Is It Free To Enter A Race? (Marathons, Half Marathons & Fun Run Entry Requirements)

If you would like to run in a marathon or fun run, then how much it’s going to cost might be on your mind.

There are a few factors that affect the cost of running these races, such as where the race is being held, and even the risk of injury.

Is It Free To Enter A Race (Marathons, Half Marathons & Fun Run Entry Requirements)

You should be aware of all these before signing up for a race.

Compared to other sports, running is definitely one of the least expensive sports, especially when compared to golfing, or extreme sports like skiing. 

But while the casual runner may just invest in a good pair of running shoes and some comfortable clothes, if you’re looking to regularly participate in events such as marathons and half-marathons the cost can add up, and you’ll often end up paying for more than just entry fees, especially if you have private training with a coach or are a member of a running group.

Other expenses may include travel to the locations where the events are taking place.

In this article we’ll tell you not just the average costs of marathons, half-marathons, and fun runs, but all the additional costs that come with participating in these events. Let’s get into it!

How Much Does It Cost To Enter A Marathon And Half Marathon?

Marathons and half-marathons are normally the most expensive races to enter. Not only are the race fees usually high, but there are other costs to consider too.

It’s hard to put an average figure on the costs of these expenses, as when you’re running in events like these there are a lot of variables.

However, when running in a marathon or half-marathon you will need to take these additional costs into consideration.

Entry Fees

Community marathons tend to cost around $20, smaller marathons tend to cost $100 to enter, and for marathons that take place in large cities, you can expect to pay between $150 to $300 in entry fees.

As well as traditional marathons, you can also run in half-marathons that are often held to raise money for charity. If you’re running for a non-profit organization then your entry fee may be tax-deductible.


Travel expenses refer to how much it costs to get to the venue. If you’re driving to the event, then gas and parking may cost just a few dollars. But if you have to fly to the event, then you may end up paying thousands of dollars to reach your destination.

Accommodation And Meals

If you are travelling further afield to compete in a marathon or half-marathon, then you may have to spend a couple of nights at a hotel.

If you want to make the most of your time in the event location, then you may decide to make a vacation of it. 

Depending on the hotel or accommodation you’re staying in, its amenities and whether you’re travelling alone or with others will affect how much your accommodation will cost.

You will also need to take into account the cost of meals during your stay.

It’s also worth keeping in mind that a lot of marathons don’t let you pick up your race bibs until the morning of the marathon, so it’s recommended to book accommodation close to the event to easily collect your race bib and timing device.

Is It Free To Enter A Race (Marathons, Half Marathons & Fun Run Entry Requirements) (1)

Water And Nutrition

Water is essential for any race, but especially for marathons and half-marathons. The price of water bottles and fuel belts can vary from $15 to $40, depending on what brand you buy. 

If you want to buy sports drinks too, then this may cost an extra $30 to $60. It’s also good to set aside another $30 to $60 for the cost of sports bars, chews, and sports gels to keep you going!

First Aid And Recovery

It’s normal to be sore after a marathon, and so it’s important to budget for recovery items such as a foam roller, massage stick, and other massage tools which can cost between $15 to $40. 

Compression socks can also cost between $15 to $40.

If you would like to have a professional massage following a marathon this can cost between $75 to $100, but this can be more expensive depending on the length of the message and extras like aromatherapy or hot stone therapy.

Blisters are also common, so it’s best to add another $20 to $30 to your budget to cover the cost of band-aids and moleskin. 

Medical Costs

You may need to visit a physician following a marathon, or attend physical therapy appointments. Your access to these will depend on where the marathon is taking place and the type of insurance coverage you have. 

Before you travel it’s a good idea to check what coverage your insurance provider has when you’re in a different state, or even a different country. You may need to buy travel insurance to supplement what your insurance provider doesn’t carry.

How Much Does It Cost To Enter A Fun Run?

Fun runs are shorter than marathons and half-marathons, usually a 5k or 10k race, meaning they are usually less expensive. This is because fun runs are normally not required to provide as many services as marathons, so runners are charged less.

Also, fun runs often take place locally, so you don’t have to worry about travel expenses or accommodation. 

To compete in a local 5K you’ll probably be expected to pay around $15. More expensive 5K and 10K races have an entry fee of around $50, but the average fees tend to be between $25 and $45.

Plus, your fees cover the cost for water and sports drinks at aid stations, so you don’t have to worry about paying for and carrying extra refreshments. As these races last under an hour, you’re also unlikely to need things like gels.

Final Thoughts

So there you are! That is the average cost of running a marathon, half-marathon, and a fun run.

There are a lot of additional expenses besides the entry fee, but what is most crucial is a good pair of running shoes. You don’t really need things like a running watch, for example. 

But while there are expenses involved in running, it’s worth it for the numerous benefits. Running is an excellent way to stay fit, and the feeling you get when you cross the finish line of a race is priceless!

Richard Harris