Another Marathon (or Two) For New York City?
Each fall, about 45,000 runners from around the world flock to the starting line of the New York City ING Marathon. Given the wild popularity of the event, it’s no surprise that race organizers from two different companies have proposed an additional marathon for New York City in the spring, one starting as soon as 2015.
Because the city is unlikely to approve two large, new marathons, no one knows which proposal—if any—will be authorized.
The first proposal comes from the San Diego-based company Competitor Group, headed by Scott Dickey. The Competitor Group began the Rock ‘n’ Roll Marathon Series that has grown from six races in 2008 to events in 33 cities across the globe. Close to four years ago, the company proposed a marathon in the Bronx, however the plan was rejected by City Hall. Now, they are suggesting a Manhattan-based marathon.
The second bid comes from Steve Lastoe, the chief executive of a three-year-old, Brooklyn-based company called New York City Runs Inc. Lastoe owns and manages about 50 races throughout the city. Although he submitted an unsuccessful bid for a 2014 Brooklyn marathon a few months ago, he believes he could gain approval in time for a 2015 race with up to 10,000 participants.
The decision about another major event, as well as which company would be approved, will largely depend on the city’s next mayor. During Michael Bloomberg’s administration, New York City did not allow any additional marathons.
Several of the mayoral candidates said they were open to the idea of an additional marathon, including John Catsimatidis.
“Events like this are great for the economy, bringing in competitors' dollars and filling our hotels and restaurants,” he told The Wall Street Journal.
This has certainly been the case for the ING marathon, which brought in $340 million of additional revenue to New York City, according to the New York Road Runners.
While Competitor Group has more funding and experience, Lastoe told The Wall Street Journal that his Brooklyn roots could help win over the government.