EUGENE, Ore. - Before you'll find Eugene Marathon participants at the starting line Sunday, you'll find them all over town in hotels, restaurants and stores.
The Convention and Visitors Association of Lane County estimates the event will pump $3.5 million into the local economy.
"Last year, it was our busiest day of the year, for sure," said Laura Coll, owner of the Eugene Running Company. "Excluding Christmas, but that's typical."
For the second year, the store has a booth at the Health and Fitness Expo, which takes place the Friday and Saturday before the race.
Last year, the store earned more than $12,000.
This year, they stand to earn a lot more.
Race enrollment is up 30 percent, thanks in part to national kudos. Runner's World magazine named the race one of the "Marathons You Should Do in 08."
"That kind of exposure around the country really helps," said race organizer Richard Maher. "Last year, our numbers were about 72 percent from Oregon. Now, it's 62 percent from Oregon. So lots more people from outside the area. That's our goal, to make it a destination marathon."
With runners from 45 states, four territories and seven countries, there's been a run on hotel rooms in the area.
Most have been sold out for weeks.
"We are absolutely booked," said Jody Hall, general manager of the Eugene Hilton. "The hotel is full all weekend through Sunday and it's a time when it typically wouldn't have been. It's great, same as last year."
For hotels like the Eugene Hilton, this weekend is a trial run for another economy booster--the Olympic Trials.
CVALCO projects the trials to bring in $18 million and the Eugene 08 Festival, which will take place around Hayward Field during the trials, another $10 million.