Pricing, Discounts and Payment in 2016

Some prices are going down, some are going up, and and some discounts are changing in 2016. If you want to know how to maximize the “bang for your buck” this year, please read below.


Multi-Race Discount

The most powerful discount that we offer at RunWaterloo is the Multi-Race discount. This program entitles a single runner to progressive discounts on the total price, based on an increasing number of entries.

Want to run three events in 2016? Sign up together, and you save 10% on each. Add in more races and save even more: 15% on four, 20% on five, 25% on six, 30% on seven, and 35% on eight. That adds up to a very lucrative savings total, if you are willing to commit all at once. Signing up early helps us plan, it helps you plan, and we want to incentivize that by offering this great discount!

This discount is not changing in 2016, although more events are now eligible for this discount.

Note: not all events are eligible for the Multi-Race Discounts. The Pancake Mile, the Downtown Kitchener Mile and Battle of Waterloo IV are each only $15 and too inexpensive to qualify. But all events in the Waterloo Running Series, Fun For The Fun Of It, The ENDURrun and The Runway are fair game.

Family Rates

As you know, family accessibility is very important for us. In the current Family Rate scheme, the first two members pay full price. After that, any additional family members are 50% off. This means that a family of four pays 75% of the total, and a family of six pays 66%. A family of twelve (like Schmidt+Longshaw) pays only 58% of the listed price of the entries.

What is a family? If the person is related to you in any way, you are entitled to our Family Discount. If the person is your best, best friend, but not actually related to you, then you would use one of our other discounts. We encourage all families to round up any members, and sign up together!

Group Discounts

One of our most-used discounts is the Group Rate. If you have a group of ten or more runners, contact us for a promo code. Any member of your group will then have access to a $5 discount. This is ideal for any type of team, club, neighbourhood, office or fitness studio.

Free Entries

There are a variety of ways that runners earn free participation in our events.

– We are reprising our “First Race Free” program at the 2016 ENDURrace. Simply put, if you (or someone you know) has never run in any race before, they are entitled to a free 2.5 KM, 5 KM or 8 KM race. We want to break down barriers for first-time runners, and this is a risk-free opportunity to participate. We think you’ll love it 🙂

– We are also happy to let guardian “Escorts” run for free with a child in a 1K (or shorter) event. (If the guardian also wants a t-shirt and race bib, then they would be required to pay. At the Santa Pur-suit, the guardian would be required to purchase a $15 Santa Suit.)

– We are always looking for Pace Bunnies. If you are an experienced runner who can reliably run a consistent pace, please contact us. We accept pace bunnies for a few different paces at a few select events: 5KM and 10KM at Waterloo Classic and Octoberfast Run, and 21.1KM at Harvest Half.

– Stay tuned for contests from Michael Hewitson, a RunWaterloo sponsor who generously offers contests for free entries at most RunWaterloo events.

Fundraise! Races that support charities have fundraising schemes that offer free entries by collecting $100 in pledges. Even without collecting any donations, this means that you can support the charity in this way: where you would be inclined to spend $50 on an entry, you could also spend an extra $50 to get a tax receipt for $100 and have your $50 donation matched by RunWaterloo. It’s a total win-win-win.

– Complimentary entries are available for elite athletes. Contact us for further information.

Race Fees

Price Decreases

We are reducing the prices of all untimed events to further their accessibility. This is designed to help encourage first-time runners and young children to participate. This can be ideal scenarios that don’t count for Family Rates, such as a single guardian running with one child, or for two siblings or friends to participate together. In most cases, the price point for these events is dropping by $5.

Price Increases

Now, for the “bad” news. Some prices are increasing this year, in two important ways.

One, we are now passing on the cost of HST to participants through a price increase for about two-thirds of our events. It is an industry standard for HST to be passed explicitly to participants, including familiar events such as Canada Running Series, Around The Bay, Niagara Running Series, etc. For RunWaterloo in 2016, in most cases a 5 KM race increases by $5, from $45 to $50. In this case, the $5.75 tax liability is more than half of our pre-tax margin, and in general, it totals to our second-largest overall expense. Distributing this expense among all of our participants will go a long way towards helping us re-invest in the running programs and events that help build our community.

Two, we are moving toward an industry alignment where events are priced based on their length. This year, we are not increasing the cost of 5 KM races (except for the $5 mentioned above), however, we are increasing the cost of longer events. Industry averages peg 10 KMs at $12 more expensive than 5 KMs; we are increasing from a $0 differential to about $4. It is true that there are costs associated with the length of races, and this revenue gap is something that we are partially closing in 2016.

To give you insight into our pricing model, our dilemma is to serve the running community through price accessibility while also signalling our event quality through standard prices. We have always put as much downward pressure on prices as possible, and our prices are very sticky. These factors considered, even after the price increases listed above, our events have been and remain less expensive than what you would expect to pay at other similar events, at any of the sub-5 KM, 5 KM, 10KM and 10 KM-plus levels.

We don’t expect you, the reader and the runner, to be thrilled about this, but we do hope that you understand our process, and that this exercise will help you reflect on the actual price of our events, and their relative value within the industry.

Other Fees

This isn’t new, but it isn’t well known: all entries submitted after pre-registration closes are subject to a $5 surcharge. This charge is higher than the online processing fee, and is designed to incentivize people to register online. For volunteer-based organizations like RunWaterloo, online registrations allow us to greatly scale our operations. RaceRoster makes it super easy to create one account that you would use for every event.

Payment Options

As we mentioned above, RaceRoster is our preferred registration option, which is available online usually until the Wednesday before a weekend race. Other than that, there are a few options:

– During pre-registration, you can pay by cash or cheque at Runners’ Choice, or mail a cheque to RunWaterloo. Note: you cannot pay by debit or credit at the store.

– After pre-registration ends, there are two more opportunities to sign up: at kit pickup prior to an event, or at an event (if the race is not sold out). At these two opportunities, signups are accepted with: cash, cheque, or credit (through a Square Reader). As we mentioned above, there is a $5 surcharge at this point, which is more than the RaceRoster processing fee.

Thank you for reading. We hope you are excited about our racing calendar this year!