Running is a cheap way of keeping fit, all you need to run are a pair of trainers, right? That may be true for the casual runner – marathon running can be an expensive hobby.

Don’t get me wrong, running requires no monthly membership or any equipment like golf clubs. But there is a lot more financial outlay involved in a running marathon other than simply paying your entry fee.

So how much does a marathon really cost? Obviously, this will vary race to race, but here is a rough guide to the true cost of a marathon.

Race Day

Entry Fee: £50 
Travel: £50
Train tickets / shuttle buses / fuel / parking. (Depends on distance)
Hotels: £150 – £250
If you live locally then this is irrelevant. Saturday nights are the most expensive nights to stay in hotels, if you stay they evening after the race too then this will be a lot more.


Shoes: £60 – £100
The average cost for a decent pair of shoes. Running shoes should be replaced every
300 – 500 miles so you may need two pairs when marathon training.
Outfits: £200
You’re going to need at least 4 running outfits to get through your training unless you want to be constantly washing. Price will vary from brand to brand, I’ve based it on the average top and bottoms
Running socks: £40 (4 pairs of twin skins)
Sports bra: £55
Fuel belt: £25
Hat / Visor: £25


GPS Watch: £100 – £400
It all depends on how fancy you want to get – you can pick up a GPS that tracks distance and pace for around £100, the more features you want the more you have to pay. 
Headphones: £10 – £100
From normal to wireless.


Gels and electrolytes: £20 – £30
Protein Powder: £30


Foam Roller: £15
Compression socks: £20

All the other stuff:

Sports massage: £45
Race Day Photos: £35
Vaseline / Sudocrem / Deep Heat: £5
Blister Plasters: £5

Drum roll please…
Total cost of running a marathon is…

£1000 – £1580

Whilst you may not need all of the things listed above (hotels, travel etc) the cost of a marathon can soon add up.
It needn’t be pricey if you are savvy. If you are already a runner you will probably have a lot of the clothing/tech etc.

Don’t let that put you off. Running a marathon changes your life forever.