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Planning underway for Mighty Niagara Half Marathon and Hospice Dash 5K

by jmaloni
Mon, Apr 15th 2013 07:00 am
Chris McCaffrey, Jonathan Schultz, and Jeremy Traverse run past the historic lighthouse at Old Fort Niagara along the route of the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon.
Chris McCaffrey, Jonathan Schultz, and Jeremy Traverse run past the historic lighthouse at Old Fort Niagara along the route of the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon.

Niagara Hospice reports the highly anticipated Mighty Niagara Half Marathon and Hospice Dash 5K Walk/Run will be held on Saturday, Sept. 21. The half marathon begins with a pre-race concert at Artpark and offers one of the most scenic routes in New York state.

Participants will experience the beauty of the lower Niagara and the atmosphere of the historic villages of Lewiston and Youngstown. The race route also includes Old Fort Niagara, and continues along the Lake Ontario shore to Four Mile State Park. It winds up at Porter on the Lake Park. Throughout, the route features historical experiences, scenic views of the river and lake, and entertainment at every mile, culminating with more live bands at the post-race party.

The Mighty Niagara Half Marathon is held in conjunction with the 5th annual Hospice Dash 5K Walk/Run that begins at 9 a.m. The Hospice Dash 5K begins on Lake Road in Youngstown and follows the last 3.1 miles of the half marathon route. Runners and walkers will enjoy live bands as well and finish at the same post race party at Porter on the Lake Park. Unlike most 5K Run/Walks, each runner will receive a custom finisher medal with the option of an "in memory of" tab for the back of their medal.

New features include a complementary beer tent, a "Dress like your favorite rock star" contest with prizes, and the new Jaguar timing system, providing immediate results. The race will continue to offer awards for winners in each age group, cash prizes to overall winners, custom race shirts and the Mighty Niagara Discount Card, which is valid at area businesses.

"We're looking forward to another great turnout this year and invite the community and visitors to come run with the river," said Chairman Paul Beatty Jr. "This race has become very popular in runners' circles and is on many runners' lists of races not to miss."

The half marathon was added to the Hospice 5K Dash event in 2011 and had an impressive turnout of more than 1,000 participants in its first year. Held each year to benefit patients and families served by Niagara Hospice, both events have grown tremendously, thanks to the generous support of local businesses and participants, organizers note.

Both events also highlight the Lower Niagara River Region, providing a unique opportunity to enlist local businesses through a sponsorship or inclusion on the Mighty Niagara Discount Card. Sponsors are still being accepted and volunteers are needed to assist with a variety of tasks for the events. Area businesses and service groups are invited to assemble teams of volunteers to help the cause while also promoting their group to the several thousands of participants expected to be in the area for the day.

For more information on how you can support this unique event while supporting hospice care in Niagara County, call Maureen Rizzo at the Niagara Hospice Alliance at 716-280-0728. Visit www.MightyNiagaraHalfMarathon.com or www.HospiceDash.com for details and online race registration.

Pictured: Chris McCaffrey, Jonathan Schultz, and Jeremy Traverse run past the historic lighthouse at Old Fort Niagara along the route of the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon.

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