Each year, the Mighty Niagara Half Marathon attracts runners from around the world. Participants will travel from China, Egypt, Australia, Europe and across Canada and the U.S. for the race.
The highly anticipated event is held annually in conjunction with the Hospice Dash 5K, both taking place this year on Saturday, Sept. 24. These races fully benefit Niagara Hospice, with no proceeds going to outside race organizers.
Race Chairman Paul Beatty Jr. started the event as a 5K and added the half marathon in 2011. The event has grown into one of Niagara Hospice's most successful fundraisers and has also become one of the most popular races in Western New York.
The scenic course begins at Artpark in Lewiston and continues along Lower River Road, travels past Old Fort Niagara in Youngstown and finishes along the shore of Lake Ontario at Porter on the Lake Park.
The race features bands throughout the entire course, as well as before and after the run. The post-race party features popular local band Strictly Hip, and is a value for runners and walkers alike, with beer, water, hot dogs, snacks and awards.
Runners compete for prize money, and trophies are awarded to the overall male and female finishers. Medal pins are also given for age group winners. Beatty said prize money for runners has been expanded this year and that all the information is available on the website, www.NiagaraHospice.org.
Runners and 5K walkers can choose to start a team to compete for the "Team Spirit Award" while also raising additional funds for Niagara Hospice. See the "Team" section of the website for details.
Every runner will receive a custom finisher medal and a DRI-fit running shirt. More information and registration for the race is available at www.MightyNiagaraHalfMarathon.com.
Registrations can be made online through 3 p.m. Friday. After that, participants can register the morning of the event at Artpark for the half marathon and at Porter on the Lake for the 5K. Early arrival is encouraged if one needs to register.
Niagara Hospice has provided end-of-life comfort, care and support since 1988 to over 25,000 Niagara County individuals and families faced with terminal illness. For more information, visit www.NiagaraHospice.org or call 716-HOSPICE.