It’s been awhile that I was not able to post my thoughts in this blog. Oh, well, I am back!
Let me ask you first this question. “How much is the worth of your International Marathon Race Finisher’s Medal?”
For the past years, there had been a lot of local runners (Pinoy Runners) who would go abroad to join “famous and not-so-famous” Marathon Races. I am not sure of their definite reason or reasons why they have to go abroad to experience such event. I am not against this but I am one of the average runners who highly recommend other runners to experience what it is like to join in any of the International Marathon Races.
I’ve been to International Marathon Races and I liked it, most especially, when I run with my children. Most of my past International Marathon Finishes were done in California, USA where I finished the San Francisco and Los Angeles Marathons. I was a witness and cheerer for my son when he finished the New York Marathon. Basically, I know the feeling what it is like to be in these International Marathon Races. The experience is priceless!
Let me get to the point directly. Once a local runner finishes an International Marathon Race, he/she goes to Facebook and writes a “drama” and tells everybody that he/she successfully finished the race with a picture showing his/her Finisher’s Medal, sometimes stating also, after having failed in three (3) successive lotteries for entry to the race. The runner will be happy to receive a lot of comments on his/her status with the words, “Congratulations”; “Good Job”; “Wow”; “Amazing”; “Where is your next International Marathon Race?”; and others. However, nobody dares to make or write a comment on what was their finish time or how much did they save and spend to join the event.
Nobody would say how much did they spend for the experience and be able to “brag” about it together with their accomplishment. Not one of them would openly discuss how much money they spent just to get that “prestigious” Marathon Finisher’s Medal. Actually, I am also guilty with this but my purpose in joining such International Running Event is for me to visit my family and spend some time with them. My Race Reports in my past International Marathons are well-documented in this blog but I also missed stating how much I spent to join such events. I got a lot of “savings or freebies” joining these Marathon Races because I have our house to stay and a family car that I can drive.
But, for a local runner coming from the Philippines and going to another country without a friend or relative who could be a “host” to him or her, it is a different story.
Theoretically, I can answer such question for these runners who have finished their International Marathon in the United States based from my personal experience and data available in the Internet. First, is the Registration Fee. It would range from $250-$300 depending on the popularity and prestige that go with the event. Second, is the Round Trip Plane Ticket Fare which would range from $1,300-$1,600 depending how far from the Philippines and the “class” that you prefer to be accommodated inside the plane. Third, is the Accommodation which would range from $200-$300 per day stay in a hotel, which is of course, is not a big problem if you have a friend or relative who is hospitable enough to open his house or condominium/apartment for you. Fourth, is the Food and Other Miscellaneous Expenses/Transportation Expenses (Car Rentals) which could range to about $60-$100 a day. Fifth, is your Shopping Money which is geared towards buying a new pair of running shoes, a new electronic/tech gadget, or a new running apparel in the Marathon Expo which are not yet available in the local market. So, if you add up everything, a runner would easily spend a base figure of almost $3,000+ and this amount increases depending on the number of days you will stay in the city where the Marathon Race is being held.
If the Marathon Race is held somewhere in Europe, I think it is a different story. It could be more expensive than what I previously presented on Marathon Races held in the United States.
If you convert such amount of money to our local currency, it is an amount that an ordinary government employee or a corporate employee could hardly save for the whole year. It is for this basic reason why our best elite marathon runners could not afford to join these prestigious International Marathon Races.