Well, if you let people shuttle themselves on a multi use trail, and simply time everything using walkie talkies, it won't cost anything. But we are moutain bikers, and are supposed to never break the rules.
Well you need to look at it two ways for cost:
1. Are you having the race at a ski resort with chair lifts?
2. Are you having it on a mountain side other than a ski resort?
1. If at a ski resort, you have to look at cost of running the lifts, having workers for the lifts, and paying for the mountain that day. When we had our races at a ski resort it cost us $2000 before we could even start. Paying for a NORBA official to be there is about $500.
2. If you are just having it on the side of a mountain, then you are looking at a lot less. Your really only cost is a Uhaul $75 to $100 to shuttle the racers, and people to run the race. Paying for a NORBA official to be there is about $500.
Those are your main cost +/- timing equipment or stop watches to time the racers.
You could always get sponsors to pay for some or all of your cost. They can write it off as advertisement on their taxes for the year.
I helped run MADRA for a few years with Butch. I was over sponsorship for the race series. The best thing is to ask him. He was over the money side of things for MADRA.
Ok well this seems like good news. I at first thought it would be something like $700 at least, but if we stay away from a NORBA official it seems like it would be much less. If we pay for the NORBA official to be there, would that mean it is NORBA sanctioned? What exactly does the official do? The race wouldn't be at a ski resort; it would be held on a local "mountain" (more of a hill). I thought I heard something about insurance and reliability issues; but I thought we could just make a waiver, with all they "if you crash don't sue us" statements. Also, I thought we may need an ambulance or paramedics on hand? The insurance and paramedics I thought would be the most expensive costs.
The only 'affordable' insurance you'll get is through NORBA, which means you'll have to pay for an official. I wouldn't even think of trying this without insurance, it's possible to get outside of NORBA, but not easy.
At the very least you'll need an EMT, and preferably an ambulance onsite.
By law, you'll need toilets - porta-potties - sanicans. The number of expected people will dictate how many you need.
Permits - Your either on state, federal or private land. Make sure you have proper permits and permissions to hold the event.
Marketing....Flyers at the very least, print ads in local cycling papers preferable.
You can run an event with out doing some of this stuff, you can run an without doing any of this stuff. I would plan on $1500 - $2000 to do it right. You can do it for nothing, but the success of the event will be directly corelated to what you put into it.