7 Ways to Save Big on Racing

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7 Ways to Save Big on Racing

Running is free, but racing can get expensive. Here are 7 ways to save big on racing!

I’d like to thank Coupon Sherpa for sponsoring this post about racing for less. As always, all opinions are my own and I only write about companies I love and think you will enjoy hearing about.  Thanks for supporting posts like this that allow me to publish Running in a Skirt daily for free.

7 Ways to Save Big on Racing and run for less/ Running in a Skirt
Hi everyone!

I’m traveling back from Dayton, Ohio today and will be sharing more from my trip on Wednesday.  It was so nice to see my family, but it is always nice to be home as well.  I wanted to make sure you had some fun reading while I was gone, so today I’m talking about running, racing and saving money… something many of us love.

I don’t know about you, but I’d be afraid to add up all the money I’ve spent on racing over the years.  One single race can easily cost $500 or more if it’s a destination race or a marathon!  And I’ve done all of those.  Even small local races can add up if you do enough of them.

And all those shoes?  Running may be technically free… but when you really get into it, the dollars can add up quickly.

I don’t know anyone who isn’t interested in saving some cash, so today I’m sharing a few ways you can start racing for less!

7 Ways to Save Big on Racing

Register Early

Avoid last-minute surge pricing by registering early. Committing to a run early in the season provides more time for training, too!  I’ve run races on a whim and races I’ve trained for.. it is much more rewarding to run a race you’ve put in the time and trained for.

Consider Volunteering

While you can’t run a race while volunteering, you may receive discounts or free race registrations for future events.   Plus there is nothing more rewarding than supporting a fellow runner!

Two big races that do this are the Reebok Spartan Race and NYC Marathon.

Join a Running Club

A local running club may host several community races throughout the year and offer free or discounted rates to members.    Asheville has a great track club that even offers a Grand Prix event.

Run Local

Races sponsored by local companies and causes are always less expensive than national races (Color Run, Spartan Race) or well-known events like the NYC Marathon. Plus, all/partial proceeds often benefit a local cause.

I am a huge fan of supporting local charities through racing.  My friends and I are “Running for Paws” here… supporting a local animal shelter!  Racing local can sometimes cost as little as $20 and the money goes to support groups that are working hard to make our world a better place.

Take Advantage of Deals and Coupons

Groupon and LivingSocial may offer vouchers for upcoming national races in your area, for 40 to 60-percent off race entry fees. I’ve seen the Color Run and mud runs with Groupon vouchers.  I’m not a fan of being “dirty” but this was totally worth doing once!

Sign up for Newsletters

When you register for races, it’s usually through a third-party like Active.com. These sites have newsletters that keep you informed about upcoming races in your area and often extend coupon codes for subscribers.

Invest in Quality Shoes

Quality running shoes are key to getting the best experience — and therefore the best bang for your buck — from races (and running in general).  Bonus points if your shoes are pink! <—oh wait that’s just me! lol!

Once you know what shoes work for your feet, save money by shopping at outlet stores, waiting until holiday weekends when stores like Famous Footwear and Dick’s Sporting Goods offer sales and coupons; or shop online with Finish Line and other online shoe shops using promo codes through Coupon Sherpa.

If you check their site first, you can really find some amazing deals… even up to half off!  So start with Coupon Sherpa the next time you are shopping!

Racing is EXPENSIVE! Here are 7 Ways to Save Big on Your Next Race. #run #runchat Click To Tweet

Follow these tips, and you’ll be saving on racing soon too!

Like this post on ways to save big on racing?  Find it later by pinning this to your favorite Pinterest page!

7 Ways to Save Big on Racing and run for less/ Running in a Skirt

And remember to check the coupon code page on Coupon Sherpa next time you are in the market for new running shoes.


Thanks for making Running in a Skirt a small part of your day!  See you tomorrow for Easter Popcorn recipe!

Your turn!

Check out Coupon Sherpa and tell me the best deal you found!

Runners– What would you add to my list?


I’m linking this post about Saving Big on Racing with Marvelous Monday,  Jill Conyers for Fitness Friday & Inspired to be Fit, Amanda for Thinking Out Loud Thursday,  Coaches Corner, and Annmarie for Wild Workout Wednesday.

