SACRAMENTO, Calif. (KTXL) — The California International Marathon returns to the Sacramento region this weekend — a year after the race was canceled because of the pandemic.
Its return is great news for thousands of runners and businesses in the Sacramento area.
Officials said they expect $10 million to be poured into the region, with some of that already having been spent.
“The energy carries you through. If you’re with a lot of people, you don’t even feel the pain,” Abner Gama said.
For Gama, the CIM is about participating in his hometown event but also a bit about collecting another medal.
“It was disappointing,” Gama told FOX40. “We didn’t get a medal. I wanted consecutive medals.”
Kevin Leimquhler explains that the race is all about competition for him and the nerves that come with it.
“Just today I started getting like the heart flutter. Like, ‘Oh, I have a race coming up.’ So, it’s exciting,” Leimquhler said.
Around 10,000 runners are expected to take part in the CIM. Those coming from out of the area are the ones who will likely bring millions to the region.
“The fact that it happens in December, that’s a big deal. Usually, there’s not conventions or big events like this in December, so it’s a boon for Sacramento to be able to host it,” President and CEO of Visit Sacramento Mike Testa said.
A big reason why this marathon makes the city of Sacramento and businesses so much money is because those coming from out of the area will be staying for multiple nights. An estimated 7,500 hotel rooms have been booked just for this event.
Testa said the cash flow into the area goes well beyond just needing a place to stay, however.
“The obvious benefit is the hotel rooms right. People are staying in hotels but they’re also eating all of their meals out. They are shopping, and I always tell people think about what you spend money on when you were out of town. That’s exactly what’s happening with CIM. Everything that they need they have to go out and buy, including equipment. Sometimes people don’t always bring what they need. There’s a lot of places that benefit, from restaurants to hotels to retail,” Testa explained.
One of the reasons the CIM is so popular is because it’s an official qualifying event for the Boston Marathon.