Cheap Races

If you’re looking for inexpensive races, here are some resources to consult in addition to links to individual races. Please e-mail me at if you have races to add.

FREE weekly timed 5k runs worldwide. Parkrun events are widespread in the UK, not so much in the US. I ran a Parkrun while in Cheltenham, England, and found it incredibly well-organized and a lot of fun to boot.

District of Columbia
DC Road Runners


Annapolis Striders

Howard County Striders


PR Race Series

Shenandoah Valley Runners



Washington Running Report

Darkside marathons, Peachtree City
Darkside Running Club hosts a marathon on New Year’s Day, Memorial Day, and Labor Day – all are free for members. (Lifetime membership is $35) And everyone gets a medal!

Mississippi Coast Marathon, November
At $35 and with a good rating on Marathon Guide, you can’t go wrong with this race! And the race host, Gulf Coast Running Club, hosts several other races throughout the year. Note that their 10K on Jan 21st is just $18!

New York
Rockaway Running Series
OK so $22 for a 5K isn’t a great deal but it’s a great price for a 10 miler or half marathon!

Van Cortland Track Club X-C Summer Series, Bronx
$5 for each 5K race…plus, pies to overall winners and carrot cake muffins to age group winners!

North Carolina
Army Birthday 10-miler, Fort Bragg, June (2012 race date TBD)
$15 gets you entry into this 10 mile race. There are awards.

Erie Marathon at Presque Isle, September 16
It often pays to sign up early. Entry for this USATF certified marathon at Presque Isle State Park is $40 through June 1st, $50 through August 1st, $60 through September 1st, and $75 after that. Plus, according to the web site, it’s “quite possibly the flattest course in the country.” There’s also a half marathon and 5K.

Carrollton Runners
Carrollton Runners (Carrollton, TX – north of Dallas) only charge $2 per person for their events. Prediction Runs are held on the 3rd Sundays while Mile+5K races occur on the last Sundays of each month.  Runners can run both the Mile and 5K for the same $2 price.  All  events are official and chip-timed but there are no medals or t-shirts – although shirts can be earned by running 50 miles with Carrollton Runners in a year.  Gift cards and other prizes are also given out.

Run The Woodlands 5K Series
Entry is just $1 for each race, held on the 2nd and 4th Saturday of every month. Of course, for that price, don’t expect “T-shirts; prizes; five-course meals; 2:08 marathoners.” That last one makes me chuckle.

Tour de Bayou Cross-Country Series, Houston
FREE 5-race spring (April/May) series; distances from 3 -5 miles. Complete the series and you get a bog hat, bog shirt and bog shorts…


Greasy Gooney 10K

3.1 miles uphill, 3.1 miles downhill around the scenic Gooney Manor Loop in Browntown, just south of Front Royal, VA. Ridiculously low entry fee is around $10, and there are discounts for running club members. Trophies for top 3 overall and in 5 year age groups, and tons of fun door prizes. This is my favorite race ever.

South Shore Half Marathon, Milwaukee, April 7
Seriously, I don’t know if you can do much better than $12 for a half marathon ($10 if you’re a Badgerland Strider…and with a club name like that, who wouldn’t want to be?) Even if you’re a procrastinator, race day entry is only $20! Beer and pretzels at the finish…