The Free Press, Mankato, MN

Editorials

October 25, 2013

Mankato Marathon gets better each year

Why it matters: Marathon organizers have excelled at building on marathon success.

The Mankato Marathon has come a long way in just three years.

In the inaugural event in 2010, about 2,000 runners participated. This year more than 4,500 runners participated and the number of races has grown — with even toddlers getting in on the fun in the Diaper Dash.

With more runners and events come more visitors and fans, bringing a boost to the local economy. It’s always difficult to accurately measure the economic impact of large events and calculating how much money is being brought to the area that would not otherwise be spent here on something else. But a marathon is clearly a high-value event as it brings a large number of runners and families from out of the area who would not otherwise be spending money at local restaurants, gas stations, hotels and stores.

The regional impact of the marathon is clear as this year’s event drew runners from 32 states and four countries.

Beyond the economic impact the marathon has become a force for raising money for charity. This year, Girls on the Run, Backpack Food Program and Project for Teens benefited.

Anna Thill, president of Visit Mankato, said that having established the marathon as a major event they wanted to add the charitable fundraising as a way to help the community.

The sponsored charities raised about $17,000 through donations and by giving runners a chance to sign up pledges from friends and family. Charity directors said it makes their work easier to build fundraising efforts around unique events like the marathon. And it’s an opportunity to spread the word about the work they do before a large audience of runners, family and onlookers.

Organizers also continued to expand the experience for fans and runners by setting up for “cheer squad sites” — locations where fans could gather to cheer on runners. The number of sites grew from 12 last year to 17.

The beautiful fall views of the Minnesota River valley create a stunning natural setting for a late-season marathon. But it’s the organizers and volunteers who have been flawless in developing the marathon into a growing event that has become highly regarded and recognized in the Upper Midwest.

1
Text Only | Photo Reprints
Editorials
  • Spear smile.jpg Spear column: Hoffner case tested first and right rules

    The biggest news stories carry the biggest risk

    April 20, 2014 1 Photo

  • SCC leads the way on work ed The importance of higher education has never been more pronounced than with the changes occurring in our economy, especially in manufacturing. Bloomberg News noted that manufacturing accounts for 80 percent of our exports and for every one high-tech

    April 20, 2014

  • Our View: Y helps kids with skatepark Thumbs up to the YMCA and supporters working quickly to open an interim roller sport park. When fire destroyed Chesley Roller Sports Park in February, the Y made the commitment to rebuild it this summer and fall. But the Y also moved to give skateboa

    April 19, 2014

  • Our View: Make course evaluations public There's been a considerable and legitimate debate over the years about whether students at a public university should have access to teacher and course evaluations. Whenever there is a legitimate debate, it's hard to be in favor of less information a

    April 18, 2014

  • Our View: Drawing the line after Ukraine Why it matters: Tensions are ramping up once more as Russia tries to dictate to Ukraine.

    April 17, 2014

  • Our View: Costs key in health care access While more uninsured got coverage, costs must be controlled to sustain programs

    April 16, 2014

  • Our View: Saving lives trumps booking drug users Changes to the drug laws would save lives of those who overdose

    April 15, 2014

  • Pay attention! Distraction a problem A few years ago safety experts focused heavily on the dangers of people talking on cellphones while driving. Some states passed laws prohibiting the use of hand-held phones in cars as a result. Today much attention is on motorists typing on tiny hand

    April 14, 2014

  • DEBATE MEDICAL MARIJUANA When Minnesota lawmakers return from their spring break, one of the issues they may face is medical marijuana. This has been kicked around too many times. We feel it deserves to be pushed from committee and debated on the floor. The issue has been tr

    April 13, 2014

  • Our View: Cities saved on garbage collection Mankato and North Mankato saved their taxpayers money by bidding on garbage service

    April 12, 2014