The Cost of Running a Half Marathon

I recently signed up for my first half marathon (!), which will take place on October 10. The training so far has been challenging, to say the least, but it’s great to have a concrete goal to work towards. When I signed up, I underestimated the cost associated with running in these types of races – especially for longer distances. It’s not just about going outside for a quick run. I’ll be out on the course for at least 2 hours (not trying to break any records here) and I’m going to get sweaty and hungry and thirsty and my knees are going to start hurting and my feet are going to blister… as I write this I realize I’m not making running sound very attractive but oh well, too late now. In other words, I had to buy a lot of shit to make sure I’m well prepared for training and race day. Here’s a picture of my recently acquired loot and the cost so far:

Don't worry, there's a paper towel underneath my shoes.

Don’t worry, there’s a paper towel underneath my shoes.

  • Registration fee: $96
  • Shoes: $95
  • Pants: $58
  • Equipment belt and water bottle: $48
  • Energy gummies and electrolyte/sodium water mix: $6
  • Total: $303

Wow. I hadn’t totaled it up until just now but that is definitely an investment for what will be the hardest physical challenge of my life thus far. Time for the justification game:

  • The shoes were totally necessary. My last pair was 2 years old and my knees would hurt so bad after my runs. The new shoes provide a lot more cushion and I’ll be using them for another year so I don’t regret this purchase.
  • The new Lululemon pants were an indulgence. My sister gave me a gift card for my birthday but I had to pay the balance in cash. But look good, feel good — right?!
  • I think the equipment belt will end up being a good investment. I can run hands free and stash my phone, keys, gummies and some cash in there. Most women’s athletic clothes – or at least the ones I own – don’t have deep pockets like men’s so it’s hard to figure out where to put everything. The water bottle could also count as an indulgence but my biggest fear in the world is literally dying of thirst, so this will at least give me reassurance that I can take a sip of water on my long runs even if there is no water fountain in sight. I also like that it’s made of a grippy, rubbery material so hopefully it won’t fall out of my hands when they get sweaty.

I think I am pretty set for now, although I could see myself potentially purchasing another pair or two of performance running socks which make all the difference in the world. Looking at my investment through the lens of my banking account, I am now even more determined to totally own this run! And maybe run more races in the future to make all of this stuff worth it.


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