Run For One's Money Meaning

(idiomatic, dated) A reasonable opportunity to succeed, perform acceptably, or escape harm, especially in a difficult situation.

Example: 1918, Peter B. Kyne, The Valley of the Giants, ch. 24:
  "If your competitor regards you as a menace to his pocketbook, he can give you a nice little run for your money and delay you indefinitely."
2003, Mitch Frank, "Why Primaries Matter," Time, 3 April:
  After beating Bush in New Hampshire, McCain gave him a two month run for his money. Bush had to prove he wasn't just a famous name.
1913, Rudyard Kipling, Letters of Travel, ch. 18:
  He appealed and, by some arrangement or other, got leave to state his case personally to the Court of Revision. Said, I believe, that he did not much trust lawyers, but that if the sahibs would give him a hearing, as man to man, he might have a run for his money.
1917, William MacLeod Raine, The Sheriff's Son, ch. 11:
  "I say he'll get a run for his money. If there's any killing to be done, it will be in fair fight."