H-SAN LUIS OBISPO

Apr 9, 2013 9:33 PM by Connie Tran, KSBY News

SLO Marathon raises half a million dollars for Leukemia and Lymphoma Society

The second annual San Luis Obispo Marathon may be over, but organizers are still basking in the success of the weekend. The main sponsor, Left Lane Sports, said more people ran and more money was raised this year.

Erik Fialho, co-founder and chief strategy officer of Left Lane Sports, said more than half a million dollars, which was raised partially by Team in Training, will go towards the Leukemia and Lymphoma Society.

Even though it was the second SLO Marathon, it was Left Lane Sports' first time sponsoring the event. Fialho said it was their way of giving back to the community.

Heather Hellman, one of the organizers of the SLO Marathon, said there were 4,500 registered athletes, up from 3,475 in the inaugural year. She said they are still waiting on exact numbers on the economic impact, but projects $4-million dollars for the local economy.

"In terms of hotels, the hotels sold out throughout the county. The city obviously got a lot of tax dollars from this, which was great, and it really helped the community come together," said Fialho.

Fialho said his company learned a lot over the weekend, about how to make the event better next year.

He said, "We know that there was one member of the community that was a little annoyed that she couldn't get out because of the traffic, but we understand that unfortunately there are these little inconveniences, but hopefully we can alleviate some of those for the residents of the community."

Fialho said Left Lane Sports plans on sponsoring the SLO Marathon for at least the next four years. Now, it's all about ironing out the kinks. Fialho said some issues they ran into over the weekend included not enough trash bins, and there was apparently a glitch in the timing system, according to one racer.

Fialho said, "We had one racer that, according to her watch and according to the timing system, they were a bit different, so hopefully we'll be able to resolve that with her."

Fialho told KSBY he was proud and excited that Left Lane Sports could be tied to an event that promotes health and well-being. He said this year's route was appreciated by many of the runners, and it is likely that next year's race route will stay the same. Fialho promises that people can expect a bigger, and better marathon next year, filled with surprises.

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