Tracking the 2014 running dollars

2014 Events

I run because I love it.  Both Pauly and I love to run and we love the challenge of preparing for an event.  This year, just for the heck of it I’ve kept a spreadsheet to track the running dollars.

What can I say?  I'm a librarian who loves data and being organised.

What can I say? I’m a librarian who loves data and being organised.

The spreadsheet has five columns:

  1. Running Event
  2. Date
  3. Entry cost
  4. Travel/Accommodation (if applicable)
  5. Kms

All up between us Pauly and I have participated in 18 running events.  The spreadsheet measures quantitative data but it in no way measures the qualitative data that includes fun, friendship, boost to self esteem, health benefits, time out together AND all the myriad of positive things that running gives us AND all for FREE!  Running blogs are full of qualitative data – you don’t need to go anywhere other than wordpress to read the joy and happiness that running gives.

All up between the two of we ran just under 400kms in events (398.2).  We ran our first interstate event which was also our first really LARGE event, Run Melbourne. We ran all our favourite events such as City to Casino, Hobart Run the Bridge and the iconic Nile 10 Mile.  We ran some new events too – such as the first Ringarooma 10 and I ran the first Mother’s Day Classic on the North West Coast of Tasmania.  It’s been a wonderful year of running.

Louise and I at Run Melbourne - so many people!

Louise and I at Run Melbourne – so many people!

Janette at Run Melbourne

Janette at Run Melbourne

Pauly at Run Melbourne

Pauly at Run Melbourne

Rather than writing about all the nitty gritty costs I’ve worked out the cost per km.  It’s a low low AU$9.09 per km!  Bargain!

Launceston Running Club

I’ve also kept a record of the Launceston Running Club costs.  There are 25 races in the LRC season of which Pauly ran 12 and I ran 10 with a joint total of 196.4kms.  These races are always well supervised including lots of signs advising other road users that there are runners on the road.  They are in pretty scenic places and usually involve lots of ups and downs – love those hills!  For the two of us, including registration, the cost per km was 92c per km!  Less than a dollar!

wpid-20140712_122831.jpgWhat dollar value is there for the Unsporty Woman’s first ever win of an LRC handicapped race?
Her first ever trophy winning event.
And what dollar value can be placed on the happy hug from my lovely running friend Sarah?
Pure joy and delight in another’s success.
If the money cost could be calculated there is not enough money and treasure in the world to pay for it.


In the scheme of things I’ve spent a lot of money on running this year (and this doesn’t include shoes, other gear, massages and trips to the osteo).  But let’s put this next to the average cost of smoking.  According to an article in the Sydney Morning Herald (31 August 2014) a smoker who smokes a pack of cigarettes a day spends AU$7000 per year.  $7000 divided by 365 days is $19.18!  Now my 2014 running spend doesn’t look so expensive.

I’m not trying to justify my spend in any way, this was done for pure interest only and to track to see the real $ costs of entering all these events.  I don’t regret spending one single dollar.  As mentioned above the qualitative data shows how much more we gain from running, the few dollars we shell out for it is not much in comparison to the benefits.

But wait, there’s more…


But let’s not forget parkrun.  Dear old parkrun.  I’m not exactly sure how many parkruns we’ve run this year.  Since November 2012 I’ve run 55 parkruns and Pauly 49.  That’s 520kms between us.  Cost?  FREE!!!

There you go 🙂  A little exercise in tracking the running dollars.  Not done to judge or justify and definitively not to bag out the poor old smokers amongst us – that was for comparison’s sake only.  (I’m so glad I never took smoking up – I can only imagine how hard it would be to quit).   Will I track running spending again?  Nope!  But now when I’m told by non-running people how expensive running is I can actually site real data on the cost – for 2014 anyway.

Happy running 🙂


12 thoughts on “Tracking the 2014 running dollars

  1. Very interesting post! I’m not sure how dollars convert to pounds ( and prices might be different here anyway). But you have done as many free km with Parkrun as in paid events, so it is possible to run and race for free! (And off you add those Your actual cost is $4.55 per km) And if you compared running to gym membership, swimming or cycling I’m sure that it would compare very favourably, especially if you add competitive events. Whatever the price though, money well spent!

    • I hadn’t made that comparison with the free ones and the paid one! Thanks for that perspective, Julie. That certainly brings the cost down. And yes, you’re right about the gym membership part. We are so lucky that the running group and the outside fit sessions we attend are really affordable and nothing like regular gym memberships at all. There is so much I could’ve done with tracking fitness dollars and my love of facts started to get away from me a few times hehe. But you are so right – it was all money well spent 🙂 I’m glad I didn’t it this year but I won’t do it again. I feel I can reply to my non-running friends with some real data now (giggles) I’m sure they will LOVE it!

  2. One of the things I love about running is that it is so darned cheap! It really is as cheap as your trainers/runners and sports bra(if you’re a woman, of course!). After that, you can spend as little or much as you like. And parkruns are just fabulous for keeping us all in race mode at no expense at all.

    The question is, what would your life be like without running? I expect your running expenditure is one of your wisest investments that yielded immediate and significant benefit, some of which are beyond the scope of financial measure.

    • You are so right Red Hen 🙂 we can spend as much or as little as we like. It is the beautifully simple thing about running. And life would not be as wonderful as it is without running. For the health and fitness but more for the running friendships, joint challenges and celebrating when running friends make their dreams come true. I so agree with all you say 🙂 (it was a fun exercise though – I could have gone crazy with it but tried to keep it simple)

  3. Very interesting and making me want track this year, considering we just booked and paid for me to do gold coast marathon in july the most expensive event is paid for! To bring the cost per km down i need to find an event in tassie mid july since we are scooting down the coast to visit family straight after. Know of any?

    • Your travel expenses will bring up the cost per km! In July there is the Launceston Running Club’s Half Marathon, Scottsdale to Bridport. No firm date for that as yet though. I don’t know of any other runs in July in Tasmania. If I hear of any others I’ll let you know.

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