OAKLAND (KCBS) – Thousands of runners will make their way through the streets of Oakland this Sunday in the city’s third annual running festival which includes a 5K, a half marathon, a marathon and a kids fun run.

At a Thursday news conference Mayor Jean Quan applauded the event for generating nearly $5 million in economic impact for the city in its first two years.

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“In many ways the marathon represents the rise in Oakland in tourism, and as the New York Times said this year, one of the best places in America to visit,” said Quan.

Quan said that many of the nearly 9,000 runners from 39 states and six different countries, will stay in local hotels and eat at local restaurants.

Race organizer Lee Corrigan said that in addition, local non-profit organizations are expected to raise about $300,000 through this year’s event.

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KCBS’ Anna Duckworth Reports:

“We’ve all heard of walkathons and things like that, where people or organizations get their friends and neighbors and relatives to donate based on how they do in the event,” said Corrigan.

This is the first year that the running festival will start and end at Lake Merritt’s Snow Park instead of Frank Ogawa Plaza. Organizers said that’s to accommodate the growing number of participants.

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