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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — Runners may soon have to shell out more cash for their hobby. The proposed fee is part of Wilmington’s recommended budget for the upcoming year. It would require all city race participants to pay an extra dollar for each race they run.

“I just don’t think that it’s a very good idea,” said Tracy Christian, president of Wilmington Road Runners, a group of running enthusiasts, and a race organizer. “I want people to be more well. We want the cross-city trails, we want the greenways, we want people to be active and healthy, and this is not how you do it.”

Christian is not happy with the fee proposed by Recreation and Downtown Services Superintendent Amy Beatty as a way to maintain greenways, trails, streets and sidewalks.

“What we are trying to do is directly link the the service to a particular fee, so that the users of that service are the ones who are absorbing that fee,” Beatty said.

Beatty hopes race organizers will pass the fee on to participants instead of taking it on themselves.

“I think it’s kind of a shame that they are going to tax the runners, because I know that the races bring quite a bit of money into the city, but at the same time, it is just a dollar,” runner Chaia Warrington said.

The Port City hosts about 40 or 50 races every year, but race organizers are afraid the proposed fees could cut that number significantly.

“I wonder if the city maybe had some complaints from people downtown and they are trying to get rid of events, because this will definitely shut down smaller races,” Christian said.

The majority of the city’s races are small. Christian says when smaller races go, the non-profits who put them on will lose lots of funding.

Beatty says she does not expect the fee to impact the number of races in town.

If the budget is approved at tomorrow night’s City Council meeting, runners could see changes starting as early as July 1.


Comment on this Story

  • Guest?

    How much is your average registration fee for a marathon/half-marathon? How much is did you spend on your running shoes? How about shorts, special “running” socks, tanks, etc.? I’m a runner too so I know a lot of money can be spent on this sport. If one dollar is going to give you heartache, then by all means, don’t race.

  • guesty

    There is a very easy solution for all that you whine about; just follow the rules and laws and you won’t have to pay any fines or have your car taken away.
    Don’t like it, get elected and make some changes, move away or my wish for you: just shut up, you sound like a little bit*h.

  • Guest2020

    It’s not a tax. It’s a fee. Only the participants are paying the dollar.

  • Guest1334

    You’re not seeing the big picture. This is what the city of Wilmington is going to start doing now that they cannot annex forcibly anymore. The fees will keep expanding, and they will continue to anger people. I can see it now, the city of Wilmington is going to say “well, see what happens when we can’t annex anymore? We need a way to make up for that lost revenue.”

  • WCCR member

    HI there- The dollar does not go to police support. That is extra. Police fee is paid separately as is DOT fee for blocking roads and permit fees for having the event.

  • Guest32

    Wilmington and the Cape Fear region have a lot to offer for the weekender, vacationer and locals. We have attraction to the beaches, rivers, golf, NC battleship, riverfront, parades, festivals, celebrities, fireworks, music cookouts, museums and arts, gardens, and more shopping than you can do in a life time. Come on down….…
    We also have New Hanover County Sheriff, Wilmington Police, Wrightsville Beach Police, South Port Police, Carolina Beach Police, Kure Beach Police, NC Wildlife, NC Hwy Patrol, Coast Guard, Helicopter, Radar, Cameras, Sub Marine devices, an Army of Parking Meter People, Tow Trucks, Citizen Volunteers watching your every move, We also have Tons of Permits, so you can do anything you want here: We’ve got one for freshwater fishing, we’ve got one for saltwater fishing, we have one if you want to sit at a picnic table in the park, and we have one if you want to drive on the beach and Fines for pulling a Neighbor out of the Sand. We have one if you want to go boating, we have one if you want to go camping, and, if you want to invite a few friends, we have one so you can have a party. And, introducing our latest service – the county can take your car and sell it at auction, so I wouldn’t recommend driving anything you want to go back home in. The trap is set. We are waiting in ambush for you.
    We love your money, and we don’t care how we get it. As long as you come back. With a smile.

  • Guest?

    For crying out loud $1 to help cover the cost of re-routing traffic during tourist season, closing roads, adding police officers for traffic control. Are you people really upset about $1? Then maybe you shouldn’t be racing. Give me a break! It’s ONE DOLLAR!!!!

  • Citizen of the Republic

    Wilmington might want to try floating fee schedules.
    When organizers register participants, that number is used to determine cost per runner.
    500 runners,walkers,etc participate.
    City services for the walk or race is $30,000. (Police EMS cleanup etc.)
    The fee would translate out to $60 per entry.
    Just examples. But the floating fees would ensure that if City and County drivers have to deal with the headaches of these races, at least they know it’s paying for itself.

    Or, it could be done like fishing and hunting licenses. If a runner or biker is going to enter into an event, his license fee would cover a season of activities.

    The main focus should be if the event is allowed, the cost of services should be carried by the event. Especially if it’s going to involve bringing traffic to a halt on a weekend.

    Just ideas, but for a $1, it’s more trouble than it’s worth.

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