Race continues to positively affect the economy and health of the community

AKRON, Ohio (March 5, 2014) – Heading into its 12th running this fall, the Akron Marathon, presented by Time Warner Cable, continues to be a significant economic contributor to the region’s economy while also having a substantial impact on the health of the race’s nearly 15,000 participants. The findings come from a pair of recently completed impact studies commissioned by the race.

“Akron and the surrounding communities are the lifeblood of our race, and we are proud of the ever-increasing impact the Akron Marathon has on our region,” said Anne Bitong, Akron Marathon Executive Director. “Not only is the race a proven vehicle of economic growth, but it’s also improving our participants’ quality of life of. That’s a win-win for everyone associated with the event.”

Conducted by Kent State University’s Department of Economics, The 2013 Akron Marathon: An Economic Impact Analysis found that the race generated approximately $6 million to the local economy in direct and indirect impact. Roughly $2.4 million was direct impact from the race participants and spectators in areas such as hotels, restaurants and retail. The study concluded that the Akron Marathon was responsible for the creation of 87 jobs in 2013 — a 45 percent increase over the previous year.

The Kent State research also determined that more than half of the participants (51.5 percent) came from outside of Summit and Portage counties. These “non-local” participants were responsible for nearly $4.5 million in direct and indirect impact to the local community.

“This economic impact study illustrates how important holding large events can be to the local economy. The Akron Marathon is uncommon in that the economic impact came from both out-of-town runners and guests as well as from local runners by keeping them from spending outside the local area. In total, $6 million was spent or kept in the local economy due to the race, which substantively improves local spending, local earnings and local employment,” said Shawn Rohlin who led the economic impact analysis.

According to the Health Impact Assessment of the 2013 Akron Marathon, conducted by the Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron (ABIA), the race also had many positive impacts on the overall health of the participants.

Among the findings was the fact that an estimated (25-30 percent) of participants reduced their weight to the normal body mass index (BMI) range. The study also found that the race led to a reduction of high blood pressure, high cholesterol and overweight individuals among adults in Summit County. Based solely on weight reduction, the Akron Marathon saved the region an estimated $1 to $1.2 million in potential medical costs for 2013. Additionally, the participants who reduced their BMI from overweight to normal were expected to increase their lifespan by 2-4 years.

The Akron Marathon includes four events: the full marathon, the half marathon, the five-person team relay and the kids fun run. Through these events, the Akron Marathon has grown by more than 10,000 participants since its inaugural event in 2003.

The Akron Marathon offers the community a health-focused, fun-filled event that draws thousands of participants and spectators. The 12th annual event will be held September 27, 2014. Registration is available at akronmarathon.org. Rates are slated to increase again on April 1st.