For a supposedly ascetic pursuit built of little more than earth, air and motivation, ultrarunning can be a surprisingly expensive sport. Shoes, gels, drinks, travel, lodging and entrance fees - even for the sponsored - can total into the thousands. Last season, I spent over $800 on entrance fees alone, and I didn't even race that much. For the costs beyond that, I prefer to stick to the "ignorance is bliss" approach.
Recent Bandera 100k and Ghost Town 38.5m winner, Nick Clark, however, has no such head-in-the-sand ethos and actually seems to spend nearly as much time logging the fiscal costs of his running as his miles and vertical feet. If you haven't seen his blog posts on the topic, they're revealing reading, which can really help you find places to whittle down costs.
In his year-end summary post, "2009 Spending/Miles," he calculated that he spent just under $3,000 for the season with just under 3,500 miles of racing and training - a cost per mile of 0.85 cents. Now, $3,000 may seem like a lot, but a quick look at the outlays, and it's clear he runs a very lean program, especially given how much he races.
What this means for my numbers, I care not to guess.