NEW YORK (CBSNewYork) — Running is a cheap sport, but if you want to join races, it can add up.

This year, the New York Road Runners began a pilot program called “Race Free,” which allows applicants who show need to run races for free, WCBS 880’s Marla Diamond reported.

“We give them access,” said Road Runners President and CEO Michael Capiraso. “Honestly, at the end of the day, we want to make sure that running’s accessible to everyone, and we expect there’s some honor system in a bit of this as well.”

One of the recipients of the Race Free program is Budi Djafar, a Fulbright scholar from Indonesia studying at The New School.

“I would not be able to pay,” he said. “I would swallow the bitter pill and run on my own.”

The Race Free program helped him get in his miles to qualify for Sunday’s TCS New York City Marathon.

“It gives me motivation to actually do better and keep up with my running,” Djafar said.

In addition to half marathons, the Road Runners plan to extend the Race Free program next year to the marathon itself, whose entry fee of more than $200 has been a barrier to some runners.

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