeves, and all the other faddish accouterments that really drive the price of running up.
Some people do spend a LOT of money on running. I know people whose running goals are to do 25 half marathons a year. That is a lot of money in travel and registration right there. I don't get it but whatever you are willing to spend is your business.
Running can be expensive but does not have to be.
One of the cheapest activities I've ever been involved with.
As what most everyone has said, I won't repeat.
I splurge on one race a year. That would be an entry fee above $60. For the remainder of the year, I find the cheapest races to enter. No, although not marathons or half marathon, you can find plenty of 5k and 10k local-level timed races that are in the $25-$30 range. You may have to register a few months early to get an early bird fee, but all that takes is planning on your end.
Also, most of these give away t-shirts with the entry fee so you can add a free shirt -- probably not a 'tech' shirt for running but at least something that you can change into after your runs.
And using eBay has been awesome. I can usually find anything that I need cheaper than other online resources or local stores. All it takes is time to find the deals.
Like someone also mentioned, watches. I have a couple of $15 Casio watches that do the job. No, not GPS, but I have measured my courses with a bicycle and I know the distances, so no GPS needed. And if I run long and off of my measured courses, then I just go for time and estimate the distance. Time on feet is what you're going for, not accurate mileage for your logs.
I'll just add that running is super cheap. I've competed in many different sports over the years and I know that running is by far the cheapest.
You may all think I am trolling with this, but I am not.
I do not find running to be an expensive sport because I have found shoes that work for me.
Believe it or not, and I have stated this here before, I have not bought running shoes from other than walmart in the last 6 years.
There is a $10 off brand that comes in at about 8.3 ounces and works wonderfully. I also wear a $13.84 pair of shoes from another known, but less popular brand. This one weighs in at about 9.1.
The comparison is not even close.
My fastest 5Ks at generally equivalent fitness levels are roughly
21:36 with the top name
19:35 with the cheap shoes.
My half marathon times have dropped considerably since I have been training in the cheap shoes and not (many times) the more bulky "good" shoes.
I've never had a knee, calf, ankle, plantar fascia, etc injury.
For racing, I just pick and choose various ones.
I do not find it expensive at all.
you could get CEP calf sleeves, balega socks, garmin watch, CW-X half tights, nike Full tights for winter, nike dri fit knit shirt, nike flash jacket, gloves, balaclava, headlamp, shoes and yaktrax, a camelbak, an altitude breathing mask. you see where this is going
I buy everything Runners World tells me to, including the fancy Runner Girl oval sticker for my car! OMG I love running!