Half marathon leaves positive impact on economy

If 1,600 runners crowding Yamhill Valley’s wineries, shops, restaurants and inns weren’t enough of an indicator that September’s Oregon Wine County Half Marathon was good for the economy, then perhaps findings from a post-race survey will be.

Based on nearly 200 responses, at least half the runners spent more than $500 on food, lodging, wine, transportation and other items during their stay, and almost one quarter spent more than $1,000, according to event organizer Destination Races, a veteran operator of wine country races and headquartered in Northern California.

What might have been just another sporting event was transformed into an economic boon by the Oregon Sports Authority, a group dedicated to promoting tourism and economic development through athletic endeavors. In the past 20 years, the group has injected more than $200 million into local economies through the promotion of tournaments and other types of competition.

Destination Races principal Matt Dockstader contacted OSA, and the two organizations teamed up to work on the 13.1-mile Yamhill Valley event. Destination conducted the follow-up survey.

— Excerpt from the Yamhill Valley News-Register, December 25, 2010

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