How to Save Money on Race Registration

Races are oftentimes the highlight of a runner’s season. From the fellow runners to encouraging crowds and medals, there’s a lot to love about race season. And with the race market exploding there’s races for everyone from competitive runners to those just starting out. If you’re an avid racer or even just a yearly one though, race fees can add up.

Here’s 7 ways that you can save a little bit of cash.

1. Sign up early! Almost all races have an early bird discount. For some races this may mean signing up a whole year in advance. For other races it can be as little as one month before. Generally the bigger the race, the earlier you’ll have to register for an early bird discount. While this can be a bit risky some races give you the ability to refund, defer to a future race or transfer to another person if you end up not being to make it.

2. Register at the last minute. If you aren’t able to register in the early bird and are also ok with potentially missing out on the race, wait until the last minute. Oftentimes there will be people trying to sell their race registration for the early bird price or cheaper in the last couple weeks before the race. Check Kijiji or the Race’s Facebook event or page to find people selling their race registration. You will have to exercise the same caution as with buying anything from a stranger online.  Also check to see that the race actually permits transfers.

3. Volunteer. If you have some spare time, races generally need volunteers for package pick up or other activities before or after the race. In exchange for volunteering you can oftentimes get a discount or free race registration. Plus you’ll get an inside look at race setup and get to meet some other runners.

4. Look on deal sites. If a race isn’t selling well, they’ll often appear on one of the daily deal sites like Groupon or Living Social two months to just before the start of a race. This is often common with new races that come to Calgary.

5. Sign up With a Group Find a group of people to sign up with. Many races will give you a group discount if you ask.

6. Find a discount code Many races will give sponsors and ambassadors discount codes to try and get more people registered. To find them check out any companies that sponsor the race and see if they have posted anything on social media. You can also find run ambassadors and discount codes by searching on Twitter or Instagram with the event name or hashtags.

7. Skip the medals. If you just want a safe and timed run MEC offers races for only $15. While you wouldn’t get a medal you will get water stations, bananas and a bag drop.  If you’re just looking for a 5km Race there’s a free 5km Park Run at Nosehill Park. At Parkrun you’ll get your 5km run time as well as lots of high 5s.

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