The Joplin Globe, Joplin, MO

Top Stories

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
Top Stories
  • r071114redoak2.jpg Red Oak II: Lowell Davis’ ‘dream, art, love’ and final resting place

    The collection of buildings would become a town (though he didn’t intend for it to, and it has never been officially recognized either by the U.S. Postal Service or the state of Missouri).

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • 072814_jd anderson.jpg VIDEO: Noel strongman advances on talent show

    The past week has been busier than normal for Noel resident J.D. Anderson. Members of the production crew for NBC’s “America’s Got Talent” told him they have shot more footage of him than of other contestants for the next episode. “They said I have the busiest schedule of anyone this week,” Anderson told the Globe in a phone interview Friday. “There’s so many fun things you can do with B-roll as a strongman.”

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • Anti-landfill group seeks grand jury probe

    As more than 200 people filed into Riverton High School on Sunday to attend an anti-landfill group meeting, many stopped to sign a petition asking the Cherokee County District Court to summon a grand jury to investigate how land was acquired by the city of Galena for a proposed landfill.

    July 27, 2014

  • Money clouds farm fight

    For much of the summer, while the campaign surrounding “right to farm” has been focused on its impact on “small, family farmers,” the bulk of the money pouring into the fight has come from big agriculture interests.

    July 26, 2014

  • r072514schoolhouse3.jpg VIDEO: Full of history, one-room schools focus of preservation by local groups

    The old Kings Prairie school sits on a narrow Barry County farm road, surrounded by quiet fields and farmland.

    July 25, 2014 6 Photos 1 Slideshow

  • r072314girlgunclub3.jpg Women's league offers practice, social opportunities for gun owners

    The objective for some is to improve their skills for target or competitive shooting, the league's website says. Others, while wanting to improve their skills, also are interested in aspects of self-defense.

    July 27, 2014 1 Photo

  • r072414trainwreck2.jpg Train crash a century ago among area’s worst disasters

    Burk Johnson had been threshing wheat near Joplin when his newlywed son and daughter-in-law picked him up and took him to Joplin’s Union Depot to catch the evening train home to Neosho.

    July 26, 2014 4 Photos

  • 072614 Faith 2.jpg Rich Brown: McDonald County Children's choir combines music with a gospel ministry

    The McDonald County Children's Choir may entertain a lot of people, but the hope is that it will bless even more through its ministry, according to choir director Amber Nelson.

    July 26, 2014 1 Photo

  • Appellate court upholds class-action status for Picher residents

    An appellate court upheld a 2013 ruling on Thursday that a class-action lawsuit brought by former residents of Picher, Oklahoma, against a Tulsa-based appraisal firm involved with the buyout of property in the city can proceed.

    July 25, 2014

  • 1717 Marketplace developer faces more federal charges

    The developer of 1717 Marketplace in Joplin has been indicted with more bankruptcy fraud charges, in addition to those leveled against him last year for a series of bank fraud and wire fraud schemes that totaled more than $3.3 million in losses.

    July 25, 2014