Destination races : are they worth the money ?

I am linking up with Marcia at Marcia’s Healthy Slice, Erika at MCM Mama runs and Patty at My no guilt life for Tuesdays on the run where today’s topic is the cost of a destination race.


I am lucky enough to have many races in Paris or within close driving distance of where I live. I travel a lot for work, so I generally prefer staying at home on weekends, so my first real destination race was in January of this year :

Nice Monaco Half Marathon



The cost of the weekend for my husband and I was : 588 Euros (about 660 dollars)


Travel for my husband & I : 250 Euros

I chose what I thought to be the the cheapest form of travel,  by train , but it turns out that Nice is a destination where there are many many flights and it would have been just as cheap to fly. I wish I had known that because it would have saved me hours of travel time. Oh well, live & learn !

Hotel : 200 Euros (total for 2 nights)


I chose a relatively expensive hotel, for several reasons :

  1. While I was planning on sight seeing, we also like to spend some time in the hotel, relaxing and sleeping late.
  2. I figured that I would not make it to Nice again for a long time, so wanted something very central
  3. We wanted to be on the water. Our view :


When traveling, I don’t mind paying for a decent hotel, though I do shop around and spend a lot of time looking for a deal. For this one, if you booked directly on their website, breakfast was included.

Meals : 120 Euros

This is always a huge part of the budget for us because my husband likes loves to eat out.



Visits / extras : 0 Euros. we didn’t pay to visit a museum nor buy any souvenir.

Race registration : 18 Euros

It was a small local race, and registration here is cheap. Definitely not the most pricey element of the whole weekend.

So in the end, I felt it was an expensive weekend, but doing it once in a while is worth it. I got to spend 2 full days with my husband, in nice weather (pun intended) in the dead of winter. That has no price.

If I were going away only to run, I would definitely chose a cheaper hotel and think about carpooling or flying with a low cost airline.



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Comments: 16

  1. Sonia May 10, 2016 at 11:16 am Reply

    Race costs can quickly add up! I don’t do that many!
    Sonia recently posted…The Bottom DollarMy Profile

  2. Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy May 10, 2016 at 11:40 am Reply

    Wow, that was a really cheap race! I think my least expensive one was $35, but that’s unusual.

    We stayed in a real dive in NH, but it was steps from the start — priceless!
    Judy @ Chocolaterunsjudy recently posted…5 ways racecations are like cruisesMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France May 10, 2016 at 9:24 pm Reply

      Registration fees are SO CHEAP here in France. Race prices in the US are CRAZY !

  3. Meranda@Fairytalesandfitness May 10, 2016 at 12:50 pm Reply

    I’m not sure what Euros are compare to $. However, I have always found our destination races to be worth the cost. I always split the hotel cost with my sister or mom so that helps cut the cost!

    • Karen - Fit in France May 10, 2016 at 9:24 pm Reply

      Great remark about the exchange rate, going to modify my post now !

  4. Marcia May 10, 2016 at 1:31 pm Reply

    It’s so interesting to see where some like to splurge while others cut to save money. That is so great you have access to cheap races. Not the case here anymore.
    Marcia recently posted…Racecation: Things to Consider When Planning OneMy Profile

  5. Race fees and hotels do certainly add up! If you get to take a nice vacation with your husband then maybe it’s worth it?!
    Deborah @ Confessions of a mother runner recently posted…3 Bean Southwestern Quinoa Skillet DinnerMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France May 10, 2016 at 9:23 pm Reply

      We usually go away skiing for a long weekend anyway in January, so we had the budget this year. No skiing as I was marathon training…

  6. Chaitali May 10, 2016 at 4:42 pm Reply

    It does all add up really quick! The way I try to make racecations worth it are make them places we want to visit anyway. Then really the only extra cost is the race registration and for the most part, the other costs would have been in our vacation budget anyway. But I do then limit myself to 1 per year generally.
    Chaitali recently posted…Weekly ReviewMy Profile

    • Karen - Fit in France May 10, 2016 at 9:22 pm Reply

      That plan works too ! Have you planned and reserved everything for NYC ?

      • Chaitali May 10, 2016 at 9:27 pm Reply

        Sadly not doing NYC this year. I’d love to do it one year though.
        Chaitali recently posted…Weekly ReviewMy Profile

  7. Jennifer Lefforge May 10, 2016 at 5:59 pm Reply

    I am with you on the nice hotels when you plan on spending time there! Not always, but usually a less expensive establishment is not conducive to great rest! Great post. And makes me want to do the Nice Monaco Half!

    • Karen - Fit in France May 10, 2016 at 9:20 pm Reply

      It was a nice race but lots of hills I wasn’t expecting.

  8. Tamieka Thomasson May 10, 2016 at 6:14 pm Reply

    I like nice hotels too. Such a nice thing to come back to!

    I splurge on the hotel and try to cut costs everywhere else!

    • Karen - Fit in France May 10, 2016 at 9:20 pm Reply

      Me too !

  9. LaChicaRuns May 11, 2016 at 12:23 am Reply

    Great and different perspective. It’s so exciting to hear about your travels…and races. Thanks for sharing and linking up1

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