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Marathon Brings Big Economic Impact

Todd PittengerNovember 15, 2022

The Salina Crossroads Marathon held earlier this month in downtown Salina generated an estimated economic impact of $446,296.

Marathon officials say the economic impact estimate was done by Visit Salina, a division of the Salina Area Chamber of Commerce.

Over 800 runners from 30 different states registered for the inaugural event which included a marathon, half marathon, 4.01K Family Fun Run, Half Marathon Relay, and Marathon Relay. This was the first USATF Certified and Boston Marathon Qualifier event ever held in Salina.

“The Salina Crossroads Marathon featured an electric guitar version of the National Anthem by Howard Mahan, a fast and scenic course, music stations throughout the course, custom designed medals by Vortex, and great post-race food and photo ops.” said Co-Race Director Daniel Craig. “It has been amazing to see the posts on Facebook from runners across the United States on how much they enjoyed the event and how appreciative they were of our amazing volunteers and the tremendous support from community members who came out to cheer them on. A group from Texas did a YouTube series ‘Driving from Texas to Kansas for the Salina Crossroads Marathon’ and have offered to let us use it to help promote future Salina Crossroads Marathon events.”

The Salina Crossroads Marathon had over forty organizations provide support for the race ranging from financial sponsorships to providing supplies and materials for the event. “Chris Lehecka, a Co-Race Director, did an amazing job of leading the efforts to get sponsors for the race” said Craig. Thanks to these generous sponsors 100% of the entry fees will be going to support youth sports in Saline County. The Salina Crossroads Marathon is excited to announce they will be providing $25,340 to four youth sports organizations in Saline County: Salina Family YMCA, Kansas Youth Sports, USD 305 School Marathon, and Salina Area Youth Sportsmanship Initiative.

Tiffany Benien, Visit Salina is excited about the success of the inaugural event, “For a first year marathon to have a turn out as large as the Salina Crossroads Marathon is amazing!  This shows that the organization of the event was well thought out and executed. Praise to Chris Lehecka and Daniel Craig, Co-Directors of the marathon, for their excellent work! From the Visit Salina perspective, the reach of the event with runners coming from across the United States is exactly the type of exposure that Salina wants. We were excited to be able to survey participants, and the results about their experience in Salina was overwhelmingly positive.  Based on their feedback and the tremendous local support of the Salina Crossroad Marathon, I’m looking forward to next year’s marathon and anticipate seeing growth as the event evolves on an annual basis.”

The Salina Crossroads Marathon planning committee would like to thank the City of Salina, Salina Area Chamber of Commerce, Salina Downtown Inc., and all of the sponsors and supporting organizations. Thank you to the community for your patience as we know that shutting down streets causes everyone to make some changes in their travel plans and the routes they take on the day of the race. The Salina Crossroad Marathon appreciates the more than 100 volunteers who helped out at the event and everyone in the community who came out and cheered on the runners. The Salina Crossroads Marathon race planning committee will be reviewing post-race survey feedback from participants and will work with the City of Salina and community partners to host an even bigger and better event in 2023. The Salina Crossroads Marathon welcomes new committee members and sponsors. If you would like to be involved with next year’s event you can contact the Salina Crossroads Marathon at [email protected].

About the Salina Crossroads Marathon

The Salina Crossroads Marathon began when two local runners (Chris Lehecka and Daniel Craig) started visiting about what it would look like for Salina to have a high-quality marathon and half marathon race. The City of Salina helped develop a fun and scenic course that also minimized disruptions to traffic and parking in Downtown Salina. The Salina Crossroads Marathon planning committee includes individuals in the nonprofit and for-profit sectors as well as local runners. The goals of the Salina Crossroads Marathon are to have a high-quality race that can bring in runners from across the United States, provide 100% of the race entry fees to local organizations, and provide fun family friendly events so the entire community can come be a part of a USATF Certified and Boston Qualifying Marathon weekend.

For more information about the Salina Crossroads Marathon check out the website at runsalinacrossroads.com or follow us on Facebook at: https://www.facebook.com/groups/1469896640070189.

Copyright © Meridian Media, 2022. All Rights Reserved. No part of this story may be reproduced without Meridian Media’s express consent.

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