Look, we’ve heard it all before: “I didn’t know my street was going to be closed… There are little paper cups all over my front yard… I had to leave for work fifteen minutes earlier than normal.” And, our personal favorite, “How am I supposed to get to Wegmans?!”
We get it, if you’re not an avid runner, a volunteer, a friend or family member of someone running, or just a fan and supporter, chances might be pretty high that you can’t see past the minor inconveniences of Wineglass Marathon Weekend to understand the true value of having such an acclaimed event hosted in your backyard. Trust us, there’s a lot of value.
This past Sunday, the 36th annual Wineglass Marathon and 7th annual Wineglass Half Marathon will began in Bath and Campbell, respectively, before ending on Downtown Corning’s Historic Market Street. These races are a big deal. Whether you ran them or not, they’re good for all of us, and this is why:
An Economic Boost
Let’s just get right down to it: The Wineglass is good for local business. The marathon generates around a $3.5-million revenue boost for the community. How? Easy. Combined, the half and full marathon attract over 6,000 runners. When you factor in the friends and families that travel to support their loved ones running, there’s an extra 20,000 people in our area for the weekend. Those people need places to stay, need places to eat, and, of course, enjoy the unique culture and shopping that our area has to offer. Ask any of the restaurant owners in town and they’ll say that Wineglass Weekend is the biggest of the year.
Corning’s a great little city, and admittedly there are a lot of different reasons for people to plan a visit. But, let’s be real, outside of the Corning Museum of Glass, not one event or attraction brings in as many new and return visitors each year. The Wineglass attracts people from roughly 45 states and multiple countries. For many of those runners, they’re interested in a well-organized marathon that offers a good chance to qualify for Boston (of which the Wineglass is one of their best options). However, a lot of those same people spend three or four days in the area, and are so impressed with the experience that they make the Wineglass an annual event. As the Wineglass continues to grow and increase in popularity, so will the lifelong fans of Corning and the surrounding Finger Lakes region.
The Wineglass Marathon is world class, do doubt about it. In fact, the 2014 event was named the “10th Best Marathon in the World” and “13th Best Destination Race” by The Active Times, putting it in such company as the London, New York, Boston, Paris, and Tel Aviv marathons. Publications such as Runners World, Daily Burn, SELF Magazine, ESPN, Huffington Post and more are paying attention, and major media outlets from Canada to Israel have written about the race. What’s even better, is that each time a new article comes out, or the Wineglass receives more recognition, the writers make a point to mention just exactly how Downtown Corning and our Finger Lakes lifestyle lend themselves to the Wineglass experience. One Huffington Post article about the marathon actually read more like an advertisement for everything Corning, and we’re totally okay with that. As the marathon continues to enjoy much deserved international acclaim, so does everyone else.
And So Much More…
There are definitely more reasons as to why the Wineglass is good for Corning, but the ones listed above are probably the big three. We could talk about how so much of our culture is celebrated that weekend, from our wine to our glass to our history. We could talk about how inspirational it is to watch the last runners cross the finish line, or how our community really does band together to host the event so incredibly well each year. We could talk about the Wineglass tradition or the growth that it’s so deservedly enjoyed. In so many ways, what’s good about the Wineglass is what’s good about our community – and good for it, too.