By Roger Mari
(KHNL) -- It used to just be popular with fitness enthusiasts but now running is putting local businesses on the right foot for profits.
The latest event, The Great Aloha Run draws about 21-thousand people to participate, and is just one of many major boosts for island business.
Shoe companies are getting a kick from this charitable event.
With The Great Aloha Run just two days away, running shoes were the hot item at the Health, Fitness and Sports Expo.
It's a date running shoe retailers have marked on their calendars.
"For our store we see an average of 30-40 percent increase of our average day or week, it's a big boost for us, it's an exciting time for us also," said Shoe Store manager Darin Hashimoto.
Some are looking for more than just new running shoes, but a new start on a healthy lifestyle.
And while many local runners lace them up for the Great Aloha Run, business also gets a boost from visitors.
"We continually get people coming in from California Las Vegas they come here just to do the Great Aloha Run every year so it's a boost not just for our store but for the entire community," said Hashimoto.
A boost also seen during other times of the year, like with the Honolulu marathon, which draws tens of thousands of runners and brings in big bucks for local shops that support the race.
Another boost for the local economy is the Fitness Expo held before the big run, where customers enjoy the personalized attention for just the right athletic equipment.
"We get to talk to them, fit them really nice, we get great communications between everyone. We really like this event a lot," said Hashimoto.
And many shoe retailers hope this year's Great Aloha Run will not only encourage people to buy shoes, but to stay in shape. It will in turn help Hawaii businesses reach their finish line for sales throughout the year.
"I see it not as just an event for your shoe store or your elite running stores it's something that everyone will prosper over," said Hashimoto.