The Akron Marathon added about $6 million to Akron’s economy in 2012, creating the equivalent of 60 full-time jobs.
That’s up $2 million from two years ago, according to an economic impact study conducted by the Kent State University’s Department of Economics.
The event drew 15,000 runners, bringing a boon to local hotels, gas stations, restaurants and bars, the study said.
“Year after year, the Akron Marathon continues to have a positive economic impact on the city,” said Assistant Professor Shawn Rohlin, who led the study. “This event brings thousands of people to Akron to experience the city and spend money. There are few events that can make that claim.”
Also significant in 2012: It was the first time that nonlocal racers outnumbered the locals, with 51 percent of registered participants coming from outside Summit and Portage counties.
Last year’s special 10th anniversary celebration may have been responsible for some of that draw, officials said. Still, 90 percent of the runners came from within a two-hour radius of Akron.
A second study on the 2012 Akron Marathon also touted the benefits of the race for its health impact.
The analysis, conducted by Austen BioInnovation Institute in Akron, reported 75 percent of those who said the race motivated them to improve their health reported improvement in at least one of six possible areas, including weight loss.
Participants lost an average of 3.3 pounds each, and those who said they lost weight also reported a “significant decline” in their overall levels of stress.
The report also found that 91 percent of runners who were motivated to improve their health reported they would run another marathon event in order to stay fit.
During training for the marathon, all runners combined logged between 3.6 and 4.6 million miles.
That means between 409 and 516 million calories were burned — or up to 34,400 calories per person, the report concluded.
Both reports affirmed the marathon’s goal, Akron Marathon Executive Director Anne Bitong said.
“It’s very gratifying to see through these reports that the [race] has had such a significant impact on both the economy and the overall health and weight loss of our participants,” she said.
The single-day event features four races — a full marathon, half marathon, five-person team relay and a one-mile kids fun run.
This year’s event is scheduled for Sept. 28. Registration is available at akronmarathon.org. Registration rates increase March 1.