The Seattle Marathon Association (SMA) is a non profit organization governed by a ten member Board of Directors. It is proud of its commitment to providing a quality running event in the Pacific Northwest, providing our sponsors with maximum exposure in association with the event and making a positive social and economic impact on the city of Seattle. Using the Visitors and Convention Bureau Statistics, a conservative positive economic impact to the Seattle economy is five million dollars per year. With the current growth trend of the Seattle Marathon, the economic impact could double within three years.
To produce an annual Seattle Marathon event, the quality of which is a credit to our sponsors and the communities we serve. We encourage participation by runners, walkers and volunteers of all skill levels.
The Seattle Marathon began modestly in 1970 when a group of friends from the University of Washington decided to hold their own running event. 38 runners started the first annual event, with 31 of them completing the full 26.2 miles. From these modest beginnings the Seattle Marathon Family of Events has risen to become one of the largest and most influential mass-participation runs on the West Coast, being ranked by Runners World Magazine as one of the top 20 marathons in the United States. In 1999, a Seattle Kids Marathon was added, which allows children of all ages to run a "full marathon" one mile at a time. 357 children participated the first year, and the event has grown to 2,300 in 2011. Through the years, Seattle Marathon runners have donated their money to the marathon's designated charities.
The growth of the Seattle Marathon and its ancillary events has been impressive in recent years. There has been steady growth year after year, and we expect this trend to continue. More than 11,000 people participated in the marathon and half marathon running and walking events in 2011, and over 40,000 people passed through the Amica Insurance Seattle Marathon EXPO 2011 in the two days leading up to the main event on Sunday morning. The geographical reach of the Seattle Marathon continues to grow year after year as well, with all 50 states and many nations represented at the 2011 event. In 2008 a 5K Race was added on the Saturday morning before the marathon events. It has grown each year, with 2011 seeing more than 850 participants. In the Seattle Kids Marathon, an impressive 53 different schools were represented. The Kids event has gained the attention of physical education instructors throughout the metropolitan and surrounding areas, and several school districts have begun to include the program in their overall curriculum. Additionally, we have had other groups such as the Girl Scouts participate in the program, as well as elementary school children from Montana and Colorado (running in their home states, as part of the Seattle Kids Marathon program). In 2011, a summer 10K was added along with a kids fun run that brought in over 850 entrants in its first year. In 2012, the Seattle Marathon 10K will be presented by Next 50 Seattle Center and will coincide with Seattle Center's 50th birthday celebrations.