Old Man Runner wrote:
Greed by all parties involved.
The runners want more for their money (post-race, medals, tech shirts, clocks every mile, chip timing, etc).
Municipalities involved charge an arm and a leg for permit fees and "overtime" police rates. (This means higher cost to the runners...and now you are into the whole "If I pay more, I expect more" mentality of the runners).
More RDs in it for the $ than before.
Anyone have numbers on the profit margins for races across the board?
Yes, cities raised the fees charged. I do remember races in my hometown where the "parade fee" (as it was lumped in with parades) did not come close to covering the cost of the police. In essence the taxpayers were subsidizing the road races. I seriously doubt that money was made back in anyway.
There is an expectation by the consumer for more such as a nice T shirt (highly subjective) or medals. The cost of tech shirts has come way, way down. They might be as cheap now as cotton shirts were in the 70s (adjusted for inflation).
Chip timing costs have come down some, but the time savings and getting the results right and fast (although errors can still occur) is worth it.
Every time one of these threads comes up, I encourage those complaining to go out and put on a low cost race to see what the market is. Do a race that charges $10 with no shirt, no chip timing, no water stations, nothing at the end. A trophy only for the top 3 overall finishers (let's be generous and go with men and women there). Get the course certified (a common complaint here so if you fail to do that then you failed).
Also, how many folks are you going to need to help? If you go without chip timing that likely means more personnel to pull tags and to sort times. God forbid you screw it up!
I wonder how many RDs are in it for the money. Seems like unless you have a really big event, the ROI is pretty poor.
But then, I wonder why people volunteer to work a race when the RD is making money?