The time has come for all of the TNT participants to complete and turn in their recommitment forms. The term “recommitment,” in the TNT world, means that each of us will pledge to raise the minimum amounts required to participate in our chosen events. For those who have not yet reached the minimum amount, a credit card authorization must be signed to guarantee the amount pledged. Thankfully, I do not fall into this category.
Along with the recommitment form, are other forms to complete. First, and most important, is the registration form for our event. The form captures the usual information along with information on pace, and estimated finish time. There is even an option for a early start (for those walking marathoners traveling at a pace of 15 minutes per mile or slower). This is a TNT participant exclusive that allows those who would not otherwise be able to enjoy this, an opportunity to participate. Although I am sure that the hills will have a negative effect on my time, I entered an estimated finish time of 4 hours. Goals must be set, and this seems like a reasonable goal to strive for.
Then there are the hotel accommodations, which are made for a generous two-nights stay. I can think of only 2 other times where I stayed at the hotel on the night after the race (Napa 2002, and Grandma’s 2006). Staying a 2nd night is such a luxury, especially given the proximity to the race from my home. It’s not like my race is on the opposite coast. Even after Chicago 2007, I traveled home on race day.
As participants, we are required to share our room with another member of our team (cost fully covered), unless we pay an additional change for our own room, or to have a guest or two join us. Wendy and I are trying to work out an arrangement for two rooms where her husband, family, and YaYa can stay in one room, and Wendy and I can stay together on the night before the race. After the race, we can stay with our own families. My biggest consideration, regarding YaYa, is football and school. There are too many unknowns to try to take into consideration.
Then, there are the the parties and transportation. TNT hosts a pasta party the night before, and a victory party the night of our race. Guests are allowed to join us but, of course, there is a fee. After all of the time spent with these great folks, it would crazy not to join the celebration. I also think that it is important to share this with YaYa (who has sat on the sidelines cheering and patiently waiting through many of the training events).
As I complete my paperwork, checking the various boxes, and noting the additional fees, I see the numbers all adding up. Marathon running, with or without TNT participation, is expensive! If anyone has ever taken the time to add it all up, they will quickly see how it all adds up.
I am reminded of the MasterCard commercials:
TNT registration: $ 50
Running shoes: $180 (2 discounted pairs with 1 insert)
Gas to training runs: $1 MIL (slight exaggeration)
HWTG, etc.: $100 (estimated cost for a select number of the available options)
Hotel (w/1 guest): $246
Parties (+1 guest): $ 45
Transport (1 guest): $ TBD
Crossing the finish line at the SF Nike Woman’s Marathon: PRICELESS
*For everything else (GUs, recovery and electrolyte drinks, babysitting fees, etc.) there’s MC, or VISA, personal checks, or cash.
I am not complaining, I am just taking it all into consideration. In this economy, it is hard not to take a look at the optional expenses. Who ever said that runners only need a pair of shoes, never ran a marathon.
Of course, this list doesn’t even account for all of the generous contributions from my supporters. If one were to contrast the expense of training for a marathon to the expense of fighting cancer, there would no contest. I cannot say thank you enough to all of you.
If you are wondering, is it too late to donate, it is not. Simply click on the Team in Training icon on my left sidebar to go to my donations page.