San Diego’s perfect weather and beautiful scenery make it ideal for marathons, triathlons and every race in between, and as it turns out, those events provide more than a good workout for participants, a new study finds.
Endurance competitions brought $64.1 million in total economic output to San Diego County last year, according to the National University System Institute for Policy Research (NUSIPR).
Looking at participant data from 66 marathons, swims, cycling events, 5Ks, mud runs and swims in 2013, the institute found 134,000 people signed up to compete, with 34 percent traveling in from outside the county. The races drew attendees from all 50 states and more than 22 countries.
The NUSIPR says the events also led to $21.3 million in wages and 583 direct, indirect and induced jobs in the local endurance sports field.
The San Diego Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon was the only endurance event to receive San Diego Tourism Marketing District (TMD) funding through the district’s application process, the NUSIPR found. The county’s biggest race was given $300,000 – about 1 percent of TMD’s investments.
The institute says the city’s tourism industry could be doing more to get bigger crowds to run to San Diego.
“As the endurance event industry has changed, stronger partnerships between the hospitality industry and event organizers could generate even more visits to San Diego and further boost attendance,” study authors wrote.
They also say few events were hosted in the East County and South Bay -- a missed opportunity because both could offer different sights and amenities for visitors.
In 2013, these five races were the top across the finish line: the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon (24,642 participants), the World Famous Mud Run (20,000 participants), Father Joe’s Villages Thanksgiving Day 5K (10,000 participants), the Tri-City Medical Center Carlsbad Marathon (8,472 participants) and America’s Finest City 5K and Half Marathon (7,604 participants).