|The girls in the hot pink and turquoise shirts, those are my little runners.|
This weekend--a first--I entered my daughter and me into a local 5K, The Monster Dash. Grand total for the two of us? $85.
This is where I digress about what race registration fees cost when I was young. (I'd like to resist doing this, but I can't. This form of boasting is a natural part of aging--comes right along with the gray hair, the wrinkles and the taste for cafeteria-style restaurants.)
I remember paying $8 to $10 to run a 5K--with t-shirt included!
I know, I know, inflation. But $40? Really? For a 5K? And that's the early registration price. I've heard the Monster Dash is fun, but I'm expecting some serious schwag in the race bag now.
Regardless of price I feel compelled to spend the amount of money I could on a brand new--but discounted--pair of running shoes on race entry for the both of us because my daughter wants to run a 5K. That's it. That's all. This 9-year-old little girl wants to run a 5K. Like she's watched her mom and dad do. Like she's watched her uncle do. Like she knows her aunt, uncle and cousins in Texas do. Like she's watched her cousins at the local high school cross country meets do. She wants to be in that tribe.
So, yes, you know it. If race entry were $250, I'd probably pay. I am, a running mother sucker.
And yet I'm still cheap enough that I don't bother pushing her twin sister to join us.
Next race on our calendar is the local Turkey Trot. This 5K benefits the high school cross country team and provides free childcare for the kiddos who think their parents are idiots and would otherwise fight them every step of the 3.1-mile way (this might be the twin sister's opinion, but I'm too chicken to ask). That free childcare is awesome for another reason though: my husband and I can both run, something we otherwise couldn't do without a babysitter, which would add another $50 or so even to cheap race entry fees.
This 5K costs $25 to enter (for mom, dad, and daughter) and the kids 1/2 mile and 1 mile races cost $20 to enter (the remaining three kids). That puts our grand total for this family race at $135.
The problem, you're probably thinking, is "You had too many kids."
Well, we're too far down that 5K run course to go back now. So $135 it is.
But that's not far off from what we'd pay to see a musical or go to the movies. The price to run a race is the same price as attending open play at the local gymnastics gym. We'd have to spend close to that kind of money to all go roller skating or bowling. Why not spend it on a 5K?
We just won't be running races every weekend like I did 20 years ago. You know, the good ole days.
Does the cost of a 5K keep you and your family from toeing the line?