CORNING—Organizers of the Wineglass Marathon announced the first-ever presenting sponsor for the Wineglass Half Marathon. Seneca Lake Wine Trail signed on to sponsor the half marathon for two years. This is the first time in the four-year existence of the half marathon that it will have a presenting sponsor.
"The demographics between our respective fans/attendees were too similar to ignore," said Paul Thomas, Executive Director of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. "We felt that the positive publicity generated by the industrious Wineglass team would not only help us tell our story to a whole new swath of folks, but also hopefully extend their visit to our region by visiting our member wineries before or after the run."
The Seneca Lake Wine Trail has been working with the Wineglass Marathon for several years to craft the perfect partnership.
"It is a wonderful opportunity to have a close tie with some of the finest wineries in the country, and the world," said Sheila Sutton, co-director of the Wineglass Marathon. "It is a much needed association for the 'Wine'Glass. Runners ask us year after year if we partner with any wineries, so we know it's important to them, and this really rounds things out."
Thomas believes this new partnership with the Wineglass Marathon will bring a huge benefit to both organizations, as well as tourism in the Southern Finger Lakes as a whole.
"By combining our resources as we're doing, we hope to help Wineglass further grow their event attendance, and sell more of our regional wines to the runners and their entourage," Thomas said. "This way, we'll keep them in our region— staying in our hotels and eating at our restaurants— longer than ever."
Sutton, too, hopes that this partnership will increase the length of stay for runners and their families when they visit the Finger Lakes.
"Runners know that by choosing to run the Wineglass, they're coming to one of the top destination races in the country," said Sutton.
The Wineglass Half Marathon was recently listed in Shape's Wine Country Half Marathon Series, and Competitor's "25 Half Marathons Worth Running."
"It is our hope," Sutton continued, "that this sponsorship encourages runners to stay longer to taste—and hopefully purchase—these wines, enhancing their overall experience beyond race day."
Wineglass Marathon weekend is Oct. 3-5, 2014, and registration is now closed for the full and half marathons. Both races, along with the 5K, draw runners from 40+ states and several foreign countries—as well as a record number of runners, with nearly 6,000 this year. Livestrong recently named the Wineglass Marathon one of the "World's Best Marathons," alongside the Boston, NYC, and even Athens marathons.