Mankato sees boost in revenue as marathon festivities kick off

The 13th annual Mankato Marathon is this weekend, and the fun has already taken off.
Published: Oct. 14, 2022 at 7:30 PM CDT|Updated: Oct. 14, 2022 at 7:33 PM CDT
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MANKATO, Minn. (KEYC) - The 13th annual Mankato Marathon is this weekend, and the fun has already taken off.

“It’s just one of those races where, as I’m talking to runners, this is a bucket-list race for them,” said Joy Leafblad, Sports and Special Events Director at Visit Mankato.

It’s one of the town’s biggest annual events-- bringing in thousands of runners and volunteers each fall.

“It’s just been exciting because it continues to grow, and we bring people from other states, other areas,” added Jessica Beyer, President and CEO of Greater Mankato Growth.

30 states are represented this year.

“We’re looking at about 6,000 people coming in to either run or to cheer on their friends or family along the course,” Leafblad mentioned.

The boost in foot traffic also makes for a boost in revenue.

“People do come, and they stay overnight. They love to enjoy lunch afterwards or breakfast before,” Leafblad stated.

In 2019, Visit Mankato says it brought in around $2 million.

“As far as the economic impact, it’s been a huge driver for our community and a great event over the course of the last 13 years,” Beyer explained. “We’re still growing, and making those experiences and already planning for next year.”

Runners’ festivities kicked off Friday with the Scheels Wellness Expo at Mayo Clinic Health System Event Center.

It’ll be followed by the Pork Power 5k and YMCA Kids-k in the evening.

On Saturday, runners will take on the 26.2 miles at the crack of dawn.

The half marathon, 10k and relay races will follow.

“I think what makes this race special, and why people keep returning to the Mankato Marathon, is the community,” Beyer added. “People are out there cheering, giving high fives, playing music.”