Entry Fees For Olympic Marathon Trials
Qualifying for the Olympic Marathon Trials is supposed to be the hard part…not coming up with the money to get yourself to the actual race.
Not only do all “B” qualifiers, which includes some serious Olympic contenders – Kara Goucher, Galen Rupp, Diego Estrada to name a few – have to pay for airfare and lodging, every athlete – A & B qualifiers – has to pay a race fee (A qualifiers get a per diem that is over the race fee). Yes, that’s right, when you get invited to the Olympic Trials you also get the opportunity to pay to enter the race. The fee, $30, may seem minimal, but at what point does it just feel like athletes are getting nickel-and-dimed at every turn?
The Olympic Marathon Trials is the pinnacle of marathon running in the US. The best 200+ female and 200+ male marathon runners in the country qualify and get invited to compete for a place on the U.S. Olympic team. A race in which millions (maybe?) of people will watch during unprecedented media coverage of the event. But first, you, the athlete, get hit with a $30 entry fee?! If it seems laughable that’s because it is laughable. Every single runner who qualified for the Trials would have his/her race fees comped at any other road race in the country. I wonder the last time Galen Rupp paid to enter a race? No, I’m fairly sure Payton Manning is not paying for a ticket to get himself into the super bowl this weekend. Ah, such is USATF and the world of distance running. I digress.
There are great companies trying to make a difference in the world of running. Companies that are searching for change, and doing what they can to make life not only easier for athletes but actively improving the livelihoods of athletes, all while making killer, innovative products. Look for these companies, support these companies.
One such company is Boulder based, Roll Recovery. Roll Recovery has offered to reimburse all athlete’s race fees at the Olympic Marathon Trials.
This is no small offer from a small company. With over 400 qualifying athletes at $40 a pop, the potential payout of $12,000+ is a significant chunk of change. Roll Recovery’s reasoning for not understanding the entry fee is sound and brings up a lot of questions.
Per the press release from Roll Recovery:
1668 Valtec Ln STE H
Boulder, CO 80301
PRESS RELEASE: ROLL Recovery Offers to Pay All Athletes Entry Fees for 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials
Boulder, CO (February 5, 2016) — It has come to our attention that athletes are required to pay an entry fee of $30.00 to compete in the 2016 U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials in Los Angeles on February 13. While we are not sure what this fee is for we are offering to reimburse athletes this $30.00 fee to show our support.
ROLL Recovery believes any entry fee is unnecessary when athletes have reached an Olympic qualifying mark and are invited for the opportunity to represent their country in the Olympic Games.
Significant revenue is already being generated through sponsorships and broadcasting. USATF has partnered with major sponsors such as Nike, Visa, BMW and Hershey’s to help support events hosted by USATF. Live coverage for the Olympic Trials Marathon will be broadcasted on the NBC Network. Given the revenue generated from these partnerships, we believe an entry fee is an unnecessary charge on the athletes. Founder of ROLL Recovery, Jeremy Nelson, had the following to say of the fee:
“Having family and staff competing in the Olympic Trials, it strikes me as odd they would have to pay for an event that will be televised nationally and is expected to draw significant revenue. Extending sponsorships, hosting premiere events in mass media markets and gaining broadcasting partners is great for the sport, but shouldn’t some of that success be extended to the athletes competing? After all, isn’t it them we’re watching?”
(Jeremy’s wife and Co-Founder of ROLL Recovery, Adriana Nelson, and Jeremy’s sister-in-law, Brianne Nelson, will both be competing in the Olympic Trials. ROLL Recovery staffers Andy Wacker, Nuta Olaru, Carlos Trujillo and Justin Young all hit OT qualifying marks.)
For the few A-qualifying athletes the flights and hotel will be reimbursed by USATF. B-qualifying athletes receive a “discounted” hotel rate of $300/night and must pay airfare. It is estimated the average Olympic Trials participant will spend about $1,500 for the event. This could be a once in a lifetime opportunity for an athlete and although the entry fee cost may seem minimal, we would like to offer what we can to show our support.
ROLL Recovery is a small company dedicated to the athletes it serves. We are offering to reimburse the entry fee or provide a $30.00 credit on our website (rollrecovery.com) for any athlete competing in the U.S. Olympic Marathon Trials. If you are competing and reading this, please send an email to firstname.lastname@example.org and we will respond with instructions on how to be reimbursed.
Thank you and best of luck to all competitors on February 13th.
Good on you Roll Recovery!