The Price of the Bling…..

I think we are living in a “Bigger is Better” type society where some feel the need to constantly outdo, outlast, outspend.  This mentality is starting to saturate the world of road racing.  Somebody saw this coming.  I guess, we should have seen it coming too since the size of local road races keep increasing on an annual basis.  More and more people are coming to the running arena each and every day. This an amazing thing and I’m proud to be part of such a growing community but with size comes diversity.  Each and every runner wants something different from their race experience  .….  and big business is cashing in on those desires.

  • Big, Sparkly, Heavy Finisher Medals
  • Bands & Live Entertainment on course
  • Themed Races:  Color, Mud, Chocolate, Wine, Beer, Women Specific
  • Finish Line Celebrations
  • Big Expos
  • Multiple Race Distance Options
  • Expensive SWAG:  Sweatshirts, Jackets, Blankets

medals_banister

All of these “big, awesome, cool” things come with a price tag.  Yes, your bling is costing YOU money and it’s costing me extra money too!   I like to run.  I like to race.  I like to race a lot.  However, now that we have commercialized road racing, the cost has gone up and some can’t afford these extra expenditures.  And let’s be honest, what are we doing with all this shit?  We are paying big money to clutter our house with advertisements of a race gone by.  Yes, all that “stuff”  they give us has their name on it.  They are advertising every day right in our homes, in our offices, everywhere we go wearing their gear and when we keep looking triumphantly at the “bling”. 

I’m not saying the bling is bad.  I understand that some want/need that to motivate them.  Whatever it takes to motivate you is a good thing.  But please know that each time we sign up for one of these bigger/badder races, it comes with a cost.  One that is beyond the initial financial obligation but more importantly, we are setting a precedent for the direction of future road racing.  Think about what the bling means to you.  Think about where you want road racing to be in 10 years.  Think about who wins when we spend. 

If you want to have access to some smaller races, with a lower price tag and less “stuff”, then don’t forget to throw some $$ toward these types of races this year.  Otherwise they may not be there next year, or the year after, when you decided that you’ve already done that really big, really cool race that costs a ton of $$.  Let your friends know that you are opting out of Big Race X this year in lieu of Small Race Y and I bet they will join you!  The more the merrier right?  That’s how big business got us in the first place but we can take it back and CHOOSE to support small races too.  Try it.  You might like it.

** Small Races are Cool Too ** Amanda – TooTallFritz **

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