By | 2017-08-15T14:03:50-04:00 April 3rd, 2017|Fitness, Newbie Running, Running|62 Comments


  1. a May 30, 2017 at 7:52 am - Reply

    Loved your tips, Julie! Awesome post as always!

  2. kimmythevegan April 8, 2017 at 10:42 pm - Reply

    Aw I love all of your pictures – you are so darned cute. Yes to the pink shoes of course. Although I do vary my shoe colours – I like purple and blue too. I even got orange ones once.
    These are great tips on saving money for races! I have definitely spent some good coin on races in the past, I’m trying to be better about it and will definitely be able to put your tips to good use.
    I have never volunteered at a run before – I should really do that! I love all of the people that come out and cheer me on, I should return that favour.

  3. Emily April 7, 2017 at 11:51 am - Reply

    These are great tips, thanks for your sharing. I totally agree with you. In some races, if you register early, the prices can be lower. I like your cute pike shoes, and definitely a high quality shoes always a good friends.

  4. Andrea on Vacation April 7, 2017 at 8:42 am - Reply

    Ugh, racing is expensive. If given the option I always opt out of getting a medal or race shirt to make it cheaper. Runners already have crazy amounts of race gear!

  5. Kimberly Hatting April 6, 2017 at 3:56 pm - Reply

    Yes to early bird registration! Some races will offer a discount if you opt to not get an event shirt (really, do we need a shirt from EVERY race?).

  6. Janelle @ Run With No Regrets April 6, 2017 at 7:45 am - Reply

    Great tips! I definitely agree about the email newsletters – there are always some race promos going on!

  7. Kristy from Southern In Law April 5, 2017 at 6:35 pm - Reply

    These are such great tips!

    Races can be CRAZY expensive but most of the time the early bird deals are great!

  8. I know if you register early for a lot of races, the prices are lower. Around here, there aren’t coupons for races, especially the bigger races.

  9. Mary Beth Jackson April 5, 2017 at 5:47 am - Reply

    Thanks for the tip! I haven’t heard of the coupon sherpa and I do love a deal!

  10. jill conyers April 5, 2017 at 3:57 am - Reply

    It still amazes me how expensive it can be to race. Great tips for saving Julie!

  11. Toughcookiemommy April 4, 2017 at 10:45 pm - Reply

    I had no idea that racing and running could become such a big expense. It’s great to see there are ways to save some money.

  12. Janella Panchamsingh April 4, 2017 at 10:15 pm - Reply

    THe thought never crossed my mind that something like racing to keep fit could cost you money

    • JulieWunder April 9, 2017 at 5:38 pm - Reply

      Oh yes!! At least if you want to sign up for races!

  13. Emily Kyle April 4, 2017 at 8:00 pm - Reply

    These are some great tips, Julie! I never realized how how expensive these races could get, yikes!

  14. Taylor Kiser April 4, 2017 at 5:47 pm - Reply

    Love these tips for saving money on racing! This is a valuable resource for runners!

  15. Ilka April 4, 2017 at 9:15 am - Reply

    Those are 7 awesome tips to save a lot of money when it comes to racing! Staying local is definitely a smart choice when it comes to saving money on racing! Pinning!

  16. Kerri Olkjer April 4, 2017 at 8:35 am - Reply

    Great tips! I always look for promo codes for everything I buy online. I love when people always say running is free. I think, yes, but… ha ha ha.

  17. Adriana Lopez April 4, 2017 at 3:04 am - Reply

    Wonderful tips, mu husband loves to sign up for races and we have made some volunteering activities to raise funds it can become really expensive if participating in too many events.

  18. Kristina @ Love & Zest April 3, 2017 at 11:35 pm - Reply

    These are great tips! Registering early is a great one. Last minute prices are always more expensive.

  19. Chrissy April 3, 2017 at 10:35 pm - Reply

    Oh yeah. I never thought running was cheap. Great tips on how to save some cash.

    • JulieWunder April 9, 2017 at 5:34 pm - Reply

      Haha! It is until you buy those first shoes… lol!

