Hello and Happy day to you!
They say that “Running is cheaper than therapy”…
Which is totally false.
Running is NOT a cheap sport.
It is freaking expensive!
Like I said, RUNNING IS EXPENSIVE!
This is just barely touching the surface!
I am by no means made of money (as much as I wish I was), but I have found a few tricks to saving money when it comes to going on Racecations…
- Check your Virtual Event bag for discounts and free stuff! If you read my Santa Barbara Wine Country Half Marathon Race Review & Recap (The 2016 Edition), you know I stopped at beautiful Alma Rosa Winery & Vineyards to kill some time and take advantage of the free tasting that I received from my Virtual Event Bag. Races like this along with many others (such as the Rock n’ Roll race series) have great discounts and free stuff for runners- you just have to know where to look!
- Register in advance! Being a planner can definitely have it’s perks. Plan your racing season in advance and register early for those races. This is when the races will be the absolute cheapest.
- Look for discount codes. Many bloggers, (like me!!!) have pages specifically dedicated to Race Discount Codes. Check those pages and save a little extra money!
- Buy your running gear at the race expo! Most vendors have amazing deals on things you might need to stock up on. As a great example, Nuun sells their electrolyte tabs for $5 a piece at race expos. It’s a great deal and you save on shipping costs.
- Pack a lunch! Eating out at restaurants for an entire weekend can not only drain your budget, but it isn’t good for you. Do yourself a favor and bring your snacks, drinks, and meals with you at to eat at the hotel.
- bRUNch?!? Brunching after a race is BY FAR one of my favorite things to do, but it is also expensive (especially considering the fact that a post-race Bloody Mary or two is mandatory). Be a smarty pants and stay at a hotel that offers free breakfast. A great example: check out Embassy Suites! Not only do they offer a free breakfast, but your stay also includes a free evening reception with alcoholic and non-alcoholic drinks & snacks… say whaaaaatt!?
- Free Beer! As you probably know, I love having an alcoholic beverage after a race. I mean come on… I DESERVE IT! Most races offer free beer to all finishers, and this is a great way to save money. Skip the post-race Bloody and take advantage of the free race beer. Make sure you have a designated driver though, it is much easier to catch a buzz than you think (trust me!).
- Look for hotel packages! Some hotels offer hotel packages that include things like gas cards, dinner gift certificates, and extra points. This is a great way to score some extra perks and save money on things you might already need.
- Sign up for a hotel frequent traveler program! If you race as much as I do, you are probably a hotel expert by now. Sign up for your favorite hotel chain’s frequent traveler program (Hilton Honors, baby!) and earn points for every hotel you stay at. You can use those points to get free night stays and if you are “cool” enough, some chains will even allow a late check out! It pays to be loyal!
- Uber! As I learned at the OC Half, using Lyft or Uber to get to the starting line can save you in the long run. Some parking lots and garages charge ridiculous amounts of money to park on race day. Save yourself the hassle (and get a DD at the same time- see Tip #8!) of parking and hitch a ride to the race. Most of the time, it is cheaper than paying to park.
Do you have any other tips or tricks to share?