Posted: Apr 19, 2012 7:19 PM by Nancy Chen
Updated: Apr 20, 2012 8:11 AM
Thousands of runners are set to flood the streets this weekend in the inaugural San Luis Obispo Marathon, which has been sold out for weeks. Between the runners and spectators, there could be more than 10,000 people involved in Sunday's race.
The route starts at San Luis Obispo High School and ends at the Madonna Inn, running through downtown and Edna Valley along the way. Close to 3,600 athletes will run on Sunday between the 5k, the half marathon and the full marathon, according to Heather Hellman, the event's director. Runners will be coming in from all over the world, including Great Britain, Australia, Canada, Mexico, Brazil and Hong Kong. Within the states, runners are from 27 states and more than 300 cities within California.
But this race isn't just the marathon itself; it's also a race to get a hotel room in San Luis Obispo this weekend.
"Some (visitors) would have to go all the way to Santa Maria or up to Paso Robles to actually book a room because of all the hotels in town," said Michael Adams, the sales manager at the Courtyard by Marriott. "Most of them are pretty full."
Adams says corporate clients trying to extend their rooms on short notice were out of luck this week.
"We were already booked way in advance because of the marathon coming in," Adams said. "So some of them needed to check out for Saturday and check back in on Sunday."
No matter who comes in first through the finish line here on Sunday, local businesses have already won. Hotels sold out weeks in advance and restaurants are all getting ready for those carb-loading athletes.
"Every year we do order extra pasta and a lot of proteins for generally the athletes and families in town for the big event," said Daniel Perez, the manager of Palazzo Giuseppi in downtown.
He says the restaurant's handled hungry runners for races before, but as the inaugural marathon, this one is extra special.
"We're pretty booked up for Friday and Saturday," he said. "A lot of families, and then Sunday's kind of a celebratory day so we'll have quite a few parties in here as well."
Between the food, lodging and shopping, Hellman says there's usually a million dollar impact for each thousand runners in these types of races.
There's also going to be a lot of road closures this weekend. For a map of all the detours, click here.
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