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Columbus Marathon Benefitted Local Economy

A study conducted by Fisher College of Business measured the event's impact on the local community.

A study conducted by Fisher College of Business measured the event’s impact on the local community.

Photo: Running USA

From: Running USA

COLUMBUS, Ohio – (December 16, 2011) – The Board of Trustees of the Nationwide Insurance Columbus Marathon and ½ Marathon have released the results of a study by the Fisher College of Business at The Ohio State University that shows the 2011 event’s economic impact totaled more than $13 million.

According to the study, the economic impact of the event since its inception in 1980 was more than $154 million.

The study measured the event’s total economic impact to central Ohio by looking at four categories: Participant and Guest Expenditures, Vendor Expenditures, Marathon & ½ Marathon Budget and Economic Benefit of Increased Fitness Levels. The financial impact of each participant to this year’s race averaged $767.

“This shows that the Columbus Marathon is not only the largest marathon in Ohio, but also one of the most impactful events affecting the local economy,” said Kurtis J. Roush, JD, MBA, Executive Director of Fisher Professional Services. “My team determined that on average, each dollar of participant registration dollars generated $10 of positive impact on Central Ohio. In addition to the economic benefits, we were able to document very positive externalities to the area – of the non-Ohioans who were making their first trip to Central Ohio, 89 percent stated their impression of the area was either ‘positive’ or ‘very positive,’ which is a large indicator of how the race is not only impacting the region financially but also helping to increase our positive exposure outside of our region.”

The Nationwide Columbus Marathon is the third-largest sporting event in Columbus in terms of spectators and participants, behind only the Arnold Classic and OHSAA State Championships in basketball (boys and girls) and wrestling. Additionally, the $13 million economic impact generated is higher than NCAA Men’s Basketball 2nd and 3rd rounds that generated more than $10 million in visitor spending.

“The Nationwide Insurance Columbus Marathon has shown its longevity and continues to grow bringing new visitors to Columbus each year. The marathon is good for our image, economic development and quality of life,” said Linda Logan, executive director of the Greater Columbus Sports Commission. “While our Sports Commission has had success in bringing new sporting events to our city, the Columbus Marathon is a pillar of our sports community and continues to showcase how our city supports marquee events with strong participants, volunteers, spectators and corporate backing.”

Bill Burns, Chairman of the Columbus Marathon Board of Trustees, added: “We also recognize that our impact goes beyond economics, and generates wonderful benefits in terms of the improved and sustained health of our athletes – many of whom change their life by training for and taking part in our event.”

The portion of the study that tracked the economic benefits of increased fitness levels of event participants focused on central Ohioans who trained for the event and, in the process, became healthier. The study found that the estimated healthcare savings for central Ohio was $687,055 in the first year alone based on an estimated 2,005 central Ohioans becoming physically active as a result of the Columbus Marathon.

Participants were also surveyed for demographic information, residence location, retail expenditures, nonprofit fundraising, travel expenditures, food and beverage expenses and number of guests/supporters. More than 25 percent of participants responded to the survey.

The 33rd Columbus Marathon and ½ Marathon will be held on Sunday, October 21, 2012 and will have the capacity of 7,000 full Marathoners and 11,000 ½ Marathoners. Registration officially opens on January 21, 2012. The Columbus Marathon is one of the 20 largest marathons in the United States, according to Running USA, and one of the top marathons to qualify runners for the Boston Marathon.

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