Half Marathons: What Price Glory?

It’s well reported that half marathons are the fastest growing distance race in the country.  The training is nowhere near as arduous as that for a full marathon, and yet many participants still get the satisfaction and feeling of accomplishment.  Best of all, there are plenty of half marathon race options.

Within Philadelphia city limits, there are now four road half marathons: The Love Run, Oddyssey Half Marathon, Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon and Philadelphia Marathon Half Marathon.  Additionally, there are  three trail half marathons in Pennypack Park: ½ Sauer ½ Kraut, Sloppy Cuckoo and Oktoberfest 13.1.

Different races have different prices.   Runners expect to pay anywhere from $80 to $140 for most marathons.  So what’s a reasonable amount to pay for a half marathon?  And how do the Philly halves compare to other nearby races?  Here’s are the prices for the road races:

  • The Love Run – March 30 – This race is a new road half marathon through the city and Fairmount Park.  It was $60 to register initially and is $93 currently, with about two months to go.
  • Oddyssey Half Marathon – June 8 – This road half marathon is run entirely through Fairmount Park with optional obstacles.  Registration is $60 currently and goes up to $80 until race day.
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half Marathon – September 21 – It’s the largest half marathon in city.   The cost is $85 currently and goes up to $150 through race day.
  • Philadelphia Marathon Half Marathon – November 2014 – This road half marathon is part of Philadelphia Marathon weekend.  It’s $60 for the first 1,000 registrants and $75 for everyone else until it goes up to $115 through race day.

As far as the trail halves, the prices are a little bit lower:

What about races in other states?  Here’s a sampling:

  • NYC Half – March 16 – $128
  • Rock ‘n’ Roll USA Half Marathon – March 16 – $90 to $130
  • Allstate 13.1 in Queens – March 22 – $65 to $110
  • April Fool’s Half Marathon in Atlantic City – April 6 – $70 to $90
  • UNITE Half Marathon in New Brunswick – April 13 – currently $86
  • New Jersey Marathon Half Marathon – April 27 – $80 to $115
  • Pittsburgh Marathon Half Marathon – May 4 – $85 to $145
  • Brooklyn Half – May 17 – $75
  • The Wild Half in Wildwood – May 18 – $75 to $100

So the ideal price point for local road half marathons is about $60 when you register in the initial registration period.  Other races in nearby states all tend to have higher initial registration prices.  Closer to race day, prices for the city races are closer or even more expensive than races in other states.  The Rock ‘n’ Roll Philadelphia Half is the most expensive, though it has more participants than the other races.  Interestingly, the prices are only slightly lower than full marathons.  Of course, the trail races are the best value, though many of them have small caps on numbers.  The key is to identify the race you may be interested in doing and register before prices go up.

This entry was posted in Running.

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