For 35 years, race offers support, competition and inspiration

Amid the buzz around the Golden 1 Center, the broad success of the area’s professional sports teams and the return of prominent events to Sacramento, the California International Marathon continues to strengthen the local sports landscape and make a significant impact on the community.
The 35th annual race, set for Sunday at 7 a.m., has stood the test of time, its combination of international competition, community impact and inspiration helping the CIM stand out among local sporting events.
A record-setting field of 11,000 marathoners, including runners from 29 countries, is scheduled to challenge the 26.2-mile course from near Folsom Dam to the state Capitol. Another 3,500 runners are entered in the CIM Relay Challenge, with 3,500 more participants set for the UC Davis Children’s Hospital maraFUNrun 5k.
In addition to the excitement around the 35th running of the race and the rising interest in participation, the profile of the race on the national stage received a large boost with Sacramento’s selection to host the USATF Marathon Championships in 2017 and 2018 at CIM.
Top American long distance runners are expected to compete in the national championships, which will offer a $140,000 prize purse, the largest in event history, plus performance bonuses.

A crowd of 55,000 spectators is expected to line the course running through Folsom, Orangevale, Citrus Heights, Fair Oaks, Carmichael and Sacramento. Another 3,200 volunteers are scheduled to assist operations throughout the weekend’s events.

While prominent professional and collegiate championship sporting events have come and gone and returned again, the CIM has consistently made a positive contribution to the Sacramento sports scene for 34 consecutive years.

Runners are expected to fill over 7,500 hotel room nights and generate a strong economic impact to the Sacramento region at a time of year when local hotel business typically slows. Industry standard estimates put the race’s economic impact at $11 million.

“We’re thrilled that the California International Marathon is returning to Sacramento,” said Visit Sacramento President and CEO Mike Testa.
“This exciting event attracts international attention to our region and continues to grow in stature each year — with more and more runners experiencing California’s Capital City and delivering critical economic impact to our community.”
In addition to the impact on local hotels, restaurants and retailers, the race, through the work of the Sacramento Running Association, raises over $400,000 for local charities and community organizations through leveraged fundraising and direct giving every year.
The race also funds SRA donations of over $50,000 annually to official partner charities including chief beneficiary UC Davis Children’s Hospital and exposes over 4,000 Sacramento-area youth to the sport of running and healthy lifestyle options through the SRA Kids program.
“UC Davis Children’s Hospital is proud to be the chief beneficiary of the California International Marathon and receive such generous support from the Sacramento Running Association,” said Ann Madden Rice, CEO of UC Davis Medical Center.

“With the charity entries, runners are able to register and help support sick and injured children in the Sacramento community and the 33 counties that we serve.”

In addition to its own philanthropic efforts, the Sacramento Running Association is committed to helping fundraise for Sacramento-area non-profits organizations, charities, service organizations, and school groups and clubs. Local charities and non-profit organizations annually raise over $1 million through SRA events, including the California International Marathon.

Beyond the race’s philanthropic and economic impacts on the region, race organizers are looking to make an equally impressive impact on the environment and its host city.

The California International Marathon is working to become a certified sustainable event by the Council for Responsible Sport (CRS) in 2017.

The Council for Responsible Sport’s rubric for certification as a sustainable event has become the industry standard for determining whether a mass participation endurance sport event is sustainable. This rubric covers five different areas: planning and communications, procurement, resource management (waste, water and energy), access and equity and community legacy.

The Sacramento Running Association, in partnership with the Offset Project, will fulfill specific credits in these five categories to earn certification by evaluating every aspect of the event to see where enhanced sustainable practices can be implemented.

Race participants and spectators can expect to see significant sustainable practices implemented at the Expo, start line, on the course, and at the finish line. Changes include increased landfill diverse strategies, the use of alternative fuels and active transportation, decreased dependency on plastic water bottles with water refill systems, working with key local partners and local vendors, and the expansion of existing programs with local charities such as Goodwill.

The long-term sustainability goals for the event include achieving a higher level of CRS sustainability certification and becoming a zero waste event with a 90% plus landfill diversion rate.

The Sacramento Running Association strives to have a positive impact on the events’ host venues and communities, the running, special events and civic communities in Sacramento, and the national mass participation endurance sports events industry and is committed to educating vendors, sponsors, and participants on the sustainability practices that will be pervasive throughout CIM in 2017 and beyond.

“The Sacramento Running Association is proud that CIM is a nationally-recognized running event, but we’re equally proud of the positive impact that CIM has in our community,” said CIM Race Director Eli Asch.

“Whether it’s by donating tens of thousands of dollars to local non-profits and community organizations that support our event, partnering with Goodwill to collect over 3,000 articles of clothing on race day and donate them to the local homeless, or diverting over 13,000 pounds of race day waste from the landfill, the SRA is always looking for opportunities to use CIM’s unique platform to make the Sacramento-area a better place to live, work, and play.”

The Sacramento Running Association is a non-profit organization dedicated to finding ways to encourage people of all ages and abilities to run. The SRA is committed to developing new, quality running events that appeal to a broad variety of runners.

Other SRA events include the recently concluded Capital Cross Challenge and Run the Parkway, the Super Sunday Run on Feb. 4, 2018, the Credit Union SACTOWN Run on April 8, 2018 and the Gold Country Half on June 10, 2018.