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Oct 23, 2011

Cold? long run...

7 miles on the schedule today.  My buddy T and I met out at Stony Creek Park at 8am this morning.  Why?  IT WAS COLD!!!!  Holy Cow it was cold out there as in like 35 degrees cold.  It felt more like the end of November than the end of October.   There was like 3 other people there.  I guess running season is over?  I'm sure there will be lots of people there later today when it's in the 60's.

We did one loop at Stony for 6 miles today.  That was more than enough running for today.  We averaged an 8:47 pace so that must mean I'm recovered from the marathon fully now.  I'm not so sure about this running with no schedule running though.  I'm probably going to have to get something together to keep me on track even if I'll only do half marathons this spring.  Also, I don't mean "only" like it's not a challenge.

The half marathon is such a great distance - hard enough you really need to train for it but not enough to kill you.  I'm in the process of still deciding what races to do next year.  I hope to have them planned in the next couple weeks.  It still seems crazy to me that I have to decide so soon but some of them are more difficult to get it so you need to know way ahead of time.

I think I've taken the Chicago Marathon off my list for now.  I'm sure I want to do it one day but here's what I have figured for it:

Hotel stay - Friday-Monday(3 nights) about $750
Parking - $120
Race fee - $150
Gas to drive there - $250
Meals - $250
Running gear at expo - $200
Misc. - $100
Running the Chicago Marathon - Priceless!

That's an $1,800 weekend!!!!  Of course, if my running buddy T and I split the hotel and we went without our wives, we could get it down to $1,200 but that's still really pricey just to run a marathon.

I know many of you have run Chicago.  Tell me your experience with costs.  Am I missing something?  Am I too high in my  calculations?  Anyone not stayed downtown that ran it?  How's parking?  Does it make sense to fight traffic for a lower cost hotel or better to just stay downtown since we would have to get down there for the expo and the race?  Perhaps take the El from an outskirt hotel?

This would be compared to Detroit for only $80 to register plus $10 parking.

Or, Grand Rapids would be:

Hotel stay - Saturday night about $90($45 split between T and I)
Meals - $30
Race fee - $80
Gas - $125
Running gear at expo - $25-50

That's only a little over $200; a HUGE difference from Chicago!  Anyone run Grand Rapids before?  What did you think?

I could see spending the money for NYC and I know it will be more than Chicago even but darn that race looks incredible.

Question of the day?  Is it worth it to spend that kind of money to run a major marathon?

Have a great day and.....Keep Running!!!!!


  1. i ran grand rapids in 2010. bq. best race ever.

  2. Even though Chicago is expensive, I've only heard GREAT things about it! There is amazing crowd support throughout the ENTIRE race and that you see runners along the course everywhere, unlike my experience in miles 14-19 in Detroit. That said, it is way out of my budget :)

    I agree that the half is totally the go-to race! I am antsy to do one now and am a bit sad there really aren't any until March :(

  3. I definitely haven't spent that kind of money for a major race yet. For now I'm sticking to smaller ones close by. I'd love to hit up a big city for a race in the next year or 2 though!

  4. I have a friend that ran Grand Rapids and LOVED it. Beautiful course and AWESOME snacks that were handed out during and after the race.

  5. I think it's cool to do big races at times because of the energy!!

  6. It is amazing how quickly it all adds up! I've been eyeing halfs for next year and trying to figure out what the budget will tolerate!

  7. That's SO true about the Chicago Marathon. I plan on it being my Illinois marathon, but we skipped it this year for that very reason. Really expensive in downtown Chicago.

  8. Not everyone can handle running in the cold, just the hardcore!

  9. Holy cow, you must be planning on going in high style! I go to Indianapolis for a half-marathon every year, and the entire weekend costs about $250-$300 per person--including hotel, race, gas money, and food.

  10. Runningthedawn and Shortgirl - thanks for the info. I'm thinking that's the way to go at least next year.

    Christy - I run all winter long outside....just sayin.

    SlimKatie - I say your report of Indy. It looks like a fun race too but frankly, Indy is not Chicago. It's pretty expensive downtown. I don't need anywhere fancy. That's just the price of the average hotel there. Crazy, huh?

  11. For Chicago well I think you can shoot down the prices on some of the stuff esp the food. The hotel's can be expensive but if you get a rental like a condo with a two bedroom and share it with someone else who is running it (like your racing buddy) it can be cheaper than that.

    When I stayed downtown for Chicago last year I pricelined a room that week and got it for $150 for the night. We also brought our own dinner that I premade and kept in a cooler. I had reserved a microwave from the hotel (LUCKY! because apparently not all of them do that) and just reheated it. I think there are ways to make anything less expensive but maybe it's just a trip to plan for for a couple of years.

  12. I haven't run a marathon yet, but I hope to in 2012. I think it'd be worth it to spend that kind of money to run a major marathon at least once, but I'd want to make sure it's one with excellent logistics. I definitely want my first marathon to be a non-major, so if I ever try to run a major/expensive one it wouldn't be until after I've run at least one or two smaller/cheaper ones first. I've had pretty good luck in Chicago staying in the suburbs and taking the El downtown, but I haven't tried it for a big event like the Chicago Marathon or where there's very little margin of error for running late.

    I'll probably wait until the fall to try a full marathon so I can ensure that I'll have plenty of outdoor training leading up to it. I'd be nervous about getting enough quality training in during the winter and then racing my first full marathon shortly after the weather starts to improve. Grand Rapids is pretty high on the list of races I'm considering, and I've heard it's a great one with a pretty manageable course for a first marathon. In the meantime, I'm planning to run one or two half marathons in the spring and maybe one in the summer.

    I know what you mean about running with no schedule. I've been in that boat since the Brooksie Way and while I've been keeping up with my mileage, it has been a little strange getting used to not running on a set schedule with specific workouts, target paces, etc.

  13. Um, doing it without your wives would not save you any money, plus you would likely lose any "points" you have accrued.

  14. Woo! While I love the idea of running a big race, that is definitely a lot of money to come up with. I would probably try and stick to cities where I know people and would have a free place to stay.

    One easy way to cut costs for Chicago is to look at taking the train. Cuts down on gas and parking. That's small, but it's something! I have taken the Amtrak to Chicago from Jackson numerous times and love it.

  15. I think the small/medium sized races can be better a lot of the time. Besides, who wants to run 26.2 in 80 degree heat??????? Check out Chicago weather for the last 5 years!

  16. Baby - I'll look at condos. Thanks.

    Matt - I agree. A smaller race for your first is the way to go. I did Bayshore which was perfect.

    Jamoosh - I hear you. Haha.

    Colleen - I had not thought of that but will look into it too. Thanks.

    Unexpected runner - I know, it's hot there that weekend but not always. It would be nice to experience a really large marathon. NYC is on my list too for some day.

  17. I ran the Grand Rapids Marathon this year (my first full marathon!). I would definitely recommend it. It's a very well organized race. You won't find the crowd support of Chicago or even Detroit (I ran the Detroit half in 2009) but there is tons of support from the aid stations and even your fellow runners. It's a pretty flat course and apparently gets a ton of BQ's. Fewer people running also means fewer crowds to fight early on during the race! This is definitely a race you'll want to put on your list. :)