Well, maybe it's not ALL about the schwag, but good race schwag does go a long way.
I don't typically sign up for a race because of the goodies the event provides. My priorities usually go as follows:
1. Race is organized by a company/race director with reputation for good events
2. Convenient date
3. Convenient location
4. My friends are running
But race registration fees are not cheap, so when events give out some cool stuff, it's a point in the event organizing category. This all occurred to me after bringing home what I consider some great race schwag recently. Travelling for the weekend, I ran the Brrr-ooklyn Hot Chocolate Half Marathon Saturday. I was hoping that heading a few miles south might yield warmer temperatures, but that was not quite the case. Yet, I had a great time at this event put on by NYCRuns.
With my $50 registration fee, I received a long sleeve technical shirt, a mug and a pretty sweet finisher's medal. In addition, since it was a chilly 21 degrees (but closer to 8 degrees with the wind), the race provided foil blankets and hot chocolate, and plenty of food at the finish. The race was also well organized with 7 water stops, great volunteers and emails with finishing times sent less than 2 hours after I finished the race.
At a time when registration fees for 5Ks are often $40-$50, I sometimes wonder where all that money goes. I have helped organize races and I understand there are costs that these fees must pay for or in some cases charities that benefit from the event. But sometimes, there are events that seem a bit expensive for what they are offering. I just think it is worth noting a race where I thought the fee was in line with the distance and I truly felt like I got my money's worth.
I don't race in NY all that often, but my family is here, so on the occasion I am back and am looking to run, I will definitely look up the event schedule for NYCRuns again after this experience. I made sure to say thank you to NYCRuns, as I have to other race directors who put on good events. I want to encourage them to keep doing so!
And even if it's not the only reason to sign up for a race, hopefully they also keep the cool schwag.
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