JTB to Title Sponsor Maui Marathon

By Community | July 15, 2012

The Maui Marathon announced Saturday that it has reached a three-year deal with Japanese travel agency JTB to serve as the event’s title sponsor.

“We’ve been working on this since January of this year,” said race director Rudy Huber. “They came out in June, and we had a big meeting with my staff and their staff, and we came to an agreement.”

Huber said the deal is for close to $80,000.

The marathon is part of a weekend of events that also includes a half marathon, 10-kilometer run, 5K run and walk and one-mile race on Front Street. This year’s marathon, which begins at the Queen Ka’ahumanu Center and finishes at Whalers Village, is scheduled for Sept. 16.

The marathon will be run for the 42nd time this year.

Huber said last year’s events had approximately 2,700 participants, with about 1,000 in the marathon. He said he hopes to reach 5,000 by the end of the sponsorship agreement, with the bulk of the increase coming from Japanese runners.

Huber said he has also tried to generate a bigger field by attending expositions on the Mainland.

“Right now, we have about 20 percent that come from Japan. Another 19-20 percent come from Hawaii, and the rest from the Mainland, with a small percentage from Canada,” Huber said.

“We didn’t want a one-year deal. That doesn’t give them enough opportunity. We’re going to work together, let’s do something a little longer. Let’s do a three-year deal. Let’s get these athletes to come out, and see this event is worth coming to. A three-year deal is just enough to make the change.”

The weekend of events has other significant sponsors, among them two title sponsors for shorter races – Maui Tacos for the 5K, and Hard Rock Cafe for the 10K.