Over the past two or three years I have consistently run about 10 races each year. For me it seems like that is the perfect amount to keep me busy with training and also add in a few fun 5k races.
In 2010 I only ran a fall half marathon along with the Boilermaker 15k and a bunch of small 5k races.
In 2011 I ran a spring half marathon, didn't race during the summer since it was too hot (and I had had bad experience with racing in the heat previously), and then ran a fall 15k race. Additionally I ran a few 5ks and also a 10k race.
In 2012 I ran a spring half marathon and then a spring marathon. I didn't race much over the summer except for the Boilermaker 15k. In the fall I ran a half marathon followed by three 5k races.
My city has a pretty good variety of races so the majority of the time I race very close to home. The farthest I have ever traveled for a race is the Boilermaker 15k which is within 3 hours of my house. I enjoy sleeping in my own bed the night before a race and going through my normal routine on race morning.
Besides having races close to home, I really enjoy running races that don't cost too much. I haven't run a big half marathon or full marathon yet and I have hard they are great, but for right now I prefer to stay close to home. Running the same races every year can get boring but so far there have been enough options close to my home to keep my training fun and exciting.
Last year even with the marathon I kept my race fees fairly low. In total I spent about $315 dollars on races. When signing up one race at a time, it doesn't seem like much but the costs do add up. I am really a saver at heart so its hard for me to spend a lot of money. In fact, one of my ten races was free last year because it was for my college reunion.
Race fees in 2012
Spring half marathon = 50 dollars
Spring marathon = 70 dollars
Fall half marathon = 60 dollars
For my marathon, I signed up on Decemebr 31st, 2011 even though I didn't know if I would be able to run the marathon since I was still making my comeback from my strained psoas and knee pain. The only reason I signed up so early was to avoid the fee increase of 5 dollars.
That's the most I have paid for races. My marathon was the most expensive so far. I think it would be really hard for me to spend over 100 dollars on a race. I have a hard enough time spending that on shoes.
Thankfully, most of my 5k races are pretty cheap, ranging from 15 to 25 dollars. Running most of my races locally is also a really nice way to give back to community. I try to run races that has the money go back to support businesses, charities and running clubs in the area.
How much are you willing to spend in races??