The repercussion of urban running competitions such as marathons is tremendous, and the planning of these races involves a large number of strategic decisions. For this reason, this study analyzes the processes of organizing large marathons in Spain. The aim is to propose a systematic and sustainable model of excellence for the organization of sports events based on process management. To design the model, we followed a qualitative methodology using information obtained in 18 semi-structured interviews. The interviewees were experts in charge of the five most significant marathons in Spain (Barcelona, Madrid, Malaga, Seville and Valencia). The final contribution of the study is the proposal of a process map developed by identifying the main areas of competence and tasks, the relationships among the areas, and the timeline of these relationships. The process map unifies the processes established based on the preceding information and classifies them as management, core and support processes. The specific tool proposed is therefore based on the process management approach, which enables the improvement of the organization of sports running events. The tool will help the managers of the events to take decisions from a strategic perspective, and will be useful in making these events sustainable in the long term.
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