SCRANTON — Thousands of runners will converge in the Scranton area this weekend for the Steamtown marathon.
Organizers are expecting around 2,500 runners, the most ever.
The 26 mile run starts at Forest City Sunday morning and winds to downtown Scranton. Businesses at the start and the finish are looking forward to a busy weekend.
When you look at the list of runners who will be at the starting line, many of them come from out of the area, a lot from other states.
Those out-of-towners come with money and an appetite.
“Everyone comes in to load up on carbs for the race you know, it’s a good pasta night,” said Anthony Dellaquila, owner of Elegante Restaurant.
Dellaquila said his restaurant near the starting line is a busy place the night before the race, pizza and pasta are hot items for the runners.
“Saturday picks up because there are a lot more people in town getting ready for the race. It does draw a lot of people the day before the race,” said Dellaquila.
When the runners work their way all the way to downtown Scranton and cross the finish line, many of them and the crowds waiting for them will likely be hungry, and restaurants are ready.
“It’s going to be so crowded. The waitresses are going to be running around trying to get as many people breakfast and lunch as we can in the shortest amount of time,” said Amanda Brown, of Downtown Deli and Eatery.
Downtown Deli and Eatery is only a couple blocks from the finish line. It’s bringing in extra help for Sunday. Any event downtown packs this place and this is a big one.
“It’s so great. It’s great for the waitresses. It’s great for the business and it’s great for the people coming in because they see how great the food is and they really enjoy themselves,” said Brown.
“It is one we can count on every year. It is a great demand generator for this area,” said Michael Kearney, of Radisson Lackawanna station
Of course all those out-of-town runners need a place to stay. Making hotels like the Radisson Lackawanna Station sold out for the weekend.
“This is always a very exciting event. It just drives not the hotels itself but for all the downtown merchants the restaurants. Everything downtown it just comes alive. It’s just a great weekend for Scranton in general,” said Kearney.