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FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE                          December 1, 2006

Release No. M-127-06

 

 

MAYOR KICKS OFF

34th HONOLULU MARATHON WEEK

 

Mayor Mufi Hannemann today kicked off Honolulu Marathon Week with Dr. Jim Barahal, president of the Honolulu Marathon, and Yunjin Kim, star of the ABC hit television series “Lost.”

 “I have long supported the Honolulu Marathon and other sporting events that broaden Hawaii’s visitor appeal,” said Hannemann, who fired the starter’s pistol to begin last year’s race and will again this year. “The Marathon is the granddaddy of them all, the state’s largest sporting event. And it’s not only about the runners or the 26-mile, 285-yard race. The Marathon Expo drew 63,000 people to the Hawaii Convention Center last year.”

Hannemann said, “We’re pleased to announce that Yunjin Kim will be signing autographs, shaking hands and taking photographs with fans at the expo next Friday, beginning at 2:30 p.m. That’s longer than she gets to spend with fans any other time of the year. The next day, Saturday, Kelly Hu will appear from 11 a.m. to 1 p.m. and then at 2, Yunjin’s ‘Lost’ co-star Naveen Andrews will be there from 2 p.m.”  

He added, “As for the race itself, already nearly 700 people more than last year have signed up.  I’m also very encouraged to hear that, while the overall number of Japanese visitors here is down this year, the number of marathon runners from Japan is ahead of last year.”

The mayor said, “The continuing success of the marathon from the participants’ perspective as well as financially, is a credit to Jim Barahal and his staff. This is Jim’s 20th marathon, and he has really shaped this into an exemplary event that contributes significantly to Hawaii’s economy and relies completely on private funding.

 

Events for Marathon Week include:

·       Marathon Expo, Wednesday through Saturday, December 6 through 9, at the Hawaii Convention Center. The expo is free and open to the public. Runners will pick up their race packets at the expo. More than 50 exhibitors are participating. In addition to marketing exhibits, poster giveaways and souvenir sales, the expo will feature two “Lost” stars, Kim and Naveen Andrews, who will be signing autographs.

·       Legends 5K run. Thursday, December 7, 7:45 a.m. at Kapiolani Park.

·       Marathon Luau/Concert.  Friday, December 8, from 4 p.m. at the Waikiki Shell.  Gavin Degraw and Jake Shimabukuro, who is running his first marathon, will perform.  The luau is the largest catered dinner in Hawaii, marathon officials said.

·       34th annual Honolulu Marathon, Sunday, December 10, 5 a.m.

 

Also present at the news conference was Hawaii Pacific University Professor Jerome Agrusa, author of a study released earlier this year on the marathon’s economic impacts.

            “This study confirms what we’ve known all along: The Honolulu Marathon is not only a premiere sporting event, but also a vital part of Hawaii’s economy,” said Hannemann. “It generated more than $100 million in visitor spending last year, at what used to be a slow time of year for the visitor industry.”

Hannemann noted that the marathon itself spent $566,126 last year on expenses that included the services of 400 special duty police officers.

The HPU study of the economic impact of last year’s marathon was based on a survey of 1,385 of the 28,048 participants.

 “What’s particularly interesting and exciting is the revelation that more than 90 percent of the runners said they would return, not to run in the marathon, but to visit Hawaii,” said Hannemann. “In addition, three-fourths of the marathoners felt Hawaii should be expanding its sports tourism market with other amateur events – running, bicycling and swimming.”

 

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Contact:

            Bill Brennan, 527-6928

            Mark Matsunaga, 527-5767

Friday, December 01, 2006

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