THIS year’s Great Limerick Run generated €2.45m for the local economy, but a new study has found that the event is having an even greater social impact on the city.
Nearly 50% of participants indicated that the Great Limerick Run was the main reason they started running, according to a report undertaken by Focus Consulting.
More than 8,500 people took part in the Great Limerick Run in May, which included a marathon, half marathon and 10k race. The entrants came from 23 countries and from all 32 counties of Ireland.
Speaking at the launch of the report, the Mayor of Limerick Cllr. Gerry McLoughlin, and race director, John Cleary, said the report figures were “hugely encouraging” for an event that is only three years in existence.
“While the €2.45 million economic impact is important the report also highlighted the social impact the Great Limerick Run was generating,” said Mr Cleary.
“Over 90% of respondents from outside Limerick stated that the Great Limerick Run improved their perception of Limerick as a short term destination while almost half said the event was the main reason they started running.”
He said it’s estimated that the Great Limerick Run will realise an economic impact of €4.5m by 2015 growing to €5.36m in 2017 “so the potential is considerable”.
Tom Enright, director of economic development, Limerick Local Authorities, said the report highlights Limerick’s capabilities of hosting large scale sporting events. “The return on investment for Limerick is considerable from both an economic and social perspective and we need to build on this achievement,” he said.
Mark O’Connell, the author of the report, said the race has become “one of the major sports and tourism events for the city”.
Mayor McLoughlin said it’s fantastic to see thousands of people out running the streets of Limerick, with some 3,000 people also taking part in the Limerick women’s mini-marathon at the weekend.
Registration have now opened for the 2013 event and it is anticipated that in excess 10,000 will compete on Sunday, May 5.