ST. PETERSBURG, Florida -- About 6,500 runners registered for St. Pete's second year hosting theRock 'n Roll Half Marathon, fewer than last year's inaugural event.
Organizers say for every person who crosses the finish line, there is still a big impact on St. Pete's economy.
"The Rock 'n Roll St. Petersburg half marathon generated $7.8 million dollars for the St. Pete economy last year. Over $3 million of that was direct spending, hundreds of thousands of dollars in taxpayer benefit to the city," says Dan Cruz, spokesman for Competitor Group, which brings the Rock 'n' Roll Marathon series to cities around the world. "It's a real win-win for the local economy."
Each mile of the half marathon features a different local band. This year,singer Sean Kingston was the headlining act. Last year, it was rapper Flo Rida.
The event turnout wasn't music to everyone's ears last year, though, when the city and the county's Convention and Visitors Bureau spent a combined $130,000to bring the race to the Bay area. Estimates about attendance and economic impact came out higher than reality. Instead of 12,000 runners, there were 7,000.
"Last year, it was 32 degrees and we had three layers of clothes on. This year, it's beautiful," says runner Kathi Dunn, who's participating in the Half-Marathon for her second year. "We'll probably be back."
Of the6,500 registered runners at this year's event, about a thousand of them are running in a new, three-mile mini marathon. Next year, organizers hope to attract even more participants.
"We fully expect the beautiful day we've had today to pay dividends moving forward," Cruz says.
Follow 10 News Reporter Ashley Porter on Twitter @ashleyreporter