Anadolu AgencyGetty Images
Getting a number for the New York Marathon costs 595 euros. The average cost per participant is €3,500. Spanish agencies offer this ‘sports tourism’ guaranteeing registration. Marathons have become a great attraction. Nine out of ten requests are for the Big Apple.
The ‘finisher’ medal, the one that hangs on you when you cross the finish line of a marathon, is one of the most precious metals for all popular runners, but within the mystique of distance there are races that are iconic due to their prestige, their history or Simply because of where they grow.
One of them is the New York Marathon. It was held for the first time in 1970 with only 127 participants and currently exceeds 50,000 numbers. Getting one on your own is not easy since the demand is very high and you have to sign up for a draw that is sometimes almost like a lottery.
The only sure way to get it the first time is to hire a tour package with one of the many companies that organize tailor-made trips for runners. One of these companies is Sportravel, which every year moves hundreds of runners around the world with organized trips so that the client does not have to worry about anything, especially transfers.
The one in New York is most popular marathon with prices ranging between 2,100 and 3,255 euros depending on the category of the hotel and the size of the room. Of course, dorsal apart. Its price 595 euros.
“Nine out of ten requests for marathons we receive are for New York. It is the star marathon and the gateway to others. This year we have taken 150 runners, but since almost all of them are accompanied by a partner, family or friends, it can be said that the trip has been 300″, declares Fran Chico, director of Sportravel, a company that also takes runners to other marathons .
Berlin, the most accessible of the Majors
“Of that 10% that remains of requests after New York, the next on the list is London. After Berlin, which is the cheapest of the ‘majors’Chicago, Tokyo, which has the problem of getting one of the few numbers that the organization gives to foreigners, and Boston, for which you have to qualify by brand”, he recalls.
The experience of these marathons is usually lived by runners with a companion, for whom there is a different price for not wanting to put on the shirt, shorts and running shoes. For them, in some cases, a tourist visit plan is offered that allows them to get to know the cities in the traditional way.
This new way of doing sports tourism has developed for a few years an industry that generates thousands of euros, like the one experienced in the New York marathon itself. “The average cost of a participant, between the trip and the consumption that they make those days, does not usually fall below 3,500 euros, but the client profile is not defined. It ranges from the person who has been saving for years to fulfill a dream to the executive who doesn’t deprive himself of anything”, emphasizes Fran Chico.
That same experience of marathons around the world is also reflected in internationally recognized cities like Madrid or Valencia. In Madrid, this 2022, of the 30,000 runners who participated in the Rock ‘n’ Roll Running Series, which includes a marathon, half marathon and 10k, 5,455 were foreigners from 86 countries. The event generated an impact of some 40 million euros in the city, according to the organizers.
Valencia, which has one of the fastest marathons in the world and collects records, is becoming one of the places most frequented by runners from all over the world. The next edition, on December 4, already as normal after considering the pandemic over, 30,000 athletes will line up, of which 49% will be foreigners. The latest unrestricted edition, that of In 2019, the Valencia marathon generated tourist spending close to 23 million eurosas reported to EFE by the organization.
The industry generated around popular running has been a global phenomenon for years that suffered during the pandemic but has once again picked up cruising speed based on a tourist experience. A new way of getting to know cities that have more and more sports clients.