In 2009, Paul Beatty Jr. organized a small race to raise money for Niagara Hospice. That first year, the brand-new Hospice Dash 5K had 127 finishers. He could not have imagined that, 10 years later, the event would now include The Mighty Niagara Half Marathon with nearly 2,000 participants from around the country and the world. The race also includes a huge post-race party with live music, dozens of sponsors and hundreds of volunteers.
The Hospice Dash was the perfect name for the race. The "dash" refers to that little line one sees between the date of someone's birth and the date of their death. That dash between those dates represents the person's life. The Hospice Dash 5K is a celebration of life and the lives of those that are no longer with us. It is fitting, organizers said, that all of the proceeds benefit Niagara Hospice in support of the services they provide to patients and families in Niagara County.
The Mighty Niagara Half Marathon was added to the event 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, 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 will feature the popular local band Nerds Gone Wild this year, with prizes for the "best nerds" costumes. The event also includes beverages, hot dogs and snacks.
This year's race, presented by Cornerstone Community Federal Credit Union, will be held Saturday, Sept. 15. Runners will compete for prize money, and trophies will be awarded to the top overall male and female finishers. Medal pins are also given for age group winners. More information, registration, and a complete list of sponsors are available at www.MightyNiagaraHalfMarathon.com
. Find Hospice Dash 5K Walk/Run information and registration at www.HospiceDash.com
. For more information about the event, or for sponsorship and volunteer opportunities, contact Maureen Rizzo at [email protected]
Since 1988, Niagara Hospice has provided end-of-life comfort, care and support to over 25,000 Niagara County individuals and families faced with terminal illness. For more information, visit www.NiagaraHospice.org
or call 716-HOSPICE.