eMacomb - Progress Through Partnerships, September 2010
Economic Impact of Trails
First Romeo 2 Richmond Race brings economic boost to Northern Macomb County
As the half-marathon foot race began on September 19, 2010, the businesses in northern Macomb County felt more than the pounding of feet on the trail. They also experienced an economic boost in their cash registers. Over 350 runners arrived in their communities that morning to compete athletically and no doubt they also contributed financially.
Surveys show that runners in these types of events are known to be affluent and college educated. According to the 2009 National Runners Survey, conducted by RunningUSA, 79% have college degrees, with household incomes exceeding $75,000. They are not afraid to spend a little money. The spectators they bring along with them will need food, beverages and incidentals which the many shops in Romeo and Richmond will be happy to supply. Perhaps later on these same people will revisit the area to enjoy the shops and restaurants they have found.
Runners participated in the half-marathon, running along the Macomb Orchard Trail starting in Romeo at 8:30 a.m. The less strenuous 5K run/walk began at 9:00 a.m., with over 85 participants. Both races crossed the finish line in the Pavilion at Gateway Trail Park in downtown Richmond. Macomb Orchard Trail is a nearly 24-mile segment that begins in Shelby Township and heads north through Romeo, Armada and Richmond.
Also benefitting from the race were the Macomb Food Program and “Medals for Mettle”. The Macomb Food Program has seen the need for emergency food go up by 44 percent from 2008 to 2009. Donations of non-perishable food were accepted on the race date, as well. “Medals for Mettle” is an organization which encourages those who are fighting life-threatening diseases. Runners will be able to donate their medals to this group.