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Cambridge half marathon goes the distance for city economy

By Ben Comber

Cambridge Half Marathon 2017 . Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Half Marathon 2017 . Picture: Keith Heppell

Researchers at Anglia Ruskin University found this year's half-marathon boosted Cambridge by £226,000

Cambridge Half Marathon 2017 . Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Half Marathon 2017 . Picture: Keith Heppell

The Cambridge Half Marathon contributed around £226,000 to the city’s economy this year, according to new research by Anglia Ruskin University.

Anglia Ruskin worked with race organisers OSB Events to measure the impact of the race, which took place in March with 6,938 competitors taking part.

An economic impact report revealed that 51 per cent of those racing travelled in from outside of the city, with 26 per cent using Park and Ride services. Each competitor brought an average of two spectators with them, and 71 per cent of those spectators undertook further activities in the city and its surroundings.

Michael Duignan, senior lecturer in management at Anglia Ruskin University, said: “The Cambridge Half Marathon is always a popular and enjoyable event which sees people travel from all over the UK and beyond into Cambridge, and thousands raised for charities.

Cambridge Half Marathon 2017 . Picture: Keith Heppell
Cambridge Half Marathon 2017 . Picture: Keith Heppell

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“Our research now reveals the value of the event to the city’s economy, generating nearly a quarter of a million pounds. This does not take into account the hidden benefits, such as the economic contribution by those who stay with family and friends and who may well also spend money in the city. Hopefully the half marathon will continue to go from strength to strength.”

Adam Moffat, Director of OSB Events, said: “As a Cambridge resident and organiser of the Half Marathon, I am delighted by the findings of Anglia Ruskin’s report. The event annually raises over £150,000 for our official charity Cancer Research UK, over £100,000 for other charities and now has a sufficient impact on the city’s economy.

“Cambridge is a fantastic city to live in and it is clear to me why people would want to run around its historic streets. Since introducing the event in 2012, demand for places has increased year-on-year and we expect the 2018 event, scheduled for Sunday, March 4, to be equally as popular when we open entries in October.”

Of those who stayed overnight before the race, 42 per cent stayed in hotels while 56 per cent stayed with friends or relatives.

:: Thousands take part in Cambridge Half Marathon

Estimates reveal that the visitors spent around £161,000 during the time they were in the city, which added to the local organisational spend gives an overall figure of £226,000. The largest category of expenditure was food and drink, which is estimated to account for £93,524.

A similar survey conducted for the 2016 event revealed a boost to the economy of around £164,000, meaning the event has been worth almost £400,000 to the city in two years.


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