FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Contact: Scott Schricker
SunTrust Richmond Marathon Boosts Local Economy
Record fields for marathon and NTELOS 8k mean millions in economic impact
RICHMOND, VA - Featuring the largest field in its 27-year history, the
2004 SunTrust Richmond Marathon will generate a huge economic impact for
the Richmond region. Using standard economic impact formulas utilized by
the Richmond Metropolitan Convention & Visitors Bureau, the SunTrust
Richmond Marathon, including its companion races the NTELOS 8k and Richmond
Times-Dispatch Kids Run, will pump $3.5 million into the local economy.
The boost the event provides the area is the result of record-size
fields in both the 26.2-mile marathon and the 8k. Combined, the two races
have currently attracted a total of more than 2,050 out-of-state
participants and another 800 Virginians who live more than 50 miles from
Richmond. And, the number of spectators coming with those runners is
expected to top 5,500 people this year.
"The economic benefit of hosting 'America's Friendliest Marathon' (the
nation's 22nd largest) goes well beyond filling area hotel rooms and
restaurants," said Jon Lugbill, executive director of the Sports Backers,
who own and operate the race. "The positive experience the thousands of
visiting runners take with them by seeing the James River, Monument Avenue,
the Museums on the Boulevard, Shockoe Slip and our many beautiful
neighborhoods generates a lasting impression."
"Sports tourism is such a valuable asset to this community," said Jack
Berry, president and CEO of the Richmond Metropolitan Convention and
Visitors Bureau. "Visitors coming to the region for sporting events also
stop to enjoy our cultural and historic sites. They then become our best
ambassadors, recommending the Richmond region to their friends and other
Another factor that continues to increase the economic impact of the
event is the number of first time marathoners participating in America's
Friendliest Marathon. The Disney Marathon has learned through surveys that
first time marathoners will bring on average 4 spectators per participant
to the event. Because Richmond has become known for outstanding customer
service for the runner this has lead to 1 in 3 participants of this year's
event being a first time marathoner thus greatly enhancing the number of
visitors to the Richmond area.
Runners from all over the country and the world are registered to run.
There are currently registered runners from 46 different states plus the
District of Columbia and seven foreign countries (Canada, France,
Guatemala, Japan, The Netherlands and Thailand). This does not include
elite athletes who are scheduled to run.
Record field keeps growing. The SunTrust Richmond Marathon continues to
increase its new record for the most entries in the 27-year history of the
event. As of November 8, over 3,940 runners had registered for the
marathon, shattering last year's record total of 3,595. With four days
left to register, a total field of 4,200 is expected by race day on
Saturday, November 13. This is the sixth consecutive year that the
marathon has set a new entry record. The marathon's companion race, the
NTELOS 8k, is slightly ahead of last year's registration pace when a record
field of 4,037 participants were registered.
Online entries for the SunTrust Richmond Marathon, NTELOS 8k and
Richmond Times-Dispatch Kids Run will be accepted at
www.richmondmarathon.com up until 11:59 p.m. on Thursday night, Nov. 11.
After that, people can sign up in person at the Race Expo at the Omni
Richmond Hotel on Friday, November 12 from 11 a.m. until 9 p.m. There is
no Race Day registration.
Marathon and 8k to impact Saturday morning traffic. Motorists traveling
about town on Saturday morning will want to be aware of race day road
closures and traffic pattern changes (a complete list is attached). When
in doubt, motorists are always encouraged to stick to the interstates when
navigating around town, even when it may not be the shortest route.
Richmondmarathon.com provides updated news. The best place for runners
and the media to get updated news about the SunTrust Richmond Marathon,
including traffic information and race day parking, is at
2004 SunTrust Richmond Marathon & NTELOS 8k Schedule
Friday, November 12
11am - 9pm Health & Fitness Expo, Packet pick-up
and walk-up registration at The Omni Hotel
11:30am-3pm Bus tours of marathon course
4:30pm "How to Run Your Best Marathon" seminar
with Bart Yasso of Runner's World at Expo
6 - 8pm Pasta Dinner at the Omni Hotel
Saturday, November 13
6 - 8:30am Packet pick-up at the Omni Hotel
8am Marathon start (7th & Broad Streets)
8:15am Kids Run Start (9th & Main Streets)
8:45am 8k start (9th & Broad Streets)
9am - 2pm Finish Line Festival
11am 8k awards ceremony for overall and masters winners
12pm Marathon awards ceremony for overall and masters winners
For media seeking more information, please call Scott Schricker at
285-9495 or 218-9689 (mobile phone on Race Day).