Why I’m skipping the San Diego Senior Games for first time ever

M100 Don Pellmann set 5 WRs at San Diego in 2015.

A confession. I’m not as fast as I used to be. But that’s no rarity. What’s really changed for me this year (along with my 100 speed) is my appetite for financial punishment. So when I looked at the cost of the Sept. 17 San Diego Senior Games track meet — $45 to enter, plus $3 for additional events — I decided, “Nah, I’ll pass.” This is partly a reflection of my underemployment. (I’m not hurting — I just watch my spending more carefully). But this will be the first time since turning 50 in 2004 that I haven’t entered my hometown Senior Olympics. I used to love the coastal bluff overlook track at Point Loma Nazarene, and I’m always thrilled to run the Mondo at the recent San Diego Mesa College venue. The meet is well-run, with great amenities. But I can’t see myself paying $45 to run 16 seconds. Next year, I’ll budget for Spokane nationals, and I’ll even train for a change. This year, I may haul my cameras to Mesa to shoot my friends and maybe see some records set. Is anyone else judging meets by cost? At what point, do YOU say: “No mas”?

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September 4, 2017

14 Responses

  1. Rob Walters - September 5, 2017

    First let me say I am a below average 54 year old “sprinter” and have had a great deal of fun running in all sorts of meets here in Michigan. I take three things into consideration when deciding where to race. One distance from my metro Detroit area home, two cost and three how well the meet is run. Running in small NCAA Division 3 meets is fun, if the weather is decent, the coaches are happy to have you there running, and it is cheap (usually about $10 for as many events as you want to run) All comer summer series meets are fun too with little kids all the way up to us geezers running, very relax atmosphere and low cost; they are usually run in the evening during the work week. Unfortunately, the Senior Olympics here in Michigan are pretty pricy with the cost just south of $75 for unlimited events. Basically, I seek value in a meet, how long to get there, how long will the meet take and what is the cost.

  2. Doug Smith - September 5, 2017

    We charged $50 and $20 extra events for the NCCWMA meet…….and we barely broke even.

  3. tb - September 5, 2017

    I don’t know, Ken, sounds like a good meet. Pretty inexpensive, too, for a Senior Games.

  4. Weia Reinboud - September 5, 2017

    Meets overhere in the Netherlands typically are about $4 per event. Expensive, relatively, are nationals with $8.50 per event. Travel costs will be low in comparison with the US because from here – my town is in the centre of the country – all tracks are within 200 kilometers.

  5. Thomas Sputo - September 5, 2017

    Things cost. $45 does not sound out of line, especially in the Democratic Peoples Republic of California. Pay officials, timing, facility costs, food and drink for officials and volunteers, etc.

    In my case, I have to travel to find meets to throw hammer. An overnight trip will easily cost between $150 to $200 for gas, hotel (like Days Inn or Motel 6), and meals at Waffle House. Add in $25 to $30 registration fee for a small college meet. Yeah, it adds up.

  6. Wade Sorenson - September 5, 2017

    $40 to $45 is pretty common for senior games type meets. They range from laid back and do as many events as you want to following a strict schedule to limit how many events you can do. If you are trying to break records these meets aren’t for you.

  7. CURTIS MORGAN - September 5, 2017

    Ken, maybe barter your (very professional!) press services for a big discount?

    Myself, I passed on the national Senior championships in MN two years ago, I think they wanted $170 or so. We also are old, can’t take the heat like we used to, and pass on summer games in the South.

  8. Mike W - September 6, 2017

    You are running the wrong distances Ken. Switch to the 5,000 and 10,000 and add in a half marathon and the $$$ per minute run becomes much more attractive.

    This is the thought that keeps me going during the 25 laps of a 10,000. And if I slow down I can enjoy the feeling for even longer 🙂

  9. whowouldbeyourdaddy - September 6, 2017

    It takes a lot to put on a track meet versus a 5 or 10K. When you think about all the different events and age groups…..the fact you want to keep records and rankings…..which necessitates FAT timing….the fact it’s hard to find people willing to time/measure all day without being compensated…..and our litigious society should someone incur an injury…..it costs MONEY to put on a meet. Long time ago…..I tried my hand as meet director/athlete once. I haven’t done it since.

  10. Michael D Walker - September 6, 2017

    I agree with # 9, meets are expensive to put on and require a lot of people and planning so $40 – 50 is probably in line. I retired a couple of years ago and have slowed down considerably so I have been a little more selective about which meets I enter. I do local meets but don’t travel as much. If my speed returned, I might find a way to get to more meets.

  11. Ken Stone - September 7, 2017

    Apologies for the crazy homepage glitch. My web host service is working to fix this.

  12. Paul Murphy - September 7, 2017

    Please allow me to cover the fee. My 401k had a good run recently.

  13. Ken Stone - September 7, 2017

    Nice of you to offer, Paul. I’ll send U a note privately.

  14. Steve Wennerstrom - September 8, 2017

    Well, I’ll be there Ken. The way I look at it is that for all the dozens and dozens and dozens and dozens of track meets I ran in during high school, college and post-college where I never paid a dime to enter. The entry fee, to me, is a small price to pay for that soulful feeling of being back on the track again as a senior – so many years later. And I’m thankful for the fact that I’m healthy enough to still compete. Bring your camera my friend….I’ll be the one with a big grin on my face! In this case, money is no object. :-))

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