Study finds The Woodlands marathon is a winner
By Megan Mattingly-Arthur
The 2013 Woodlands Marathon brought in more than $5.9 million to The Woodlands economy, according to an economic impact study.
The study, completed by Events Response, supports the event organizers’ decision to revive The Woodlands Marathon after a long hiatus, organizers say. The race began in 1979 and was revived in 2012 after a 19-year break.
“We felt it was time to bring it back. With the current endurance events established in The Woodlands, it only made sense to bring the marathon back to this community,” said WinWin Events President William Fowlkes.
Held March 2, The 2013 Woodlands Marathon had more than 7,500 participants, with more than 100 runners in the event’s Launch Charity Challenge. Introduced in 2013 by The Woodlands Marathon Management, the challenge allowed runners to create their own Reason2Race fundraising pages to raise funds for the charity of their choice. Launch Charity Challenge Participants also competed for an $18,000 prize purse that was divided among the top fundraisers.
[See 2014 video here]
Runners generated more than $98,000 for local charities and volunteer organizations through Reason 2 Race fundraising pages. With the addition of the $18,000 prize purse, The Woodlands Marathon raised more than $115,000 for local organizations, including the St. Luke’s Foundation, Girls on the Run, Interfaith of The Woodlands, the Salvation Army and the College Park Boys Soccer Team.
Following the success of the 2013 Woodlands Marathon, The Woodlands Marathon Management is already hard at work planning next year’s event, which will be held on March 1, 2014. The management hopes to increase the number of registered participants to 8,500, the maximum capacity for The Woodlands events. They are also working with the county to move the marathon from a double-loop to a single-loop course.
In anticipation of the increased participation, The Woodlands Marathon Management has set even higher Launch Charity Challenge participation and fundraising goals for the 2014 event.
“With the Launch Charity Challenge, we’ve set goals to have 150 individuals participating in 2014, and we’ve set a goal of $150,000 to be raised by them, plus the additional $18,000 prize purse for our top fundraisers,” Fowlkes said.
For details on The Woodlands Marathon, or the recent economic impact study, visit www.thewoodlandsmarathon.com. You can also connect with the marathon on Facebook or Twitter.