Fastest course in the west.

California International Marathon Boosts Economy

11/10/2011, 8:57am PST
By CIM

The 29th annual race to deliver $8 million impact to Sacramento region

The California International Marathon will deliver a big economic boost to the Sacramento area just when the capital city needs it the most.

Early December is typically a slow time for local hotels. But the 29th annual CIM, set for Dec. 4, is projected to fill 2,830 hotel rooms, up significantly from last year’s 1,950-room count.

The 26.2-mile race from Folsom to the state Capitol will provide an economic impact of $8 million, according to Mike Testa, a senior vice president for the Sacramento Convention and Visitors Bureau.

“Things are looking up,” Testa said of the CIM’s jump in hotel rooms. “The growth of this event shows how popular it is.”

The CIM, founded by the Sacramento Running Association in 1983 and presented by Kaiser Permanente, has hit its entry caps for the third consecutive year. A field of 8,000 marathoners and 4,000 relay runners is expected, with another 2,000 runners projected to participate in the 2.62-mile Kaiser Permanente maraFUNrun for adults and children.

Ranked as the 14th largest marathon in the country, the CIM has doubled in size since 2005, when it featured 4,000 runners.

The economic boost delivered by the CIM comes just after Amgen Tour of California officials announced the pro cycling race will bypass Sacramento in 2012 after a popular five-year run in the capital city.

“There’s a lot of disappointment over Amgen not coming back,” Testa said. “Any time you have an event like this (CIM), especially this time of year, it’s a great benefit to the region.”

The CIM has long enjoyed a reputation as a great race to earn a Boston Marathon qualifying time. The course, which passes through Folsom, Orangevale, Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks and Carmichael before reaching Sacramento, is slightly downhill, with weather conditions normally cool enough to help produce fast times.

Another race within the race will be runners seeking Olympic Trials qualifying times. The 2012 U.S. marathon trials are set for Jan. 14 in Houston.

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

SRA beneficiaries include the American River Parkway, youth fitness programs, local running venues and aspiring young runners.