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Monday, Dec 4, 2023

Suzuki Marathon Still Rocks as a Draw for Visitors

Although financial windfall from the Suzuki Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon won’t be known for more than a month, the event brought in a high number of visitors, organizers say.

Approximately 18,946 of the 20,773 entrants , 91 percent , registered for the June 4 race came from outside San Diego, said a spokeswoman for organizer Elite Racing.

Elite Racing estimated 1,827 were locals.

Last year’s race generated $37.6 million in direct spending, according to a study done by the University of San Diego and commissioned by Elite Racing.

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Last year, the number of runners from outside San Diego was estimated at 16,002.

Participant surveys found that the size of the average participant’s party was 2.8 last year, and the average daily spending was $213.

Last year, visitors and guests totaled 44,805.

According to a visitor profile from the San Diego Convention & Visitors Bureau, the average length of the visitors’ stay was 3.5 days , making the total visitor days from the event 156,817.

With the $213 figure for average spending per person, overall spending had totaled $33.4 million, Elite Racing reported.

Combined with the sponsor and organizer spending of $3.75 million and the $502,500 local impact of a fitness and sports expo, the total came to $37 million.

The previous year, direct spending had totaled $35.8 million.

Last year, the marathon generated $287,186 in hotel taxes for the city, with a total of $363,527 for the county, according to Elite Racing.

In 1998, the taxes added up to $281,490 for the city and $356,317 for the county.

Now in its third year, the Suzuki Marathon has become one of the most popular marathons in the country, known for having live bands at every mile.

This year, winners of the 26.2-mile course were Margaret Okayo of Kenya for the women and Belay Wolashe for the men. Okayo, 23, set a course record of 2 hours, 27 minutes and 5 seconds, and 31-year-old Wolashe’s time was 2 hours, 12 minutes and 45 seconds.

Both winners took home a prize package Elite valued at $55,000, including $10,000 in cash.


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