THOUSANDS TURN OUT FOR MIGHTY NIAGARA HALF MARATHONby Tricia Degan
2013 Race scheduled for Saturday, September 21.
The highly anticipated Mighty Niagara Half Marathon held Saturday, September 22 was a huge success in spite of the early rain and cool temperatures. Runners and spectators from throughout Southern Ontario, Quebec and the US - including from as far away as Texas, California, Utah and Missouri - enjoyed breathtaking views as they ran alongside the Niagara River and through the historic villages of Lewiston and Youngstown. The race route includes views of the famous French Castle and lighthouse at Historic Old Fort Niagara. Live entertainment was provided for the 925 runners at every mile as volunteers and spectators cheered them on.
The race began at Artpark in Lewiston and ended at Porter-on-the-Lake Park where the overall male and female winners received their cash prizes of $750 and a Mighty Niagara Half Marathon trophy. The Overall Male Winner is Jon French of Buffalo, NY with a time of 1:10:55 and the Overall Female Winner is Jennifer Boerner of Cheektowaga, NY with a time of 1:26:26.
Race Chairman Paul Beatty, Jr. said: "Our team has worked very hard to prepare for this event and we're excited to see it grow in popularity. It's already on most area runners' lists of races not to miss. Everyone at the race today was running for a cause, for Niagara Hospice. Many of the participants have experienced hospice care for their family member first-hand and recognize the need to ensure this compassionate and dignified care continues to be available to everyone."
The Annual Hospice Dash 5k Walk/Run was held in conjunction with The Mighty Niagara Half Marathon and 265 participants started at 595 Lake Road in Youngstown. The Overall Male Winner is Derek Dunstan of Niagara Falls, NY with a time of 17:13 and the Overall Female Winner is Allison Carr of Williamsville with a time 18:09.
Runners from both races received an official Dri-fit running shirt, custom finisher medal, and admission to the post race party with food, drinks, and live music by Strictly Hip. Thousands participated throughout the day by running, walking, volunteering and cheering the runners along the route and at the finish line. Niagara Hospice Alliance Advancement Coordinator and event organizer, Maureen Rizzo said: "This year's race was truly a great success. We had runners from throughout the US from the ages of 14 to 80. We are already planning for next year's race and hope to see everyone again, and that they bring more friends and family." The 2013 race is scheduled for Saturday, September 21.
Although the final count is not in, it is estimated over $60,000 were raised from the two races. Supporters are still able to sponsor a runner by congratulating them through a secure on-line donation to Niagara Hospice from the Events page at www.NiagaraHospice.org. All proceeds benefit patients and families served by Niagara Hospice. For race results, photos and updates for next year's race, visit www.MightyNiagaraHalfMarathon.com. For more information on the Hospice Dash 5k Walk/Run visit www.HospiceDash.com.