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Hosting a marathon, or large running event, boosts sales in a city by over a fifth (21%), according to the latest research from Paymentsense. The merchant service provider analysed data for all major UK 2018 road races against sales volumes for its 70,000-strong small business user base, using retail, food, drink and hospitality as key sector indicators.

It was actually not a full marathon, but two shorter races, which delivered the biggest proportional commercial increase to its host.

The Birmingham 10K contributed to a 21% lift in card sales transactions across the city, compared with usual trade levels, followed by the Bristol 10K which drove a 13% boost. The UK’s best-known road race, the London Marathon, was in third place providing a 9% increase to the capital. The average boost across the UK was just over 5%.

Jonathan Knott, market insights analyst at...

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