Watch out for runners on Sunday, September 2 on the South Shore. It’s the 4th Annual Kaua`i Marathon.
Marathon organizers have a goal of increasing participation by 10 percent over last year, and that’s good news for the state of Hawai`i, and in particular on Kaua`i. Over the last three years, The Kauai Marathon provided impressive statistics for the state in both numbers of tourists as well as the total visitor spend.
The number of participants has grown from 1,520 in 2010 to 1,723 in 2011. Each year, women have dominated the field with approximately 58% of runners compared to 42% men. In 2010, 649 kama’aina participated with the largest population coming from Kauai at 335 runners. In 2011, 771 were from Hawaii with an astonishing 480 runners from Kauai.
In 2010, ten countries were represented with Japan and Canada as one and two respectively for numbers of participants. Additionally, there were runners from 45 states. In 2011 those numbers increased to 47 states and 13 countries represented with the largest growth in the Japanese market.
The current statistics for the 2012 event show an increased competitor count from the mainland, and organizers are hoping that several non-profit fundraising groups such as The Leukemia and Lymphoma Society’s Team in Training and other international non-profits will bring in additional runners. To date, these groups have raised almost $900,000 for their worthwhile causes at The Kauai Marathon.
The Economic Impact generated by The Kauai Marathon in 2011 was solid for the event’s third year. Kauai’s resorts received 5,653 room nights booked during the event with the Grand Hyatt Kauai and the Sheraton Kauai receiving the highest number of bookings. The average length of stay was 3-5 nights while the very conservative average nightly room rate was $185.00.
According to the Office of Economic Development, approximately $980,330 was spent in room revenue and the average spend per day on other items such as car rental, food and beverage and activities was $105.00 per day. The total visitor spending (direct, indirect and induced) was approximately $2.58 million. Based on OED’s calculation, the 3-year total economic impact for the race exceeds $7.7 million.
Not only does the island benefit economically from the race, but also over the three-year period nearly $35,000 has been donated to local non-profits. Race founder Jeff Sacchini plans to continue charitable giving to the community in 2012. Some of the past recipients include Kapaa High School’s Project Grad, Kauai Food Bank, and Aloha Ike.
The island also benefits from print advertising marketing Kauai in prestigious running publications such as Runner’s World, Running Times, Distance Running, Competitor, and Marathon & Beyond. The online presence from the event includes regular website updates, a strong Facebook presence and electronic newsletters. Local and national media are kept abreast of news throughout the year with press release updates, as well as an accessible press page on the website.
Without the support of the people of Kauai, combined with corporate sponsors, the event could not achieve success and enhance the economy for our island community. Over the last three years, several sponsors have made the event possible including the Kauai Visitors Bureau, the County of Kauai, Hawaii Tourism Authority, Grand Hyatt Kauai, Fresh Point, Kauai Coffee, Kalapaki Joe’s, Kauai Heritage Properties, Poipu Beach Resort Association, Holo Holo Boat Tours and many more.
The vision for the future is simple. Organizers want to continue to work with community leaders and sponsors to market the Garden Isle in a positive and beautiful manner while providing runners the best race experience of the year. The 4th Annual Kauai Marathon is scheduled for Sunday, September 2, 2012 in Poipu Kauai. The event offers marathon and half marathon distances, which are certified by USATF and AIMS. For more information, please visit www.thekauaimarathon.com.