On Rising Registration Fees, Again

It’s been almost a year since I wrote my blog post On Rising Registration Fees. I wrote that post trying to explain the possible reasons why races had raised their prices, and some steps on the runners’ part to minimize the impact of those costs.

Here we are again, facing another fee increase for a certain set of races by one organizer, which may spur another round of fee increases from other organizers. I’m not writing this post to criticize, but to explain why I, as a blogger, a runner, and a citizen of the Philippines, feel the need to address the issue of rising registration fees. And yes, it certainly is an issue if all I hear from runners I encounter on the road is, “Hindi na ako sumasali ng races kasi ang mahal!”

You may say that there’s no need to complain, and all you have to do is simply not register for the expensive races. I have to say right now, I do not agree with this “put up or shut up” mentality. This is hard-earned money we’re talking about spending here, and I think that in a free society there is room for serious yet civil discussion about the cost and quality of goods and services we pay for.

In case you aren’t aware, we do have consumer rights and responsibilities in the Philippines. We have a Bureau of Trade Regulations and Consumer Protection under the Department of Trade and Industry, which operates to protect consumer rights and promote awareness of consumer responsibilities. Check out this PDF pamphlet of your Consumer Rights and Responsibilities published by the DTI.

The pertinent responsibilities of a consumer on which I base my stand are (paraphrasing from the abovementioned pamphlet):

  • Critical Awareness: to be more alert and questioning about the use of, and the price and quality of goods and services we use.
  • Action: to assert ourselves and act to ensure we get a fair deal. The pamphlet goes on to say in much stronger words, “Remember that as long as we remain passive consumers, we will continue to be exploited.”
  • Social Concern: to be aware of the impact of our consumption on other citizens, especially the poor, exploited, disadvantaged, or powerless groups.

As you can see from these responsibilities, I cannot simply sit back and accept the price increase in registration fees; I must ask for the reason behind this. I believe I should speak up, as one of the courses of action to ensure we’re getting a fair deal. I do this because continuing to tolerate rising prices without justification means that the poor or disadvantaged people who want to join a race may eventually (it is happening even now) be priced out of doing so.

I am looking forward to Coach Rio’s promised discussion of the registration fees at the upcoming Run United press conference. (He promised that last year, too, but it didn’t materialize.) I have him on record inviting interested runners and bloggers including myself to send him a personal message for inclusion on the press conference’s guest list.

Meanwhile, I encourage you, dear reader, to continue seeking the best value for your money in the races that you train for and join. There are a number of conscientious race organizers who offer races at affordable prices with part of the registration fee going to charitable causes. Seek them out and give them a chance; they may pleasantly surprise you.

About Noelle De Guzman

Noelle De Guzman is a freelance writer and recreational athlete with over 12 years of experience in fitness and endurance sport. She believes sport and an active healthy lifestyle changes lives.

21 thoughts on “On Rising Registration Fees, Again

  1. I was actually wondering what you, bloggers, have to say about this. Very well said ma’am, I am glad that you are speaking out on this issue, I am slowly becoming disheartened when some famous people do not seem to care just because they get to get free race kits on these expensive runs. Lots of my running buddies back then don’t do races anymore because of the high reg fees.

  2. Registered for Condura last year for php1,300 (21k). Then found out na php50 lang pala ang mapupunta for the dolphins. Never registered for another race again for that reason. Sa mga tumakbo kaya kanina, alam kaya nila?

    I also don’t get why you have to pay more to run half than a full marathon. Dahil ba mas madaming nagreregister for 21K?

  3. Gbhoi, in fairness to Condura, they do say that P50/runner is the guaranteed donation. Any net proceeds (after the overhead costs are paid for) are also donated to the beneficiary.

    If you’re talking cost per kilometer, yes it’s strange why there’s only a marginal difference between the 21K and the 42K. I guess we have to ask the organizers why.

  4. masyado na nilang ginagawang negosyo ang running. some of my friends not running anymore because of this high prices. they are not running becoz they cannot afford but tingin kasi nila niloloko na lang tayo ng mga organizer….:(

  5. Ang dream at vision ko, dumami pa ang maenganyo na tumakbo sa Pilipinas. Hindi ito mangyayari kung pamahal ng pamahal ang mga races. Dapat siguro merong parang price control or some sort of safety net para sa consumersl. btw, miss kikay are you referring to a particular race na biglang mahal?

  6. Hi Noelle, I remember a friend sayong that reg fees before only costs 200 – may singlet ka pa! It IS sad that prices are going up and runners are being affected by it. I remember the editorial written in Runners World Ph – “running is like a party, you don’t always go just because you’re invited” – or something to that effect. Anyway, I hope that runners also realize that we don’t have to register in runs to enjoy running. We just have to get out the door and run! But you’re right. A little transparency would help a lot!

