New figures released by the team behind the MBNA Chester Marathon have shown how last year’s race helped pump more than £1.5m into the local economy.
Charitable causes also received an enormous boost, with approximately £700,000 being raised in 2014 for a range of local and national charities.
Almost 5,000 people entered last year’s multi-award winning race and in addition to race day visitors, this contributed to an extra 16,500 people arriving in the local area during marathon weekend.
On average, each runner spent around £400, with shopping, eating out and visiting local attractions all popular activities.
Just over half of all entrants said they booked overnight accommodation in the city or surrounding areas, some for longer, and race-goers are continuing to champion the Chester location as a major draw for signing up.
Chris Hulse, from race organisers Active Leisure Events, said: “The feedback we’ve received from our 2014 race survey demonstrates the importance of this race to the city of Chester and the enormous benefits it delivers to local businesses and charitable causes every single year.
“When we established the first MBNA Chester Marathon in 2010, we set out to make it the UK’s favourite regional marathon.
“Over the years we’ve managed to exceed those ambitions – being named the UK’s Best Marathon by the readers of Runner’s World in 2012 – but every year the race continues to attract thousands of runners.
“People come from all over the UK to take part in this marathon and the feedback is always fantastic, highlighting the quality of our route, which passes many of Chester’s iconic landmarks, and the incredible support runners receive all over the course.”
Marketing Cheshire chief executive Katrina Michel said she hopes to see the marathon and half-marathon continue to grow.
"The Marathon and Half Marathons events are very important to Chester because they bring new people into the city about 20 of who stay in our hotels and they also show off to the world what a beautiful city we have," she added.
Chester-based MBNA will be the marathon’s main sponsor again in 2015, marking six consecutive years of support following the inaugural race in 2010.
Chester Marathon 2015
James Poole, strategy and innovation executive at MBNA, said: “The MBNA Chester Marathon has grown to become one of the UK’s best loved marathons and has firmly established itself as one of the biggest weekends in the city’s annual events calendar.
“We’ve watched the race grow spectacularly since 2010 and we’re exceptionally proud to be part of something that is making such a positive contribution to the economic and social fabric of our local community.”
The Countess of Chester Hospital’s Babygrow Appeal was recently confirmed as the race’s charity partner for 2015 and is set for an estimated £15,000 fundraising boost from the partnership.
This year’s race is expected to attract another 5,000 runners and takes place on Sunday, October 4, starting from Chester Racecourse, passing the town hall, Chester Cathedral, the Rows, Eastgate Clock and the amphitheatre before a grandstand finish back at the racecourse.
For more information about the race and how to enter, click here.