Last Saturday evening I participated in a book signing event with good friend, fellow author, coach and runner, Mark Will-Weber. Between the two of us we have participated in thousands of races, covering distances from the mile to the marathon, dating back to the late '70s.
We both lamented the fact that many races have become "corporate" these days gouging participants with exorbitant entry fees, while reducing prize money for elite runners, and often filling the pockets of race directors.
Mark noted that running has always been a "people's sport," not a country club endeavor, and that some races are pricing competitors out of the sport.
I agree with that assessment.
First, let me qualify by stating that, directing a race, even on a minor scale, is a monumental, thankless task. Race directors spend long hours in an effort to conduct a safe, successful event.
Nevertheless, there are races, big and small, that have kept the needs (and the budgets) of runners in perspective; while others have not.
An article in Bloomberg News, from February 10, 2012, entitled, "High NYC Marathon Entry Fee Chases Away Runners," illustrates the point.