DECA Budget Estimator - Plan for the financial cost of the DECA ahead of time

September 15, 2017

Like any event, the overall DECA race costs should be evaluated and consolidated into a budget. Many times, the race excitement overtakes the financial reality and rough estimates of the cost to participate in a long event like the DECA. Over the years, coaching and advising athletes with respect to the DECA, one of the major missteps is that athletes don’t fully understand what everything will cost with the DECA. The DECA is significantly less expensive compared to races like Ultraman, Race Across America, climbing Mt. Everest, swimming the English Channel and other multi-day events.


Excerpt from the "It's All About THE DECA" Book Plus BONUS TOPIC


Typically, the Classic DECA will cost a bit more with regards to entry fee and hotels, because of the length of the race. The longer the race, typically the higher price point, mainly because of the highest expense for the race, which is food.

DECA Expense Categories (some may not apply to the specific race)


Race Fee – The typical race fee will range from $1,500 - $2,500 (determine your home currency with respect to the country specific race location currency, this can fluctuate wildly, depending on the strength of your currency).

Flights - Unless the athlete is local, there will be on average 2 round-trip flights minimally (athlete and crew person) which would be around $2,000, if 2 crew then add another $1,000 for another crew member.

Hotels – Normally in the 1x10 DECA, it’s more manageable to stay at a hotel every night but some athletes will camp for free. Let’s assume worst-case scenario and 14 nights of a hotel with $75 per night cost would be approximately $1,050

Race transportation costs may include rental car and or train fees to location (many times the race directors will transport the athletes from the airport)

Estimated cost $300

Bike transport fee (on the flight) - Each airline has different pricing for International bike transport costs, assume $200 for the bike (each way) Total $400

Post-Race & Misc. spending – Most athletes will purchase some food items that are specific to themselves and might not be offered during the race. A typical grocery store for a few visits during the race would be $50. Plan on three visits to the grocery store, which could include misc. items such as batteries and supplies. Estimated cost: $200

Extra shoes (multiple sizes), training gear – Even though most athletes think they have everything they need with regards to equipment for the race, they will spend on various items prior to the race. It should not be significant, but figure on $400 for additional tubes, shoes, socks, clothing item and a lot of the misc. items that may be needed. Most athletes forget this expense prior to leaving for the race, but it can add up quickly.

Total budget estimate: $5,850 - $7,850

Cost per mile comparison of the DECA and an official Ironman race

Total DECA race cost per mile is $4.16 - $5.58

Cost per mile of an Ironman race entry fee only: $4.97

If you are considering pitching potential financial sponsors to offset your expenses, the financial budget will show transparency when you make the pitch to the sponsors. Make sure that your PowerPoint pitch deck (maximum 10 slides) clearly define the who, what, where, when and why questions. If interested in learning how to develop a pitch deck, presentation and plan to obtain sponsors please email me at

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Tags: deca, triathlete, ultramarathon, deca race, running, budget, triathlon

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