YOUNGSTOWN, Ohio (WKBN) – The inaugural Youngstown Marathon is this weekend, and race organizers are making last-minute preparations to make sure everything goes smoothly.
Race director Courtney Poullas said more than 1,000 people have signed up to run from all over the country and the world.
“The last time I checked, we’ve had three different countries and 18 different states. People are coming from as far as Israel,” Poullas said.
The Mahoning County Convention and Visitors Bureau said they’re ecstatic to have so many people coming to the area. Director Linda Macala said the event can boost the profile of Youngstown in a positive way.
“Anything that will bring people here to get them to see everything that is happening in our city, all of the development, all of the changes is a good thing,” Macala said.
Organizers say it’s hard to judge the exact economic impact that a race like this will have on the county. They’ll determine that after the race is over.
“I could see us bringing in over $1 million the first year in the city, but it is everything. It’s dining, it’s tourism, and we have people staying in our hotels. It’s definitely going to make a splash, and that will keep going for future years.”
Macala compared the event to Akron where they will hold their 15th race this fall, and that event has a considerable economic impact.
Most importantly, organizers hope that the people running will get to see all the things Youngstown has to offer.
“Hopefully, they will leave the area with a great attitude about our area, having a good experience and they will want to come back,” Macala said.