Editorial: Thank you SNICKERS® Marathon supporters and sponsors

Editorial: Thank you SNICKERS® Marathon supporters and sponsors

In 2006, a conversation between Sarah Underdown, a tourism official, and Dr. Jose Tongol, a local oncologist, ultimately resulted in an event that today has a $600,000 economic impact, brings 1,500 runners and their cheerleaders to Albany for the weekend and creates an atmosphere of fun, excitement and unity throughout the community.

This Saturday marked the 10th anniversary of what is now known as the official SNICKERS® Marathon and Half Marathon, and it was our best year.

The event, a huge draw for the city of Albany, has grown by 305 percent since its first year.

The race, a top 10 qualifier for the Boston Marathon, drew runners from 42 states and five countries.

Albany rallies around the SNICKERS® Marathon and Half Marathon, with 1,700 people volunteering to ensure guests to our community feel welcome and that runners are cheered and fueled as they race through our streets.

The SNICKERS® Marathon and Half Marathon would not be possible without community support; without the city of Albany, the Albany Police Department and the Dougherty County Police Department, nor without its major sponsors; MARS Chocolate North America, Phoebe Foundation, Oxford Construction, Reeves Construction, Pfizer, MillerCoors, Publix, Albany Vascular Specialist Center, Buffalo Rock, Mauldin & Jenkins and Wildside Running.

The annual Mardi Gras street party, which highlights local food vendors, artist and musicians, welcomed the marathon to create a weekend experience bringing together visitors, neighbors and locals for more fun.

But the race isn't just fun; it's also a benefit event. Since 2007, the Willson Hospice House in Albany has received more than $200,000 in donations from race proceeds.

The Albany Convention and Visitors Bureau, along with the Albany Marathon Board of Directors, is proud to organize the SNICKERS® Marathon and Half Marathon.

"There's Only One Albany" on the first weekend in March, and it's a testament to the greatness we can achieve as a community when we can come together and support a common cause.

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