  20. Maria April 3, 2017 at 8:15 pm - Reply

    Great tips for all you runners!

  21. Chrissy @ Snacking in Sneakers April 3, 2017 at 6:03 pm - Reply

    Great tips in this post! I never new that running clubs offered possible discounts or comp race registrations. Definitely going to check that out now!

  22. Neely Moldovan April 3, 2017 at 5:43 pm - Reply

    I just signed up for a few later in the year races and I wish I had read this first. Awesome tips!

  23. Liz Mays April 3, 2017 at 5:04 pm - Reply

    Oh I hadn’t thought of signing up for the newsletters. That’s a good tip. I’d definitely want to save on quality running gear too.

  24. Annmarie April 3, 2017 at 4:09 pm - Reply

    These are all awesome tips, Julie! I tend to sign up early or offer to volunteer and get to register for free for other races in the series! Definitely helps to save some dough 🙂

  25. Susie @ Suzlyfe April 3, 2017 at 3:10 pm - Reply

    Julie, what an awesome post. This is going to help so many people! I couldn’t agree more with each of the points–also, HUGE shoutout to volunteers. You guys MAKE IT

  26. Jolina April 3, 2017 at 2:43 pm - Reply

    OMG that’s so true! The registration fees (although always for a good cause) are sometimes so ridiculously high we just don’t bother to join. Sometimes we find registering as a group saves us a little…we’ll try your other tips next!

  27. Kristina Paché Ferency April 3, 2017 at 2:20 pm - Reply

    These are good tips i can share with runners I know. I’d love to do a race sometime when my kiddos are older. Looks like fun and a great accomplishment.

  28. Jessica @Nutritioulicious April 3, 2017 at 1:53 pm - Reply

    These are such great tips Julie! Races can get pretty expensive, but you’ve shared some awesome ways to get more involved and save some money in the process!

  29. Jaime April 3, 2017 at 1:43 pm - Reply

    I’ve noticed that more races are offering a discount if you don’t get the t-shirts. I did this for the Race to the Taps run I did last month. It wasn’t a huge savings, but every bit counts (and I wasn’t a fan of that particular shirt!)

    • JulieWunder April 9, 2017 at 5:27 pm - Reply

      That does help and I have more race shirts than I ever need.

  30. Blane Sherer April 3, 2017 at 10:16 am - Reply

    It was nice seeing your running shots from
    over the years. It was like a little trip down
    memory lane. Glad you enjoyed your time
    with your family. Welcome Back !

  31. Sarah April 3, 2017 at 9:37 am - Reply

    I saw so many races on Groupon last year but forgot about it. I’ll have to check it out and watch for other sales. Races can get expensive, usually we are registering for 4 and while the girls are cheaper sometimes usually not because they will do the 5K, once we did a 10K, and my husband does the longer races.

  32. Divya April 3, 2017 at 9:10 am - Reply

    These are all great ideas! I’ve only ever done 3 races before, but I know my motivation goes up significantly when I have a race in the books!

  33. Jenn April 3, 2017 at 8:49 am - Reply

    Great tips! I love the idea of volunteering. I find great motivation in watching and rooting for others!

  34. Dan Steadman April 3, 2017 at 8:24 am - Reply

    also, liking the race or race series on social media….they sometimes offer discount codes or give away race entries (haven’t hit one yet), or different running publications have, I volunteered for a race and got to run it for free….also for shoes, sometimes gym memberships have discounts with running stores…

  35. Rebecca | NOURISHED. April 3, 2017 at 8:21 am - Reply

    Some really good tips here! I used to volunteer with my local race circuit for years and years and it was always so much fun! It was great to be able to help out while cheering on all the racers.

  36. Of course I am all about the running group and most of the big race companies will give us discount codes to share.

  37. [email protected] April 3, 2017 at 7:26 am - Reply

    So many races are so darn pricey if you do not sign up right away. But registration is so early that half the time I can not commit that far in advance because I do not know my schedule then, but then when you wait, it either gets sold out or the price increases so much. That is one good thing about local races, they usually do not sell out and are a lot cheaper.

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