HOSPICE RUN OVERTAKES CENTER STREET IN LEWISTONby Tricia Degan
Over 2,000 Mighty Niagara Half Marathon and Hospice 5K Dash/Walk participants hit the pavement in Lewiston on Saturday, creating quite a view from Artpark all the way to Porter on the Lake where finishers vied for cash prizes and trophies. The Mighty Niagara Half Marathon is the largest run in Niagara County and the only run along the lower Niagara River and through Old Fort Niagara, providing scenic and historic views all the way. Music played a part in the race with different musicians placed along the route, encouraging racers along with the many spectators that turned out for the event.
Runners came from as far as England as well as from all over Canada and the U.S. including California, Montana, Idaho, Iowa, Florida, Texas, Virginia, Maine, Colorado, Texas, and Washington State. Over 100 teams were assembled to represent their organization or to run in memory of someone special to them. Race Chairman Paul Beatty, Jr. said: "We're ecstatic at the turnout of this year's race that continues to grow each year since 2011. The weather was beautiful and provided a great day for the runners and family members who came out to watch and cheer."
Beatty said following the race, "I am continually amazed at the support we receive from local businesses in the form of financial contributions, support of our Mighty Niagara Discount Card, and a wide range of services and in-kind donations. We especially thank Yahoo for stepping up as our title sponsor, as well as the many fire and police personnel who ensured the safety of our runners."
The winner of the Men's Mighty Niagara Half Marathon is Matthew Glynn of Buffalo, NY and the Women's winner is Mindy Sawtelle-Zottola of Indiana, PA. The Men's winner of the Hospice 5K Dash/Walk is Martin Leff of Syracuse, NY and the Women's winner is Stephanie Schmidt of Sanborn, NY. Full race results can be found at www.itsyourrace.com/results.aspx?id=107.
The post-race party included music by Strictly Hip, food trucks, beer, and fun for the whole family. According to the event coordinator, Maureen Rizzo of the Niagara Hospice Alliance, both races fully benefit Niagara Hospice with no proceeds going to outside race organizers. "Volunteers and staff make it happen every year," said Rizzo. "We could not put on an event of this size without the help of our many volunteers and local supporting agencies. Everyone went above and beyond; we truly appreciate all the terrific help we received."
Next year's race is scheduled for Saturday, September 19. More information can be found at MightyNiagaraHalfMarathon.com and HospiceDash.com.
Hospice is a way of caring for patients with end-of-life illnesses and supporting their family and loved ones through the illness and dying process. Niagara Hospice has provided end-of-life care since 1988. As the only hospice provider in Niagara County, staff and volunteers take pride in their compassionate service to others. Hospice care is appropriate for people with any advanced stage illness, not just cancer, where the prognosis is a life expectancy of approximately six months or less - if the illness runs its normal course. Some patients receive hospice care beyond six months. Studies show that people with end-of-life illnesses who choose hospice care often live longer than patients who do not elect hospice services. Call (716) 439-4417 or visit NiagaraHospice.org to learn more.