I ran the GRIM Challenge for the 4th time a couple of weekends ago. The race has grown in popularity since if first started and I remember racing against 100's in the first race over 6 years ago. Now there are thousands of people of all levels of fitness.
This year was more about encouraging my younger brother to get off his arse. At the age of 37 he's out-of-shape. He did it and it was good to see other people out and getting fitter but it occurred to me half way round that this is one hell of an expensive fun run - £24 for an off-road 8 miler. Now that is an expensive gig considering any decent running club hosts similar races and charges around a fiver! Lets say about 5000-7000 people signed up to race The Grim - that's £120,000 - 168,000. OMFG!
The finishers bag didn't exactly match up to the price either - a t-shirt, a plastic water bottle, a small protein bar and an energy powder sachet. Compare this to the Helly Hensen Adventure Series and it pales into insignificance - baseball cap, t-shirt, lots of different food bars, stickers etc etc.
My point: Is this taking advantage of the 2-times-per-year-not-so-fit wannabee-fit-person? Damn right it is.
I paid to race The Grim this time but no more. That fee is the same price as a yearly membership at the local athletics club - The Fleet and Crookham Athletics Club, a place with like-minded people where you can improve/run Tues, Thurs and weekend - that's roughly 100-150 times for the same damn price as 1 day at The Grim.