10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Running Events


 thrifty running event tips

Sometimes the words thrifty and running could not be more polar opposite, like those days I plunk $100 down for a new pair of running shoes. I do my best to keep costs down and truly to me that is what being thrifty is all about, doing what you love for less.

I already wrote about how I spend the least amount of money possible on my running shoes, so today I want to touch on…..

10 Ways Thrifty People Save Money On Running Events

1. Run Local

If you live in a big city this might not be as economical as it is for a thrifty person like me who lives in a small center. Big cities are where the big races with big price tags usually are. However in towns you can usually find a 5K race for as low as $7 and a half marathon for $25. I even enjoy an annual turkey trot for just the price of donation of canned goods.

By running local races you will also save on gas, eating out and hotel.

2. Book Early

Small races and big races normally run early bird specials that can save you a significant amount of cash. One word of caution , if you are currently injured you might want to hold off booking early until you are 100% healed. I learned this lesson the hard way one year when an injury took months to heal instead of weeks and I paid $50 to save $20 for a race I could not run.

3. Search for discount codes

Like the races’ Facebook page and allow them to send you email updates. Most races will announce a few different discount codes through out the year that could save you $5 or more on the price of registration. Another place to find discount codes is at running expos, go by the booths of upcoming runs and see if they have a postcard with a discount code printed on it, normally good through the weekend. Don’t forget to look through all those papers in your race packet as well because often there are discount codes for races in there.

4. Watch daily deal sites

Often the really fun oriented races like the “glow” runs or the “color” runs will become available on different daily deal sites like Groupon so make sure to sign up and get the daily updates to your email or use their App.

These next five points are going to concentrate specifically on how to drive down the costs of an out of town race.

5. Carpool to the race

Usually if you have been running a while, it is not hard to find a few people who signed up or the same race in your area. Try doing a shout out on Facebook, or in your running group. This tip will not only save money on gas but also parking fees.

6. Look for races that offer morning of the race pick up

These are few and far between but I love them. I hate having to drive an hour or so to the big races near me, to get my ticket and then drive back home only to do the same drive the next day.

7. Share a hotel room

You are probably not going to do a Facebook shout out for this one like you did for carpooling as sharing a hotel room is a bit more intimate. However, an hotel room split 4 ways or even 2 ways is a significant savings. If your running friends are going ask if they want to share a room with you.

8.  Book your hotel room through a site that pays you with points

If you are going to have to spend money on a hotel room you might as well get some Swagbucks  you can use towards gift cards in the process. (as of this post Swagbucks offers 2 points per dollar spent at Expedia)

9.  Pack along food

Bring a small lunch cooler and fill it with the snacks you will need for before and after the race, including lunch for the car ride home.

10. Pick just a few key races

I generally do a key big city race in the spring and another one in the fall and perhaps 1 to 3 small local races in between. I make one big city race a girlfriends weekend where we spend the night and eat lunch out after the race together, and the other one I just get up very early and drive to.

If you are on a tighter budget than I am just pick on key race and save up for it (I bet you got a few things lying around the house that might help you reach that goal)

Runners what tips did I miss?

 Want to learn more ways thrifty people save money follow my Things Thrifty People Do Board on Pinterest

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 Linked to List It Tuesdays at Many Little Blessings, Fabulously Frugal Thursdays at A Life In Balance

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  1. LOL – or just stay home =) Sooo much cheaper!!!

    • True but not as much fun, and attending a race or two a year can really keep you motivated to push yourself further.

  2. This is a great list! I love to run local…but I live in Orlando so the Disney races are “local” and fun, just not too affordable 🙂 I’ve decided to run 1 or 2 Disney events each year and search for other less expensive options for my other races. I do sign up for a few races very early as a way to save money and have a clear goal on the calendar.

    • My oldest son really wants to do the Disney full marathon one year. Even though we live in Indiana, I didn’t say no, but I did say our family would really have to plan ahead and he would really have to show us that he is willing to train that hard. We will see, he does his first half in December.

  3. The town we used to live in did a 5k every year that was for the local blood center. If you donated blood (and got a paper signed at the blood center that you did so) you got to run for free!!

  4. I don’t recommend Xpedia. I know two families who arrived at the airport to find their seats had been reserved but not paid for. They had to pay for the tickets or miss their flight because Xpedia didn’t answer their phones or return calls. They also had travel insurance bought through Xperia, but every time they called about the “mistake” they were told in barely understandable English that the matter was being “investigated”.

  5. You can always volunteer and run for free. Some same day races, others you earn one for the next race. Especially for the expensive obstacle races!

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