No fewer than 3-4 immediately asked one simple question: Was it worth the cost? Now, each of these people is a runner like I am (Read:
Not being in the right state of mind to answer that question, (the post race "beer recovery" might have already started) I turned to the other runners around me and asked the same. Like my initial gut reaction, no one had a firm answer of yes or no. Everyone agreed that it was an amazing race, but at 3x the cost of most others
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Of course, not only is the NYC marathon the biggest AND the more expensive, but NYC itself is one of the most expensive cities! So, the true cost of the race isn' 3x more but likely 5-6x more. Hotels aren't $100/night like in a normal town, they are $300. You can't really rent a car and instead are subject to taxi fares that make Whole Foods seem cheap in comparison. Of course, some of these expenses can be limited if not eliminated. Expensive hotels can be replaced by
Of course, I'm a capitalist at heart, so I certainly don't fault NYC Road Runners for charging what they do. They have no issues filling their 50,000 person field many times over. Similar to Boston, the flagship race likely pays for lesser known smaller races.....that I don't get to enjoy. Bummer.
So, enough with the jibber jabber... is it worth it? The answer that I gave to my friends was that it is a lot like a $300 bottle of wine. Is that bottle 6x better than a $50 bottle? Ehhhhhh, probably not. Most of the little things that contribute to the $300 bottle cost are likely lost on most - as they are in the NYC marathon. However, should everyone at least TRY a $300 bottle of wine at some point in their life? Most certainly yes. But, like most things in life, it is all based on the flavor that you're looking for! The marathon probably isn't worth it, no. But it was certainly worth it at the time, and I would recommend it to others.