We charge a flat rate of $450 for any race that has 150 registered participants or less in it. If their race has more than 150 registered participants then the rate is calculated as $3 per registered participant.
Notice that we do not charge based on the number of finishers because most of the work we do is preparing bibs and tags for the pre-registered athletes. For example if 500 pre-register for a race, but only 25 people showed up to run it (let's assume nobody registered day of race), we would charge $1500 to time your race because of the time and effort it took to prepare for timing over 500 participants.
As you can expect, we also have to add on travel costs because some races are pretty far away. We charge $0.70 per mile (one way). So if the race is 100 miles from our hometown (Graham, NC) then we add on $70 of travel costs.
For races located more than 1 hour away we also add in the cost of a hotel so that we do not have to wake up a 2:00am, drive many hours (hoping that nothing goes wrong while we're traveling).
As you know some races require a lot more work than other. For example if I'm timing a marathon or multiple events at the same time (like a 5K/10K event) then we usually add on a "non-traditional" fee of $250 for each of the items that require extra work. As you know, timing a half marathon or marathon requires us to be out there a lot longer than a normal 5K or 10K race. Also, even though it's not really any extra work in the software to time multiple race at the same time, we do charge extra for timing more than one race at the same time - mostly because of managing people that swap races at the last minute - which is easy to do in the software, but it is extra work we have to manage.
We ask for a $100 nonrefundable "deposit" that's due when they hire us. This of course gets credited towards the final bill, but the propose of that is to lock in that date and to help protect us from turning down other races and then the original race we were hired to time cancels on us or changing the date of the race.
We require that the race director supply us with a power supply at the finish line. This has never been a problem, and we can chip-time the race without it, but this helps ensure we have plenty of juice to run the TV's, printers, and everything else we bring. Of course we bring a few hundred feet of extension cords in case they are needed, and in the rare occasion that here is no power supply close by the race director can just rent a generator.
We also require that the race director supply us with at least 5 volunteers that will work the registration area and then move over to the finish line to help run the "manual backup" timing system. Of course the typical chip timing system has backup readers and everything else, but we always like to bring an extra computer and have it manually timed (which just consists of someone hitting the space bar for each finisher and having another volunteer writing down bib numbers in order using the Bib Number Capture sheet).