Financing runs positive on Oak Harbor marathon

Preliminary numbers show the city of Oak Harbor profited from its first-ever, city-run Whidbey Island Marathon Weekend in which nearly 2,000 runners participated.

The weekend event, April 10 and 11, included 5K, full and half-marathon races. Combined, they earned the city approximately $36,600 after all expenses, including this year’s payment for the event purchase in the amount of $13,000. Gross event revenues totaled $169,576, according to city officials.

Despite some public objection, the Oak Harbor City Council purchased the event from its creator, John Kaiser, in September 2009 for $50,000.

The price tag included Kaiser’s role as marathon consultant for this year’s race. Kaiser will be paid in four installments, $13,000 each for the first two payments and then $12,000 each for the last two.

Since the marathon’s inception in April 2001, the annual event has grown in size. City officials hope the marathon will continue to grow into a “destination event” that brings tourism dollars to the island.

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