Friday Five: 5 Ways to Spend Your Tax Refund

Tax returns are (or were, depending on when you are reading this) due on April 15, and hopefully, a nice refund is in your future. I’m no financial analyst by any stretch of the imagination, but if you felt like making a big purchase with money back from Uncle Sam, here are a few suggestions for you:

1. New York City Marathon entry fee: $255 in 2012

I wrote a piece for Outdoor Athlete last year that looked at the logic behind the entry fee. Much of it revolves around security, closing streets down, insurance, shirts/medals, etc. But it gets to a point where you really have to think about what you’re paying for, and decide whether the experience of running one of the world’s major marathons is worth shelling out hundreds of dollars (which in many people’s defense, it totally is).

2. New York City Ironman entry fee: $895 in 2012

Again, much of this stems from the fact that organizers have to shut down part of New York City for hours, and that’s just not cheap to do. At the same time, this is upwards of $300 more than the average Ironman cost. Wouldn’t it make more sense to do this in Florida ($625) or Louisville ($600), among other locations?

3. Nike Gold Running Shoes: $24,000 in 2007

Nike Gold Running ShoesI don’t even know what to say about these. They were created for the 2007 Shanghai Golden Grand Prixat, but probably not for wearing. These shoes are 620 grams of pure gold, are 26 cm (10.2 inches) long, and just look fantastic. So if you have a few thousand dollars lying around and need to put it all to good use, I suggest something else, but custom shoes like these are apparently an option.

4. Endless Pool (prices vary)

Okay, so this is actually a useful tool to have. If you live in a nice enough place and have room for the pool, the Endless Pool can do wonders for your overall fitness. Prices start as low as $6,900, and can go into the high $20,000s, so be prepared to drop some cash. Depending on where you put it, the Endless Pool can be used year-round in lieu of going to the gym and sharing the pool with others.

5. Aurumania Crystal Edition Gold Bike: $101,400

Aurumania Crystal Edition Gold BikeYes, you read that price correctly. Here’s the description from

“This Gold Bike Crystal Edition from Aurumania is exclusively handcrafted with more than 600 dazzling Swarovski crystals adorning the gold plated body. A gold leaf encrusted on a leather badge on the front of the bike sports the limited-edition number. Aurumania sells the bike for 80,000 Euros (US $101,400).”

We’ll just leave that here…

So, those are just five options to pursue with your tax refund (or any other money you want to spend). I hope to see someone on that Aurumania bike soon…


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