Monday, January 19, 2009
New River Trail 50k Race Director Dilemma (How much will the entry fee be?)
Photo taken 9/08 looking north towards Fries Junction on the NRT 50k course.
I have been working on the ’09 version of The New River Trail 50k on and off for the past couple of months. My goal is to open online registration by February 1, 2009.
Registration can’t open yet as I am still waiting on details from event sponsors and I need to sort out my priorities. My 1st priority as an RD is to deliver a quality and safe race that is environmentally responsible. The 2nd is to give a generous amount of proceeds to The National Committee for the New River.
For it’s inaugural year in 2008, I was pleased at how things went. My biggest disappointment is that as hard as we tried we didn’t get the distance quite right, From differing gps units and other measuring devices out there I think the ’08 version was somewhere between 1/10th and 4/10th a mile too long. I want to have the course USATF certified as a 50k. I think it is an excellent course to record PRs and perhaps even American records-age group records at the very least…and one day would like the venue to be a Regional or National Championship Event.
Yet, already due to increased expenses with our post-race lunch, and cost of finishers shirts and pottery mugs the price will climb by $7.00 a person-from $50.00 in ’08 to 57.00 in ’09-not unreasonable considering last year we didn’t quite know how much everything would cost or come together.
Today I received the cost to certify the course. $1750.00. That would include timing (possibly chip timing depending...)
The certification would be good for 10 years.
This is what I am in a dilemma about. Our race cap this year is 225. I think we can well handle and attract that number, especially with a certified course-yet I am going to be very conservative and base my expenses on 150 entrants. That would mean base fee of 57.00 + more to cover the cost of certification. The difference is 11.66 per person. That means almost 70.00 per person-or over 2.00 per mile! And I am not willing to go there-sure Horton charges 65.00 for HL and Promise Land and Gill and Frannie 85.00 for BelMonte…and they fill up-but hey it’s Horton and Bad to the Bone-and I just don’t want to ask runners to pay that much!
Perhaps I can find a generous sponsor to make a $1000.00 donation to NCNR to cover part of the certification fee and then we’d just have to divide $750.00 between 150 folks = 5.00 per person more?
It’s a bunch of $$$ to lay out-yet the returns could be substantial. And these are tough economic times for all of us-I want to be in the position of providing opportunities for experiences-not making it harder to participate…
I expect I will still roll with a “swag opt out option” that would keep the registration to a bare minimum for folks who do not want stuff to take home…
Oh, what to do?
Please share your thoughts!