  7. I too had planned a similar post and I am glad that you wrote this because you definitely have a wider reach.

    My issue with the rising registration cost is not exactly the cost per se, but the transparency behind it. I know that the races have begun to take the appearance of money-making scams but my problem is that there are runs that are “value-priced” but don’t have the same sense of professionalism or organization as that of the more expensive events. No race organizer can be compelled to divulge the financial details. I am still hopeful that they will. But the sad truth is that as long as people are willing to pay those costs, there is nothing that stops the organizers from jacking up prices.

    And if the advocacy is for a charitable cause, then I believe that they should divulge how much they made and how much funds are going to the cause they support. Yes some event may donate P500,000 for some cause but what if the organizers selfishly pocketed P1,000,000?

    I sincerely hope that there is an organizer out there who can provide an excellent and safe event with an honest accounting of the fees. And if this organizer can organize an event comparable to the higher-priced events at a lower cost, then it can make the others take heed.

  8. nice… dapat ngang isulat na yan… tapos ang sasabihin kasi charity run… panahon na siguro na maging wais na tayo sa pag pili ng event.. nothing against sa runrio dahil infairness maganda naman talaga ang patakbo nila pero ang mahal na considering na may sponsor ang run…

  9. It’s really nice that you’re speaking out about this. I only started running/joining races last november so I have no clue the races I’ve joined, dare I say, are overpriced. I’m not saying that I don’t feel the reg fees burning a hole through my pocket (I’ll be feeling the effect of condura for a while); I just “wrongly” assumed that the reg fees for races are in that range.

    I guess if the organizers can’t (won’t) reduce the reg fees from where it is right now then the least they could do is be more transparent with where our money go, so we as consumers won’t feel like we’re getting duped.

    I hope the discussion about the reg fees pushes through. Go Kikay Runner!!!

  10. I dont know much about the pricing and profiting in a run, but what Im concerned about are the people who want to run but are disheartened by the price thus, not pushing through with the sport. Sana talaga maayos ang problema na yan. Thanks for writing about this Ms KikayRunner! Very well said.

  11. Hi Noelle!

    Nice to read your posts/blogs/rants and anything here, though this may be out of topic i just would like to ask for an advise of a running shoes on what brand you would suggest, Im a New Balance guy, i ran/jog for 7 years and i stopped. Reason is that i got my very first daughter last year. And i know im way out of shape again. And i really am craving to go back hit the road again, problem is my 3 runnings shoes now are way out of shape for me to run at least a 5km or 10km. I notice that you’re into Mizunos, and I know for that fact they’re on par with Nike, Adidas, or any other A++ brand of shoes. my Dillema is what brand ill have to buy! hope you can enlighten me! Oh BTW!! Keep running! and now i may run like a girl! hahahahahah GOD Bless

  12. Smaller running events do have their perks. First, it’s cheaper. Second, it feels more intimate. Over-commercialized and expensive running events give non-runners the idea that running “has” to be expensive; that you have to shell out money to be even called a “runner”. This is a very bad notion. Higher event fees give running in the Phils. a bad rep, and it discourages people who are just getting into this sport / lifestyle / health choice.

  13. Glad to hear you were there to voice out the community’s concerns! ๐Ÿ™‚

    Personally, I’ve decided to skip the RU Trilogy this year due to the prices. I read the explanation by Boy Ramos (runninghost), but like you, I’m concerned that other organizers will just follow suit with Rio’s pricing, without the commitment to quality.

  14. some 2 to 3 years ago, my husband and i were so happy to finish some marathons and enjoyed going home with some freebies with just spending 400,500,600..i dont understand why the reg fees went up as the runners/registrants population went up…business is good here?

  15. Thank you Noelle for voicing out the concerns of runners on rising registration fees. I have to commend Coach Rio’s group for staging well organized, safe and efficient running events in the past. Of which i have been patronizing religiously since I find the event having a good value for money. At the old rate of PhP 750 for a half marathons, I think that’s good enough for the quality of event that I am getting.

    The staging cost might be going up bec there’s a lot of bells and whistles being added into the events which real runners don’t really need. People lining up in the Photo Vendo longer than the actual time of theiry run. I can’t understand that. Loot bags?? Are runners deprived of kiddie parties when they were growing up that’s why they want loot bags after their runs?

    I am skipping RU1, can’t justify the increase of reg fee to myself. Safe and efficient runs need not be too expensive.

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