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The Honolulu Advertiser

Posted on: Saturday, December 18, 2004

2004 marathon was an economic gold mine

Advertiser Staff

The economic impact of last Sunday's Honolulu Marathon is likely to surpass that of the 2003 event, thanks to an increase in Japanese participants, marathon officials said.

The 26.2-mile marathon had 15,723 entrants from Japan, up 3.6 percent over the 15,149 entrants last year, according to registrar figures. Japanese participants in the 6.2-mile Honolulu Marathon Race Day Walk grew 15 percent, from 4,176 last year to 4,688.

The marathon included 25,671 registered runners this year, with about 80 percent, or 20,639 participants, from outside the Islands. Total out-of-state participants in the marathon and the walk was 25,237.

Marathon officials say most participants bring one to three family members or friends, so the total of visitors for the events could be 50,000 to 100,000.

Last year's marathon and walk generated $86.8 million, according to a study by the Hawaii Pacific University Travel Industry Management program. An HPU study on the economic impact of this year's events will be released next month.

Many businesses here have benefited from the marathon. Visitors for the events filled hotels, restaurants and stores in Waikiki, and local businesses involved in the marathon also got a boost this month.

The Honolulu Marathon is the world's sixth-largest marathon and the nation's third-largest race. Female entrants in the walk outnumbered males by 4 to 1, while 52.8 percent of marathon participants were men.