Remember when you got into running because it was a low cost sport? All you needed was a pair of sneakers and nowadays some people run with bare feet! I already have feet, so I should be all set! $200 for Running Shoes, $80 for a Fuel Belt, $60 Compression Socks, $90 Compression Pants, $20 head band, $50 Sunglasses, $100 Wicking Wind Breaker, $40 Phone Case, $300 Running Watch, $60 Tribe Shirt, Gels and Glide and Sunscreen and Race Fees makes a Marathon Medal and a Banana priceless! We could all use a break on some race fees right?
There are many ways to lower race fees. Joining a race organization like The 50 States Club or Marathon Maniacs will get you 10 or 20% off at some races. Knowing where you want to race, you can sign up for notifications of sales or contests. Many races have extra special sales on the first day of registration or on their actual race day for the following year. Black Friday and holiday sales occur in the race world too. You can also buy race series at a discount. There’s other ways to lower or eliminate a race fee which we’ll cover in another article.
It has been argued that the race fee is a small price to pay in your over race weekend trip. Especially if you are traveling, you have your lodging, gas, flight, parking, restaurants, tolls, and other costs that dwarf your regular $100+ race fee. I do not expect people to plan a huge trip on the merits of these low cost marathons because some of them are out of the way, so time and money will add up quickly. However, some of these races may be in your back yard. Maybe your sister or college roommate lives in one of these towns. This list is for reference as a quick check. There’s currently 4 FREE races on this list. Another 7 of the marathons are under $35.
Many of these races came from an informal poll taken in some online forums. Thank you to everybody who contributed! I did take the time to look up and link all of the races listed here. Some of these prices may have already expired. Look at the dates of the lowest price and save it in your calendar. This list will be updated if you leave comments, however the list will be updated faster if you include a link that shows the price. Only races that are $60 and under will be listed (not including taxes and fees). We needed to draw the line somewhere. If you are suggesting races in the notes PLEASE DO NOT LIST ONE DAY OR HOLIDAY SALES OR DISCOUNTS FOR AMBASSADORS OR ORGANIZATIONS. Prices should be as they appear on the most recent registration schedule for the race.
We are still looking for low cost options for 13 states, highlighted in red: Colorado, Delaware, Hawaii, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nevada, New Jersey, Oklahoma, Tennessee, Texas, Vermont, and Wyoming.
Dizzy Fifties Trail Run 50k and 40&50 Miler – Huntsville, AL. $26 Early Entry
King Salmon Marathon – Cordova, AK. $50 Marathon Early Entry
SP Crater Marathon – Flagstaff, AZ. $35 Early Entry
Arizona Marathon – Glendale, AZ. $60 Early Entry
LoVit Trail Marathon – Mount Ida, AR. FREE!!!
Midsouth Marathon – Wynne, AR. $40
Charlie Alewine Racing – Long Beach, CA. $55 Multiple Races. 5th Race Free.
Roxbury Marathon in Roxbury, CT. $15
Oh Boy Marathon – Waterbury, CT. $50 Early Entry
Florida Marathon – Melbourne, FL. $60 early entry
Thrill in the Hills Trail Run – Winder, GA. $50 early entry
Mesa Falls Marathon – Mesa Falls, ID. $60 Early Entry
Pocatello Marathon – Pocatello, ID. $60 Early Entry Special Rates first 3 days.
Rockford Marathon-Rockford, IL. $50 ($25 for the first 200 entrants this year)
Hayes Arboretum – Richmond, Indiana. $45 Early Entry.
Circular Logic Marathon – Lafayette, IN. $33 Early Entry
Veterans Marathon – Columbia City, IN. $50 Early Entry
University of Okoboji Marathon – Arnolds Park, IA. $50
Millinocket Marathon & Half – Millinocket, ME. FREE!!!
Seneca Greenway Creek Marathon & 50k – Gaithersburg, MD. $35 Early Entry
George Washington Birthday Marathon – Greenbelt, MD. $50 Early Entry
Cape Cod Trail Race – Falmouth, MA. $55 Early Entry
First National Bank of Wakefield Marathon – Wakefield, MI. FREE!!!
Kal-Haven Trail Run 50K-Kalamazoo,MI. $50
Mankato Marathon – Mankato, MN. $49 Early Entry
Run for the Lakes Marathon – Brainerd, MN. $55 Early Entry
Eugene Curnow Trail Marathon – Duluth, MN. $35 Early Entry
Mississippi Gulf Coast Marathon – Gulfport, MS. $35 Early Entry
Heart of America Marathon – Columbia, MO. $50
Nebraska State Fair Marathon – Grand Island, NE. $55
Ghost Train Trail Race (30,45,60,75, 90, 100 Miler) – Brookline, NH. $50
Sierra Vista Trail Runs 50K – Las Cruces, NM.$50 plus a used pair of shoes for donation.
Shiprock Marathon – Shiprock, NM. $50 Early Entry
Presidential Inauguration International Marathon – East Meadow, NY. $25 Early Entry
Dick’s Greater Binghamton Marathon– Vestal, NY. $35 Early Entry
Tobacco Road Marathon – Cary, NC.$55 Early Entry
Harmon Lake Trail Festival -Bismarck, ND. $10 First 20 Entries. $50 Next 25. $60 Next 30.
ORRRC Marathon – Xenia, OH. $35 Early Entry
Timberline Marathon – Timothy Lake, OR.$60 Early Entry
Naked Prussian Marathon and 50K – Leesport, PA. $35 Early Entry
Veteran’s Day Marathon – Indiana, PA.$26.20 Early Entry
Lt. J.C. Stone 50K – Pittsburgh, PA. $60 Early Entry
Black Goose Marathon – Seekonk, MA. $45 Early Entry
Altamont Marathon – Travelers Rest, SC. $48 Early Entry
River Rat Marathon – Yankton, SD.$55 Early Entry
Brookings Marathon – Brookings, SD.$55 Early Entry
Swan Lake Marathon – Viborg, SD. $55 Early Entry
Morgan Valley Marathon – Morgan, UT. $60 Early Entry
Logan View Marathon – Logan, UT. $55 Early Entry
Virginia Creeper Marathon – Abingdon, VA. $15
Green River Marathon – Kent, WA. FREE!!!
Barnum Rail Trail Marathon – Keyser, WV. $55 Early Entry. First 10 people take 50% off!
Minocqua No Frills Marathon – Minocqua, WI. $45 Early Entry
– “Marathon des Érables”, end of April, $57 (rural setting, maple taffee on snow on the course, approx. 30-40 minutes south-east of Montreal)
– “Marathon SSQ de Longueuil”, May, $46 (Montreal South Shore)
– “Marathon des pompiers de Laval”, June, $35 (Montreal North Shore)
– “Marathon de Rimouski”, early October, $38 (flat out-n-back along the St-Lawrence river, which is quite wide and beautiful up there, but 6h drive north of Montreal)
– “Marathon de Magog”, October, $50