The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Local News

December 4, 2012

Joplin City Council to look at options for marathon

JOPLIN, Mo. — City officials plan discussions with the Joplin Sports Authority and others to look at ways to try to attract more runners to the Mother Road Marathon.

Patrick Tuttle, director of the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau, told the Joplin City Council on Monday night that the annual October event is treading water in terms of the number of participants since a decline during its debut in 2010. This year’s run attracted 772 participants but left the city in the red by about $30,000, a loss city officials say they want to try to stem.

Tuttle said there are several reasons that race participation has dropped. One reason is that some runners go to inaugural events and have not returned since the marathon’s first year. Last year the race was affected by the tornado damage.

“The overall enthusiasm of the runners this year was very positive,” Tuttle told the council. The bulk of runners, in a post-race survey, rate it as a good or excellent event. Organizers were praised for providing “strong communication” to the participants, Tuttle said.

Additionally, the course itself is gaining a reputation because it is uphill the last several miles. “The course is a very tough one,” Tuttle said, with the grade from Riverton east to Joplin uphill. “This is something we have started embracing in our marketing message,” with this year’s message “One Tough Mother Runner,” added to the marathon’s billing of running Old Route 66 from Oklahoma to Missouri: “3 States, 6 Cities, 1 Road.”

Tuttle said the participants, in the survey, were asked to report how much they spent in the area. That totaled about $33,000, an average of $181 per runner. He said hotels reported booking 74 rooms though runners reported a total of 108 motel rooms were used. All flights at Joplin Regional Airport were sold out from Wednesday through the day of the race on a Sunday, Tuttle reported, which amounted to an increase of 80 passengers during those days.

He recommended that the council look at the possibility of hiring a race promoter.

That had its drawbacks previously.

The city hired a race director, Dean Reinke, to attract runners to the 2010 inaugural race. That drew about 1,500 participants. The run was conceived by Vince Lindstrom, former director of the Joplin Convention and Visitors Bureau.

The city and Reinke wound up in a lawsuit when Reinke filed trademarks on the race and contended that he owned it. The city disputed that in the lawsuit, and Reinke’s claims were settled for a $30,000 payment by the city late last year.

Council members Morris Glaze and Bill Scearce said they want to consider appointing or hiring a race director to try to increase participation. Council member Michael Seibert said corporate sponsorships should be explored to help offset costs.

Council members Gary Shaw and Scearce recommended discussions with the Joplin Sports Authority. The council gave informal approval to the idea.

“The Joplin Sports Authority would welcome any communication from the city and the CVB on a partnership for this event,” said JSA Director Craig Hull.

2012 winners

The male and female marathon records for 2012 was set by James Webb, of Webb City, at 2:46:04 and Katie Kramer, of Oklahoma City, at 3:13:31. The half-marathon record was set by Mark Dolph, of Tulsa, at 1:19:11 and Jenna Mutz, of Joplin, at 1:32:15.

 

1
Text Only
Local News
  • outdoor_waylanskuku.jpg Last remaining Ku-Ku

    While other fast food locations along Miami’s portion of Route 66 tend to slow down in the mid-afternoon, Eugene Waylan is still hard at work behind his grill serving up hamburgers to a packed drive through.

    July 31, 2014 2 Photos

  • Grant to fund solar energy system for PSU’s Plaster Center

    An $80,000 grant from Westar Energy will fund solar panels to provide both energy and education at the Robert W. Plaster Center, now under construction at Pittsburg State University.

    August 1, 2014

  • Habitat slates volunteer work days

    In the wake of the 2011 tornado, Joplin Area Habitat for Humanity has been a partner with organizations and individuals in the construction of 86 new houses. But what’s also needed, Executive Director Scott Clayton said, are repairs to area homes.

    July 31, 2014

  • Jasper County voters to decide three offices

    Two incumbents are facing challengers and three candidates are vying for what will be an open county office in primary balloting Tuesday in Jasper County.

    July 31, 2014

  • Brownback names 3 Kansas Board of Regents members

    Gov. Sam Brownback on Friday named a former veteran Kansas House member and two attorneys to the board overseeing the state’s higher education system.

    August 1, 2014

  • Survey seeks views on Joplin’s future goals

    Residents are being asked to fill out a survey on priorities for Joplin’s future. The effort was inspired by a meeting of community leaders last month. Survey forms are available at the Joplin Public Library and online at www.surveymonkey.com/s/jointjoplinareaplanningsurvey.

    July 31, 2014

  • City Council member criticizes master developer in TV interview

    A member of the Joplin City Council told an Amarillo, Texas, newscaster that Joplin’s contracted master developer has “overpromised and underdelivered.” Councilman Benjamin Rosenberg’s comments were included in a two-part report that aired this week on Amarillo television station KVII-TV.

    July 31, 2014

  • Southeast Kansas health center receives federal funding for mental health services

    The Community Health Center of Southeast Kansas was awarded a $250,000 grant Thursday, part of $54.6 million in Affordable Care Act mental health services funding awarded to 221 such centers nationwide.

    July 31, 2014

  • Denied request for National Guard visit draws attention from Fox News host

    A Carthage church finds itself in the middle of a media storm after the Missouri National Guard, citing short notice and time constraints, was not able to fulfill a request last week to appear at the church’s vacation Bible school.

    July 31, 2014

  • Mike Pound 2010.jpg Mike Pound: It’s no dog’s life out there any longer

    All I had to do to understand why the rest of the world hates us was to read the third paragraph of the Washington Post story.

    July 31, 2014 1 Photo

Must Read
Sports
Photos


Facebook
Poll

Missouri's sales tax-free weekend begins Friday. Do you plan purchases around this weekend?

A. Yes.
B. No.
     View Results
Opinion
Twitter Updates
Follow us on twitter