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MIGHTY NIAGARA HALF MARATHON BRINGS TRAVELERS TO WNY

Thu, Aug 4th 2016 01:00 pm
Race Chairman, Paul Beatty, Jr. with the 2015 Mighty Niagara Half Marathon overall female winner, Natasha Yaremczuk whose race time was 1:21:16.
Race Chairman, Paul Beatty, Jr. with the 2015 Mighty Niagara Half Marathon overall female winner, Natasha Yaremczuk whose race time was 1:21:16.

The Mighty Niagara Half Marathon attracts runners from around the world. Participants have traveled from England, Ireland, Mexico, Germany, Austria, and Ethiopia just to name a few, to "run with the river" in this one-of-a-kind and highly anticipated race. Held annually in conjunction with the Hospice Dash 5K, the event will take place on Saturday, September 24.

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 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 great value for runners and walkers alike with beer, water, hotdogs, snacks, awards and much more.

Race Coordinator Maureen Rizzo of Niagara Hospice said, "More and more runners are making this a destination race. It's great for our event, and it's also great for local businesses and attractions." Many local businesses have signed on to support Niagara Hospice through their participation in the Mighty Niagara Discount Card that is given to all registrants. Sponsors on the card provide special discounts to card holders. The card is also used throughout the year by schools and other local organizations that sell them as an additional fundraiser for Niagara Hospice.

Rizzo said that Niagara Hospice has also partnered this year with the Sheraton at the Falls Hotel to offer blocks of rooms for participants travelling to the race. The hotel is also serving as the location for packet pick-up from noon to 8:00pm September 21-23. Free shuttle transportation will also be available from the hotel to the starting line at Artpark in Lewiston.

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. Rizzo said prize money for runners has been expanded this year and that all the information is available on the website. 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.

Special Events Coordinator Mandy Raff said sponsorship and volunteer opportunities are still available for anyone wanting to get involved. "It takes an army of volunteers to pull off an event this size," said Raff. "We are looking for service groups that may want to send a team, big or small, to help at our water stations and at Artpark and Porter on the Lake to assist with parking and traffic control." To volunteer or sponsor, contact Raff at 716-280-0766 or mraff@niagarahospice.com. More information and registration for the race is available at www.MightyNiagaraHalfMarathon.com.

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. No one is ever denied hospice care due to inability to pay. For more information, visit NiagaraHospice.org or call 716-HOSPICE.

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