Victoria Marathon numbers dwindle

Registration down from last year’s record participation

Runners head off at the start of the 2010 GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon. Last year’s race had a record number of participants.

More than 10,000 exhausted, sweating bodies will take to the streets this weekend.

For the 32nd GoodLife Fitness Victoria Marathon, 2,038 people have registered for the full 42.2-kilometre run, another 5,800 signed up for the half-marathon, 2,400 will run the eight-kilometre road race and 527 are set for the 1.2-km kids run.

While online registration closed yesterday and late registration is allowed at the race expo today and tomorrow, those numbers don’t compare to last year’s record-setting event.

A total of 14,078 people participated in last year’s event, with the half-marathon selling out before the end of September at 6,800 runners. The marathon had 3,221 participants.

“Yes we are down and that is the trend with marathons this year across North America,” said Louise Hodgson-Jones, media liaison with the marathon. “People aren’t travelling as much, choosing races closer to home. Many also choose us to qualify for Boston, but the new Boston Marathon qualifying procedure means that if they qualify at our race, they can’t register for another year … so they may be choosing spring marathons to hopefully get in the following year.”

Lower numbers could also mean fewer dollars will be injected into the local economy.

Last year’s marathon weekend pumped $7.1 million into the Greater Victoria economy, according to an economic impact analysis numbers conducted by the Economic Planning Group and commissioned by the Victoria Marathon Society.

The 2010 event drew the most ever. Competitors spent $1.9 million in the region between Oct. 9 and 11, plus spectators spent another $743,000 over the weekend.

Indirect spending added $3.3 million to the local economy, the analysis showed.

A large number of participants, especially runners in the top 50, are from outside Greater Victoria.

 

Route redirects traffic

Several Victoria streets will be closed off for the GoodLife Victoria Marathon on Sunday (Oct. 9) between 7:30 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

People can park in the downtown area prior to 7 a.m. and walk to the start of the race.

The early start for the marathon begins at 6:30 a.m., so drivers travelling at that time should watch for pedestrians and lead cyclists.

Menzies, Michigan, Government and Wharf streets closed 7:25 to 8:05 a.m. and 8:40 to 9:20 a.m.

Johnson closed from Wharf to Cook from 7:35 to 8:15 a.m. and 8:50 to 9:30 a.m.

Traffic will have access north of Humboldt, west of Cook following the last runner at approximately 9:30 a.m. to access Douglas Street and Blanshard and escape north.

No traffic permitted on Dallas between 7:15 a.m. and 2:30 p.m.

 

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