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Why does it cost so much to enter The Pagan??

Why does it cost so much to enter The Pagan??

Why does it cost so much to enter The Pagan???

A note from the Race Director…

We understand – the race fee for The Pagan is a huge chunk of cash. I own a car that cost me less than that amount, and we spent a long time working out that race fee. This blog post should (hopefully) explain why it costs that much to enter The Pagan – but if you have any questions at all (or just fancy a chat) please don’t hesitate to contact us directly.

The Event Costs

We have been doing this for a while now – and we have experience from both sides of the registration table. The Pagan is a semi-supported ultra, which means that as well as the usual race infrastructure (medics, registration systems, land permission fees, event staff) we also have to pay for moving the race support infrastructure along the route to meet the athletes and cover the living costs of the event team whilst they are working for us.
Tough events and races cost a lot of money to put on, and tough events that are run PROPERLY and SAFELY without cutting corners cost a HUGE amount of money to run. Many of you who are reading this will no doubt understand this already, but to give you an idea (from events we have helped with in the past):

  • A 2.5 day triathlon in North Wales that has been running for several years now (with around 200 participants) costs over £20,000 for the direct event costs alone
  • A 2 day running (trail and ultra) event in the north of England running over the mountains cost over £15,000 for the entire event, excluding promotional costs

When we start developing an event we aren’t looking for ways to cut corners and save costs – we start by asking what we SHOULD be doing and put those things in place first. I started my career working on outdoor events as a freelance event medic and support team member and know what it is like to work hard to keep athletes safe and ensure they have a great time.

I believe that:

  • Medical support teams should be qualified professionals, and have the appropriate skills and experience for the type of event, the terrain and be paid the rate they deserve
  • Event Support staff should be paid professionals, and again have the qualifications and experience for the role they are performing, particularly in remote and rugged terrain far from ambulances and hospitals. Most of our freelance staff are outdoor instructors, guides and often members of mountain rescue or SAR teams.
  • Safety and reliable systems should come before self-promotion and glitz. I would always rather pay for GPS trackers or more safety marshals than fancy banners and a sound system that athletes will barely notice in the warm-up to an event
  • Event organisers should engage with local authorities, landowners and local communities to ensure that an event is run safely and without a negative impact on the local environment – not just turn up and running the event and hoping to get away before the complaints come in.
When we approached Jonny and the Ultramedix team about being partners for The Pagan neither of us was looking to make money. It’s a long route (one of the longest in the UK, and longer than any route that has been run as a commercial event before) and a daunting task. We have wanted to run this route for a while, and after a lot of careful planning to work out the route options and support infrastructure we’ve launched the event. We don’t intend to make money from this event – we hope to cover the costs of putting the event on, and hopefully recoup some of the costs of organising it, that’s it.

How to reduce the cost

Because of the above, we have created a few options to reduce the entry fee for The Pagan:

  • ENTER EARLY – If you or your team register before midnight 31st December 2015 you will save 20% off the entry fee, bringing it down to £499.00 (see Eventbrite entry form for details)
  • SEE IF YOU QUALIFY FOR A DISCOUNT – We offer a further 10% off the current event cost to members of the Armed Forces, Emergency Services staff, volunteer Mountain Rescue, ALSAR or RNLI team members. Please contact us for more information

What you get for the money

If you choose to enter The Pagan as a full participant you will have:

  • Medical and safety support from paramedics, mountain rescue/SAR team-experienced personnel along the course and at CPs
  • GPS Tracking along the route using the tried and tested Open Tracking system
  • Experienced event support team along the route
  • Support vehicles to rest in along the route
  • A t-shirt. Well, you always get a t-shirt don’t you? :-)

The bottom line…

As I said above, we aren’t looking to make a huge amount of money and retire on this event. We are securing sponsorship and event partner deals to help cover the costs, and we hope to reduce the costs as we go forward (or at least not increase them). The Wales Coastal Path follows a stunning route, along sandy beaches, fast hard surfaces and winding narrow tracks above crashing waves and huge cliffs. It takes you to places few visit, and right through Victorian seaside resorts and past ancient castles.

I have chosen to live and make my life in North Wales partly because of the coastline here, and making this event run is important to me. I want those who take part in The Pagan to fall in love with this place as much as I have, and I am sure you will.

Richard Prideaux
Race Director

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