Pricey perspective: are AR entry fees realistic?

Pricey perspective: entry fees

Shelling out cold, hard-earned cash to participate in events is a fact of event participation. It is also a factor that limits participation because the entry fee is only part of the equation – there’s travel, food and accommodation to add on top of this.

When it comes to longer distance adventure races, there are lots of comments flying around about ‘expensive’ and ‘pricey’. Sure, a grand in disposable income for playing is a grand no matter which way you look at it but I think the words expensive and pricey should not be applied to adventure racing, where there are few frills and race organisers try their best to keep prices down to make their events more affordable for you.

So, let’s compare (have you ever noticed how many events do not display their entry prices clearly?). I’m comparing non-stop events; multiday staged events with catering and such don’t count (these cost a bundle more than AR, like R6,000 – R15,000 per person).

Swazi Xtreme is R1950 per person for the PRO event this year. And, let’s say that you’re looking at around 50hrs of racing. That’s R39/hr.
Kinetic Full Moon was R600 per person for around 13-24hrs of racing. Let’s average it at 16-odd hours to get around R37/hr.
Kinetic Adventure is R600/3-person team – that’s R200 per person for around 2-3hrs to get R65-R100/hr.
Thule 4Peaks run is R550 per person for a winning time of 3.5hrs. Let’s say it takes most around 5hrs – that’s R110/hr. I think Mont-aux-Sources is a similar rate.
Ironman SA is R3750; and let’s say you’re out there for 11hrs. That’s R340/hr.
A mountain bike race (60-70km) is around R150. How long? 4hrs? That’s R37/hr.
A road cycling event is around R155 for a 100km-130km route. 4-5hrs? That’s R34/hr at about 4.5hrs.
A 10km Trail Series entry costs R80. Run takes around 1.5 to 2hrs. So that’s R40-R50/hr.
A 21km road run is R46 (online entry); that’s for a 1.5-2hr run. That’s R23/hr.
Momentum Duathlon (27.5km total, bike and run) is R155. How long? 2-3hrs? R50-odd per hour at 3hrs.

Consider too that entry numbers at adventure races are a fraction of mainstream mtb, road cycling and running events. Sponsors – those that contribute cash – are so few and far between as to be almost non-existant. And, where most single discipline events are one day, multiday non-stop adventure races run 24hrs over many days, which means that medical support, ropes crews and other are paid accordingly to be there and on stand-by for an extended duration.

Considering all of this, adventure racing isn’t really pricey. It is well priced. BUT, a grand or two is still a grand or two, no matter which way you look at it.

Lisa de Speville (subscribe to her blog here)


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About Lisa de Speville

Adventure racing author, athlete and founder of FEAT (Fascinating Expedition ad Adventure Talks) and, Lisa is keenly interested in anything related to outdoor adventure, especially orienteering and trail running.

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