Is it wrong to feel a bit miffed?

My favourite running event of the year has to be the Hackney Half. I have done it twice and I love everything about it. Vitality have organised the event and they have done it really well. I have done a few of their events and they are my favourite organisers. Originally I was thinking this year of doing the 5km on the Saturday before the half as it always looks fun it was free and there was a medal, then I was thinking if the next month stays the same at home I might walk the HM, but I would have to wait and see before I booked.

This year it has been taken over by Virgin and now has been called the Hackney Festival. Tickets start at £20 to be at the front of the warm up and fitness classes throughout the day. The 5km run is £25 which is ok but there is no mention that I can find of that there is my beloved bling and the HM starts a £48 early bird (it was £35 early bird) going up to £58 if you enter after March. So basically if I wait it would be £58 for a HM, I think that is a bit steep.

Also they do a complete packages!!! At £90 which means you get the 5.5km which you can give to friends because it starts at 1.30pm the same day as th HM. A fitness class and go to front of the pack for a wam up.

If you think it doesn't make that much sense you would be right and it's so expensive. I feel like they have commercialised and destroyed my main event. I'm not sure I could pay £58 for an event, it is too steep. I maybe would rather two smaller ones I think.

I know Vitality are a commercial venture too but the 5km run was a community one that the got the local kids from schools running and it was about Hackney as a community, Virgin seem to be all about making it feel like a music festival.

Sorry for the moan but I'm sure no one outside the forum would see so much of a difference, I feel like I have lost my main event for the year.

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17 Replies

  • No, not wrong. The rising popularity of running is coming at a cost. I was thinking about the price of events yesterday. I know some of the money goes to charity but they use a lot of volunteers and must make a lot of profit. I have 4 events booked through this year and it has cost a lot. I know we don't have to do events but I need that motivation, setting my own distance goals doesn't work that well. I am extra sorry that they have changed what does sound like it was a good local community event that you have enjoyed. Presumably the price leap is to fund the festival bit. Hope you come to a decision you are comfortable with.

  • i know I've had to have a year off but before that I put £10 away every month for events. That gave me £120 a year to play with and I thought that was fine broken down like that. I used to do 3 £40 events a year and have a great time. £58 really eats into that amount. I agree it's big business now and they are cashing in a bit at our expense.

  • That's a good way of budgeting- think I will try that.

    Made me said to read your comment about the local school kids, as you say some of them would have continued - and Hackney has produced a few Olympians!

  • That is really steep.. and you are quite in order to feel miffed. It seems like so many things are being charged for, and not just in a small way!

    We are supposedly encouraging our youngsters and the general community to get healthier, do more and pull together and yet this kind of action is directly opposed to that aim. My daughter is a Parks and Open and Green Space Officer and so many of their enterprises which were for the community, and free, are, because of financial constraint, either being terminated or have to be charged for.

    I really hope it sorts for you Realfoodieclub .

  • I know I asked Virgin on twitter what about the local school kids that used to run after we had started on the day and they say they put money into a charity that gets kids moving, but in my mind it's not the same as seeing those faces on the day full of excitement raring to go. You know some of them will continue to run because of it.

    I know what you mean about councils finances MrRfc and I run a bowls club as volunteers because the council walked away from all our senior citizens, they would of been quite happy to take away their social life and exercise, we now have to find the funds ourselves through hosting corporate events and music nights.

  • I think that is pushing it a bit!! But with the apparent popularity of running events these days you can see why commercial companies up the price!! I was looking at some local events in my area (S.West) this morning and the typical village or run around a stately home type of run were about £12-£25 for a 10k with bling. Unfortunately, I cant ever see the prices dropping.

  • I suppose it's good it is getting popular and the more we promote running on here more people will be getting out there, I just find it such a shame that the really big corporations seem to take more out from the system. I don't have private health care but I did I would of looked at vitality because they gave you a discount on your health care and discounted entrance to events so to me it was a more rounded way at looking at exercise and healthcare.

    Virgin just seem to be asking for more money and selling it like a music festival with "passes" as they call them.

  • That's a real shame RFC, I'd be miffed too. The most I've paid for a 10k was £25 - that was inner city closed road, so I sort of understood the cost, the Cambridge HM (saucony) is £35, again closed road etc., I haven't paid more than £20 for other village/off road 10k's - all of these had bling.

    I'd send them some questions asking who the event is aimed at........and some feedback on how I've perceived their price hike...........

    Wings for Life(red bull) manage to give ALL entrance money to the charity.....and you get medal, t-shirt, goody bag etc., although we did get in on the early bird price....

    Hope you're able to do something that you want.


  • I called them out on twitter as there are a lot of people on there not happy about the price raise, they just say they give to charitable organisations in their mission statement. Where is the heart in that, at least Vitailty gave the local schools a platform to work with and a venue to work towards for free for the kids.

    I have found a vitality London 10000 in the end of May for £30, so I will have a word with MrRfc's docs if the time frame is ok and then maybe i will do that.

  • I do wonder about some of these events as Tomas says, most of the marshals and support staff are volunteers - they certainly are for the Cambridge HM, and although I'm excited to be doing it, I know of more experienced runners who have commented about the commercialism of some events.....

    We're quite lucky, there are quite a few rural/village runs that raise money for local clubs and schools near us, and the towns running clubs support them too.

    Hope you get the London 10000


  • Of course it is natural to feel a bit miffed about a big price hike and combined with a slightly weird sounding and complicated change to the event. We know how much you loved the Hackney event. I really like your way of budgetting for your hobby and can quite understand why you would feel very upset to have a hole blown in it... especially given all your domestic uncertainties.

    I'd be interested to know how much of the rise is down to insurance and other charges.

  • I might be wrong but it looks like Virgin have taken over most of Vitality's events for the next year. I guess there has been some sort of tendering going on so I wonder how much they must of undercut Vitality.

    It does make it easier just putting £10 away and it really gives me so much back. It's been a year since I've done an event and it's not been the same at all.

    I'm going to keep my fingers crossed that MrRfc's docs say I can do 29th May then I'm going to do the 10km London Vitality one. Hehe I can feel the excitement building already!

  • Giving profits to charity, when the organisers are able to decide how much to pay themselves pre-profit is a scam.

    I'm sure there are a lot of volunteers giving their time for free, but what about the time recording system, how much does Virgin charge itself for that? And the PR professionals they sell to themselves. And the event managemers that need to make a living, how much mark-up do they add on top of their salaries before invoicing themselves?

  • I think you are absolutely right to be miffed. Ultimately though, only people not attending in large numbers, and telling the organisers why, is likely to make a difference.

  • I wouldn't do that race myself, its overpriced and there are too many added extras they are charging for. I did quite a few races last year which ranged in value for money but without doubt the best ones were the smaller local events. Much less corporate and better value for money. I still enjoyed the atmosphere of the bigger events but I think virgin are pushing it a bit too far personally.

  • Some of these events are dear! The London winter run is no exception..I paid £15 to do the Croydon10k, thought that was about enough..😊

  • £25 for a 5K gasp... I think that's huge. The HM costs are enormous too... I guess it depends on what it's worth to you, some people probably spend that on cigarettes in a week...

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