On The Cheap

My kids need new passports for our trip to London in April. Did you know a child’s passport costs $105? And it only lasts 5 years! That’s $21 per year, per child! Good thing I just have two kids. This will be my 9 year old’s 3rd passport. His first international trip was at 7 months…that was such a cute passport photo! But that means I’ll have spent over $300 on passports for someone who’s not even 10!

Which in a very roundabout way gets me to my point. Really, there is one. And that’s the price of racing. I’ve been hearing a lot lately about how much races cost. From $50 5Ks to $100 sprint triathlons to $200-and-up marathons (New York is now $255), racers are finding their budgets just aren’t stretching all that far.

BUT…there are cheaper races out there…

The less expensive races tend to be less well advertised (since they aren’t spending all your money on their ad budget) so if you want to spend less, skip the race that’s in your face, so to speak, get online, and search or ask around for low-cost races.

If you’re looking for a marathon, check out Enthusiastic Runner’s Most Inexpensive Marathons post.

For shorter races in the DC area, check out DC Road Runners’ Snowball Series. These races are free for members and just $5 for everyone else. The Tidal Basin Runs at Hains Point are free, and the group that organizes these runs is having an MLK race on January 16th that’s just $10.

I know there are many more inexpensive races out there. Send me links to those you know of, and I’ll do a little more research after these passport applications have been submitted…


  1. Thanks for the shout out!

  2. This information makes me want to plan an entire year of races based of value, plus often times the smaller races are so much more relaxed and laid back. Thanks you!

  3. Great stuff. You definitely DON’T necessarily get what you pay for these days. It seems like less is more!
    As an ultrarunner, there are a few pricey races, some fairly-priced races, and some absolutely free races we call “fat ass” runs. No fees, no frills, no t-shirt … they’re some of the most fun trail races around.

  4. I completely agree! I was really bummed when I had to shell out $140 for a replacement passport + almost $50 in rush fees, only to have my mom call me 2 weeks after ordering to tell me “well, what do you know! I was mistaken. I DID have your passport in the safe! Want me to send it?” No mom, I replaced it lost/stolen, so I can’t use it now. You can however send me a check for $200 🙂

    But just think of it as an investment into your kids’ education, broadening their cultural and global understanding and making them global citizens. That’s what I tell myself!

    • So true! I just wish they’d remember! My 9 year old has no recollection of visiting the Tower of London… This year we’ll be going to Highclere Castle to look at the Egypt Exhibition and possibly British Museum (one of my faves) if time!

  5. Tim Roberts says:

    check out the Mississippi Coast Marathon on the Saturday after Thanksgiving. I ran it this past year and I think I paid $35.


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