Run your favorite races without breaking the bank
When marathons are back in session, many runners will rush towards them. With shorter distance races like the 5K opening up in more areas, it will only be a matter of time before marathon season kicks off again.
However, anyone who’s ran a marathon knows they are expensive…especially if you run at the big-name marathons like the Boston Marathon.
But a marathon’s total expenses aren’t just registering. You also have to factor in travel which can get quite expensive for a marathon in another country.
Marathons can add up, but you shouldn’t let that deter you from running your favorite marathons at some point in your life.
#1: Live In A Place Near Several Marathons
If you live in a location near several marathons, you’ll save a lot of money on travel. Anytime you can drive from home beats buying airline tickets and a hotel room.
According to Runners World, the Top 3 States with the most marathons are California, Texas, and Washington State.
While the marathons are spread out across each state, putting yourself in a spot with more marathons allows you to run more of them without paying extra traveling expenses.
From what I saw, most of the marathons in Texas take place near Austin and San Antonio. If you’re in that area, you’ll be in driving range for more than enough marathons.
California’s marathons are spread all over the state, but it does have some of the most beautiful courses. If you make the move to California, you’ll have to keep the living expenses in mind which are even higher than New York’s expenses.
For me, I’d rather travel to Cali every once in a while for a marathon or business event instead of living there and paying those expenses.
It’s easier for some people to move than others. If you are considering this strategy, make sure you get an online job or start a side hustle that allows you to make money online.
This set-up is also important for the next item on the list.
#2: Van Life
Van life has become increasingly popular as you can travel the entire country on a very low budget. Just buy a van, keep pumping gas into it, and that’s all of your living expenses.
Of course, there are a variety of nuances you’ll have to figure out such as the Wi-Fi, finding a parking spot each night, how to make the van livable, and of course, showering after your long runs.
Van life is not for everyone, and it’s even more difficult to do it with a family, but if you want to embrace this lifestyle, you can save a lot of money traveling from marathon to marathon while seeing more of the world.
#3: Strategically Space Out Your Bucket List
You can save money through van life and living in places where there are plenty of marathons. However, you’ll gradually build up your bucket list over time.
Many hard core marathoners eventually gravitate towards the Abbott World Marathon Majors: Boston, NYC, Chicago, London, Berlin, and Tokyo.
These marathon majors attract the top talent, provide incredible experiences, and cost a very pretty penny. However, running at these 6 marathons is more attainable if you set a longer time horizon.
If you want to run all of these events in a single year, the bills will rack up and your legs will get extremely tired (i.e. the Boston Marathon and London Marathon are two weeks apart).
However, if you run at one of these marathons every 1–2 years and spread out the expenses, it’s not as bad.
Spacing out your bucket list gives you more money in the present that you can invest towards wealth generation. While it takes time to make a full-time income through something like dividend investing, it doesn’t take as much time to make a consistent $300 per quarter.
To make $300 each quarter, all you would need is 478 shares of Verizon stock. With Verizon stock trading at roughly $60/share at the time of writing this article, that would represent a $28,680 investment to produce $300 each quarter plus potential appreciation.
$300 each quarter isn’t a life changing amount of money, but that extra $1,200 each year can pay off all of your marathon registration expenses.
As the dividend grows and you invest more into it, the dividend payments can eventually cover some or even all of your travel expenses.
Spacing out the bucket list allows you to grow your investments that lead to passive income. This passive income can compound over time and become life changing.
#4: Travel With Others
Not only does running in a pack make you faster, but you can also trim down on hotel expenses. For the out of state running events I was a part of during my school days, no athlete got their own private hotel room.
Finding a bunch of “marathon buddies” and traveling with them will significantly trim down the hotel bill.
Let’s say a hotel costs $200 each night. If you and 3 fellow runners rent the room for a night, you and the other 3 runners only have to chip in $50 each instead of $200.
You could cut costs even more by renting an Airbnb for the night. Airbnb properties are usually cheaper than hotels as hotels provide far more amenities that you likely won’t use.
For example, do you really think you’re going to put in a solid session in the gym the day before your big race?
While Airbnb properties are not for everyone, it will still tremendously help with expenses if you rent out a place to stay with a few other marathoners.
#5: Multi-Purpose Vacations
Every once in a while, it’s good to go on a vacation. Each time you go on a vacation, plan it around a marathon. If you were going to spend money on hotel and travel anyway, you might as well align your vacation with a marathon on your bucket list.
Let’s say you are a snow bird and want to go to Florida in the winter. Florida offers a variety of marathons in the winter such as Disney and Miami which are sure to be a treat.
Sure, you’ll feel super tired after the race, but you can mitigate this by planning the marathon at the very beginning or the very end of the vacation depending on your preference.
A marathon at the beginning of a vacation gives you enough time to recover enough to walk around. You could probably walk around within 24 hours of a marathon although running will be out of the question for almost everyone at that point.
You can also plan out your marathon at the end of your vacation. That way, you get to enjoy the entire vacation without feeling tired from a marathon. If you traveled to Florida by plane, you get a good rest on the flight home.
Running in a single marathon isn’t too expensive. However, if you become a hard core marathoner, the expenses can quickly build up. That’s why it’s important to save as much money as possible and be smart about how you approach your future marathons.