The Niagara Falls Marathon, a staple in the region since its commencement in 1974, will return this upcoming weekend on Sunday, Oct. 23.
Due to the popularity of the location and its previous span between both Canadian and U.S. borders, the Niagara Falls marathon has been a favourite for many, having even surpassed the New York and Boston Marathons in popularity in previous years.
The marathon is also highly recognized due to its many race options. Alongside the event’s most recognized race, the 42km full marathon, Niagara Falls also offers a half marathon, a 10km race and a 5km race.
Due to the varying distances, each race offers a different start time. While the full marathon commences at 8:00 a.m., the half marathon and 10km race both begin at 8:30 a.m., while the 5km race begins at 8:35 a.m. Despite the diverse start times, each race starts and ends at the same location on the Niagara Parkway. The course for each race will close at 3:00 p.m.
In addition to the contrasting distances and start times, the prices for each race vary as well. While the full marathon’s price ranges between $105 to $145, the half marathon is between $85 to $120, the 10 km costs $50 to $75 and the 5 km is $40 to $50. Registration for each race can be accessed here, with registration closing at midnight on Wednesday, Oct. 19.
A medal is to be awarded at the completion of each respective race. Additional awards will be given to the top three male and female winners of each race, as well as to the winner of each five-year age category, spanning up to 79 years in age.
Although the full marathon and half marathon races may be targeted toward experienced runners, the event’s additional races introduce a much broader group of participants, with many individuals of a larger age range aiming to ameliorate their own endurance.
“Being an overall inexperienced runner, I signed up for the 10km marathon as a way to push myself and achieve a goal that I never thought I’d be capable of doing,” said Chelsea Wall, a 22-year-old Niagara Falls local.
By offering a variety of race options, the Niagara Falls Marathon allows individuals like Wall to get a taste of the racing atmosphere without having to commit to such an extraneous distance, such as the 42km race.
For those who are intrigued about the event, but are less interested in taking part in the marathon itself, spectators are encouraged to aid in cheering on those participating in the races. Additionally, volunteer opportunities are available, with the marathon requiring over 500 volunteers during the race weekend. Those interested in volunteering will also receive a free shirt to wear throughout the weekend.
This year, individuals are especially encouraged to come out and partake in the event, as the marathon will be celebrating its 20th year since its rebirth in 1998.
The Niagara Falls Marathon is the perfect way for individuals to get involved in one of the region’s biggest sporting events, whether that be by running in one of the races or by simply coming out to cheer athletes on.
For more information on the history of the Niagara Falls Marathon, as well as each of its races, be sure to check out the official website here.