Holy Ravioli Batman, the cost to pay people to let you race is getting out of control!  There are two upcoming local Philly races I signed up for today and are on opposite ends of the spectrum.  The races are the Phil’s 10k and the Tex Mex 5k.  Each race has its own unique situation that once analyzed should make things clear.


Phil’s 10k

Phil's 5kPhil’s 10k is a re-created race that was once a 5k, and I assume, due to falling participants, tried something different.  This is the 13th annual Phil’s race and I have been doing it since 2002.  The old 5k was held on a Wednesday in July and the temperature was always sweltering.  Without looking at the actual numbers and strictly by memory, at the peak, the race was drawing around ~500 people and last year dipped to around 350.  The race was feeling stale and the AARC did something about it.

What changed? 

  • The distance moved from a 5k to a 10k
  • The price went from $25 (with a shirt) to $15 (with an additional option of adding a shirt for $8.)
  • Date was moved to a Saturday morning at 8am (it should read this on the homepage)

My Thoughts

  • Award in the Old Man's age group.

    Award in the Old Man’s age group.

    I like not having to get a shirt.  I don’t wear race shirts.  I run all the time and buy the equipment I need from top manufacturers.  Normally race shirts aren’t the cream of the crop and I won’t wear them especially due to the advertising on them.

  • 10k distance is a fine switch but I think this probably deters more people than brings in.
  • I’ll never complain about the $15 price.  I even donated an extra $10 because of how cheap the race is.  I only donate money when it feels right.
  • Saturday Morning during vacation time is questionable.
  • Prize money is awarded which may draw some higher quality runners.


Tex Mex 5k

2014 TexMex5K LeadinI’ve never done the Tex Mex so understand this comes from what I’ve heard and seen.


  • The first thing I do when I’m signing up for a race I don’t know much about is look at the winning time and how many people participated.  I don’t like small races that I think I have a shot at winning.  This race gets 1,500 people and a winning pace around 5 minute miles.  Check.
  • From what I hear, the after party is an actual after party with alcohol and everything.  This I like.
  • I like the change of pace on a Wednesday summer night and having something to look forward during the week.


  • $42.00!!!!! to do a 5k?  Are you kidding me.  This race is bringing in $63,000 dollars.  I don’t know race costs but this is a lot of money going to a watershed.


Closing Thoughts

running_motivational_02Running is getting expensive the more popular it gets.  The Art Museum is closed every single weekend for some race to benefit some cause.  I don’t mind opening up my wallet to do a race but I think the Philly half marathon used to cost me around 50 bucks and now that’s what a 5k is getting?  There are some special races that can ask for a premium but there are hundreds of races to choose from nowadays and they all can’t be special.

This post was created in honor of National Running Day and Sam’s smart thoughts on it.