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Cleveland Marathon Benefits Local Economy

The race's impact on Northeast Ohio has grown 170 percent since 2004.

The race’s impact on Northeast Ohio has grown 170 percent since 2004.

From: Running USA

CLEVELAND — A recently completed economic impact study has concluded that the 2012 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon generated $18.25 million toward the City of Cleveland’s economy during race weekend, May 18-20. That figure represents a growth of 170 percent over the 2004 findings that resulted in a figure of $6.8 million.

The study of the May race was conducted by Forward Analytics, a Pittsburgh-based full-service marketing research and strategic planning firm that boasts numerous major clients located throughout the country.

“This report demonstrates the continued vibrancy of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon and its beneficial impact on the economy of the greater Cleveland region,” said Jack Staph, Executive Race Director of the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon. “We’re extremely proud of the fact that the race has experienced 300 percent growth over the last 10 years, the runners continue to have an overwhelmingly positive experience and the event provides a large infusion of money to our hometown.”

A record 20,008 runners, walkers and wheelchair racers competed in the 35th anniversary weekend of events that included the full marathon, half-marathon, 10K, 5K and Kids’ Run. The study found that each runner was accompanied by a mean of 2.3 friends and/or family, with that core group responsible for contributing nearly $13.4 million towards the local economy. Additional on-course spectators were not included in the study as there was no way to accurately measure their numbers.

Cleveland Marathon, Inc. contributed $4 million in direct and indirect spending in order to put on the race, while generating an estimated $459,057 in government tax revenues. The Health & Fitness Expo vendors and the more than 2,000 race volunteers were also significant contributors.

“As a general rule, we tend to be conservative with our estimates for marathons,” said Candace Campbell, Senior Project Director at Forward Analytics. “With no way to pinpoint the number of spectators over the two-day event in Cleveland, we firmly believe that even more money was contributed to the local economy by those that came out and lined the course.”

Additionally, the study does not take into account the hundreds of thousands of dollars raised by this year’s participants to support the race’s more than 30 charity partners, almost all of whom are local non-profit organizations.

Forward Analytics also asked participants about their level of satisfaction regarding various aspects of the race weekend. The survey found that 94.3 percent of respondents agree that the Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon adds value to the region, while 68.5 percent of those living outside of the Cleveland region said that they are like to visit the area again as a tourist.

“The survey results clearly demonstrate that the City of Cleveland and the surrounding areas benefit tremendously from having a high-profile event that not only attracts people from all over the state, but also from around the country,” said Staph. “The fact that our satisfaction rate is 92.8% is very encouraging. However, the survey pointed out some areas in which we can get better, and we work year-round to respond to runner feedback. These numbers provide a good roadmap as we strive to continually improve upon the ‘Cleveland Experience.'”

Survey Methodology: A total of 3,343 runners completed post-event surveys by the designated response date (20.9% response rate), representing a statistical significance of +/- 1.96% at the 95% confidence interval. This means that the results reflect the answers of between 93.04% and 96.96% of the total population. To view a full copy of the report,

One of the 50 oldest races in the country, the 2013 Rite Aid Cleveland Marathon will take place May 18-19. For event details and registration, go to: