Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon
Race DetailsSelect Race
Start Date/Time June 3, 2018 @ 9:00 am
End Date/Time N/A
Address Niagara Falls
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I LOVE this race! My sister and I have done it twice. From other races we have done this is by far the most organized and fun race. The swag is good, the bibs are nicely personalized, and volunteers are always so friendly and helpful.
This was my first ever event and the biggest challenge that I have ever set for myself. The marathon and route was great, nice and flat. I was thrilled that I was successful in completing in the race.
After completing the race though, I was rather disappointed that everything was packed up. I was near the end of the pack, but certainly not the last (there were probably 100 after me) and when I finished everything was either gone or was being packed up. I feel that the people near the end of the race did not experience all the excitement and recognition for their achievements, and in my opinion these are probably the people that needed a little more support. I wish everything was available to all participants, no matter where you placed. I was not given my medal from a firefighter or Katherine Switzer, I did not get coffee, a massage or any of the perks that were advertised. My mother and sister that were behind me, missed out on watering stations and fruit, since they were all packed up before they passed. My hope is that in the future all events, signs, water stations (etc, etc, etc,) stay up until the last person crosses the line.
I'm from Bowling Green Ohio, have never done a half marathon and let me tell you.....I WILL BE BACK! I made the right choice with this one for sure! It was a well organized, game changing, epic event. Everyone was so friendly and supportive. No judgement, just congratulations. I can't wait to do it again, a year should be just enough time to heal....lol!
Amazing!! Flat course with great views! Phenomenal swag! Attention to details like flowers in porta potties, jelly beans at 19 km mark, tons of water stations and porta potties, great live music along route (loved the harpist in tunnel, band at 19 km mark and barbershop quartet!) The supportive atmosphere is exhilarating... volun-cheers were so incredible!
Definitely be back next year with a few more friends! Thanks so much for this amazing run.
Awesome race, awesome swag, awesome Voluncheers!!! Can't wait for next year :)
Amazing race! Awesome director! Beautiful views! Incredible runners and voluncheers! Loved the aid stations with oranges, water, and Powerade. The classy portapotties were so cool with the flowers and seat covers. Swag was sweet with wine, nail polish, make up, and more! Shirt was super cool too! Having Katherine Switzer there speaking, photo ops, giving high fives at mile 5 and finish was inspiring! Definitely a race I'd run again and recommend to friends!
Amazing event front to back ! I would love to run the course the opposit way. I would have enjoyed running to Clifton Hill and back on the last leg ! Thanks to everyone involved who kept us excited to run and hydrated for 21.1 km !!!! Bravo
I have done this race 5 times and still love it. Great atmosphere and the race kit is amazing, especially as so many races now you only get a shirt. Tons of goodies in the bag from makeup to wine. You do get to run by the falls at the beginning (which avoids the tourists as later on it is packed with them and cars so they can't really close down the main road there for runners) .
I do agree with other the water stations are far apart and given that the weather can be extremely hot and humid they really need to look into this more. The snack boxes at the end are minimal but it is the same at most races so no difference there.
For those that say registration is expensive truthfully it is no different than the Toronto ones or other around major cities. And yes the line to get into parking is long but arriving early helps. Also, paying for parking again, is the same as any city so I don't understand why so many people make that comment. It is only 10 bucks compared to parking in other areas of Niagara which is closer to 20.
It was my first half marathon and what a great way to spend it with 1496 other women in Niagara Falls ! This is such a fun race!
This is such an amazing half marathon I will definitely be here next year it was fun it was empowering I just can't say enough I met so many people
One of my favourite events!! The personal touches are amazing and everyone is so happy to be there. Super organized and love the pink portapotties!! Katherine Switzer is amazing as always. I'm amazed by her and on top of being amazing she hugs or shakes everyone's course at the beginning and the end!! Just WOW!!
AMAZING location, runners, swag bag, medal and after race snack box! With the new prepaid parking pass it was quick to get through the parking gate. Entertainment was great along the race route and in several locations. It would be nice if the water stops were closer together. There were plenty of orange slices to be had and lots of water. The cold towels at the end of the race were a thoughtful touch. The only thing I think would make this race even better would be to start running in the opposite direction from the falls that way the runners have the falls to look forward to towards the end of the race. And there will be some mist from the falls at 15K to help cool off ;) Great job Ross Robinson! I will be back next year.
This was my 4th half marathon walk and my first in Niagara. This was by far the best half marathon walk I have done!!! Although I would agree that more water stations would be appreciated, they remained open for the duration of the race which is more that I can say about 2 races I did last year. Amazing swag bag, amazing volunteers, lots of ports potties, lots of music along the course and great boxed lunch after. Big thank you to the volunteers with the spray bottles and hose on such a beautifully hot day!!!!!! Lastly, the other racers were amazing!!!!! So much encouragement from everyone no matter if you were a runner trying for a personal best or a first time walker just trying to finish...amazing attitudes everywhere!!!!!
Fab event! One of my faves. I love what this half marathon stands for: a celebration of women & fitness. Beauty course, and having Katherine Switzer at the half way mark (almost - I think she was at 9K) & at the finish, was an extra bonus. I really appreciate the fast flow of 'boxed' lunches, and the cold wet cloths at the finish were a bonus on such a warm day. Looking forward to NFWHM 2016 :)
Hit a rough spot around the 12.5km mark then ultimately had to be escorted off by the medics at 15km or risk passing out. This was my first half and I wasn't as prepared as I expected. While I didn't finish, I talked to some amazing women along the way. To everyone who asked if I was ok when I was taking a time out, THANK YOU! Everyone really cheered each other on and genuinely cared about other ladies well being. While I am unsure if I will tackle another half marathon, this experience was unforgettable. Thank-you to the volunteers, and just the folks who stood by and called our names out with encouragements. They helped push me on more than I thought. Special Kudos to the ladies with the spray bottles!!
This was my 8th half marathon and first time running the Niagara Women's Half Marathon. Picking up my amazing race kit with all the cool swag was so easy!
The race itself was very well organized. Kudos to the race organizers.
I loved the route, very scenic and flat.
My only recommendation would be to have shuttle buses to the start line.
Other then that...loved the whole experience!
Thank you for an amazing race. I will definitely be back next year!
I can't state enough how much I loved this race! The course was mostly flat with down-hill areas. There were a few spots where it went up-hill but they weren't steep or long. Great for a first half-marathon! Even better to beat your personal best! Everyone was super friendly. The morning sprinklers going off and mist spraying off the falls felt fantastic. The route has little to no shade so sunscreen is very important. The morning was chilly but it quickly got very hot (if you warm up quickly then ditch the long sleeves and dress for a hot summer day as the sun was intense - heat was coming from above you and rising from the black pavement). More water stations and reversing the course would have made the race perfect (you see the falls at the beginning of the race only). The hug from Katherine at the end made the entire experience even more surreal. They really know how to make you feel as though you're a winner (personalized cheering, the hug at the end, beauty salon, medal handed by a fireman etc). The packet pick up line went by quick, and the freebies handed out were awesome. If you stick around to the end, they let people take home the flowers they had displayed in the port-a-potties. Parking was made simple (a bit of traffic getting in but not that big of a deal) and was right next to the start. They delayed the start a bit to make sure everyone was at the starting line. Although a lot of people had to stand off to the side on the grass because we all couldn't fit on the paved portion, I had no problems with merging in with the other runners and only had a few second delay between gun time and bib time. Runners were cheering on and high-fiving other runners. If you find that you're keeping pace with another runner then don't be afraid to befriend that person! Met some awesome ladies on the course. Overall, loved my experience and will definitely come back next year!
The race director puts on a wonderful female friendly event with all the added bells and whistles he knows women go crazy about!!!
Pink porta potties with flowers, great music and the swag includes a bottles of wine and other goodies women will surely appreciate.
I've completed this event three years now and every year I see more and more women empowered due to Ross Robinson and Kathryn Switzer!
Second time running a half, first time for this race.
Packet pick up was quick and easy (I went at noon on Saturday) - great swag bag - really nice shirt.
Race morning - parking was awful. It's a huge lot once you get in, but we were backed up for half an hour. Get there early!
Decent amount of port-a-potties. Can always do with more though.
Really tight start line - we started off road and had to edge our way in. Agree with other commenters ... start the race earlier - 730am maybe? It got HOT around the 8km mark and the entire route was in the sun. Nice view of the falls (in the first 6km or so) and nice flat course.
One or two more water stations would be nice ... also clearer signs for water/gatorade. I only wanted water but continuously was ending up with Gatorade.
Loved the encouragement from my fellow runners, announcers, and Katherine Switzer.
Firefighters at the end ... shirts on?! Next year ... shirts off please :)
Overall, very enjoyable race!
Can't say enough about the organization of this race, and the attention to detail. Easy race day pick up, great start/finish area, enthusiastic voluncheers, Katharine Switzer hugs and cheers, swag bag, fantastic course, well marked water stations and washrooms.
I've done it twice and I'll be back. Only downer is the parking. Plentiful, but expensive and slow to get in to.
This race was a fast, flat course. I definitely agree with reviewers who say that the race should have an earlier start time, include parking and have more water stations. I also think they should have a tracking app and better course maps for spectatators. The current course map doesn't note mile/km markers or cheering areas so it was hard to coordinate where my family could see me (they missed me at both places they tried). It was a beautiful course but too hot (due to the late start and few water stations) for me to do again.
Happy First Timer
Signed up with a coworker, we found the training schedule very helpful. She ran and I power-walked.
The course was lovely and the logistics were great. Water stations were fast and where you needed them.
What really made a difference were the people. Fellow racers were encouraging. The musicians and "Voluncheers" were incredible. It was hot just after the bridge, I was lagging and the young man handing out water told me I could do it and I believed him. He made a difference. Thanks to him and all of the volunteers for being so awesome!
I've done many 5 & 10k races but this was my first half marathon. Highly recommend that any nervous first timers give this race a shot. You will have a blast while challenging yourself.
This was my first half marathon and I'm glad it was this race. I liked the course it was gorgeous. So many friendly people. Swag bag was awesome. I found there was enough water stations. The boxed lunch was a nice touch loved that I got a full poweraid, bottle of water, chocolate milk, 2 cookies banana and a water. I liked it I'll be doing it again next year while the price is cheap. I paid over a 100 but considering how late I signed up and what was in the swag bag I have no complaints.
My first time attending the race, and it did not disappoint.
The atmosphere is great!
Course is amazing so much so that it almost doesnt feel like a race, more like a run around the park.
Voluncheers are awesome.
LOVE, LOVE, LOVE, the bands, musicians along the route.
Lots of parking spots.
Cost is too much compared to other races.
The parking should be included or get a discount if purcharched early, or have shuttle busses from a designated hotel or Public Transit stop.
Boxed snack was poor - a banana, apple and cookies?! Most races offer pizza, sandwiches, fruit, and pastries. This is the worse snack in all the races I've attended.
Great medal. Great swag bag. I spent the night before at a hotel within walking distance to the start line. Traffic looked brutal. Not enough water stations. Great food box post race. Easy morning of packet pick up and baggage check.
This was a pretty good race. As is with all races targeted towards women, there was a wonderful sense of sisterhood.
If you're looking at doing this race, here are the pros:
1. Meet Katharine Switzer. What a wonderful woman! She's my running hero and it was great to see her dedication at the expo and on race day (high 5's half way and hugs at the end).
2. The swag bag was pretty good. Well, worth it if you sign up early when the entry fee is low (i.e., $66).
3. The race director did a good job with the little extras (flowers in the port-a-potties).
4. Prepackaged food/drinks at the finish line. This is such a great and easy way to ensure that everyone regardless if they're first or last gets the same food/water.
1. The cost if you don't sign up early. If you aren't able to commit to the race a year in advance, you risk paying over $100 for this race. This seems excessive, regardless of getting a bottle of wine in the swag bag. The companies are getting cheap advertising to over 2000 women - they should be motivated to provide reduced cost or free items as a promotion.
2. The shirts were tiny! I ordered a large and was able to switch to an XL at the expo. Even this was too small - I'll have to loss a ton of weight to fit into it.
3. The start time. One of the risks of the first weekend of June is the temperature can be blistering hot or not. This year it was brutally hot and there wasn't enough water. I myself and many other runners that I train with felt the effects for the last 5km, almost resulting in heat stroke. If I was the race director, I would look at starting an hour earlier to beat the heat.
4. The lack of expo. The expo is always a great way to get psyched up for the race, get items not usually available at running/sport's store. Again, it's such a great opportunity for local businesses to get involved.
I really enjoyed this race! Running past the falls twice was amazing, and although early in the race, I do understand why it had to be like this, as it would be too disruptive for tourists to do this much later in the race. This was a very motivating run with Catherine encouraging everyone! I found the water stations plentiful and nice to have oranges and chocolates at the one station. The route did get very warm after the turnaround - a cool cloth at this point would have been amazing - maybe a good addition to next year's run? The medal was very nice and the box lunch was okay (2 cookies, 3 pieces of fruit).
Yes, the packet pick-up did take over an hour and was the worst line-up I had seen, and, yes, I did have to run to the start, as the traffic was so bad I would never have made it otherwise. However, the instructions did say to get there before 7 am!
Otherwise, a really nice run
I am so glad I picked this event for my first half marathon. You notice it is an event for women as soon as you walk on site. Pink and purple porta potty with flowers inside. Tables with white and pink tablecloths. Volunteers were so nice! Kathrine Switzer was so encouraging to each individuall I don't know where she finds the energy. Her enthusiasm is contagious. The mist of the falls felt so nice. The finish line was the best with Kathrine greeting and making everyone feel so special. The the firemen giving the medals, and those faceclothes soaked in icy cold water were such an appreciated touch. I had a fantastic time.
A great, scenic (and flat!) course for my first half. Fun atmosphere and beautiful to run along the falls. I had agreat time but leave the following notes to organizers to make this event better: The race kit pick up was by far the worst I have ever experienced! There is no reason for this take an hour! Could have been much better organized with more workers. This race hypes itself as having "attention to detail" but missed the boat on this aspect. The shirts fit small so I wont likely wear mine. I agree with other reviewers that the parking was problematic. Should be police officers directing where traffic starts to back up ( long before the park). Should have a drop off area for runners. I agree that parking should be included. If race kit pick up and parking were fixed, would be perfect! ( The wine jokes eg. "finish wine" are pretty lame and overdone though).
My first half marathon so not much to compare it to, but felt it was a great experience. Yes, race kit pick up on Saturday took over an hour, and parking could have used a flag person, but those are minor details.
The course is flat and beautiful. I agree the falls were a bit early in the race, but in hindsight, we were all fresh and excited during those first few kms, and so I prefer to remember my time passing them feeling excited and powerful. Unlike how I felt at the 14km mark with my IT band wreaking havoc throughout my legs. I did not pack water and it seemed that the organizers were psychic because everytime the last station's fuel up ran empty there was a sign for water/gaterade up ahead and I could breathe easy again.
I really appreciated Kathrine Switzer high-fiving us at the 7km mark, and then congratulating each of us at the finish line. She was so amazing, she knew I needed a paramedic before I did, as I somehow lost my ability to breathe as soon as I crossed the line, my emotions were so high.
The bands and musicians that lined the course were great. These were all local talent, I'm assuming, as was the Laura Secord school band that revved us up at the start line. All great and much appreciated!
It was not only the awesome volunteers that were cheering us on along the way, but also fellow runners. When the pain hit overload, I was contorting my body to produce a motion that was faster than walking, and heard several women call my name cheering me on and it was a lifesaver!
Great race, great runners, definitely recommend it!
This was my 2nd marathon. So I do not have much to compare it to. But I feel With this only the 3rd year for this event, they have some areas that need to be improved .
The parking was a mess. No traffic control into the lots for arrival and departure. Long wait in and out. Parking pass should have been included. I would suggest maybe buses from the recommend hotels with pick up and drop off running regularly and have runner pay for a bus pass or include in price. Registration was expensive compared to other. We were unable to find any details on the website for parking address to plug into the gps as we were from out of town. Parcel pick up was busy and the line up was long. Maybe if tables were set up a to d, e to h, I to p, A to Z runners could
pick up according to you last name instead of bib number that was hard to find on the sheets. This might make it a little faster. Parcels were great. Shirts good ( but fit small). Start was to busy.... Maybe several starts in waves would be better. Not enough bathrooms at the start. The course for the race was nice. But the falls were too early and the last miles were hot and not much shade. M & M were too early in the race and I agree with other post the water stations were not well organized and there was not enough. I do not think I will do this race again. But I enjoyed my time in Niagara Falls
My first time doing this race and 2nd half. I really liked this race. The swag bag was amazing and well organized. Got to meet Katherine Switzer at the pick up and attended the dinner with her the night before. Excellent food at Betty's and she was very inspirational as a speaker. The race day was well organized and lively and a good overall feeling. The race was great especially running past the falls twice. Great water stations with enthusiastic volunteers. The music and muscle beach along the way were great! Loved the cold wash cloth at the end as it was a hot day!! Great medal and met people from all over North America and even Turks and Cacoas. Would do it again.
Couldn't make the date for the Niagara International, so I signed up for this race on a whim, and I'm glad I did. I'm not that into the whole girl's weekend thing, but it's there for you if you like that and pretty avoidable if you don't. Everyone gets a bottle of wine and other girly swag (makeup, shampoo, etc, but surprisingly no chocolate!). They had two options of tshirt colour (awesome) and amazingly neither choice was pink (even better)! Porta potties had flowers in the urinals, and there were firemen to hand out medals. The majority of runners were female, or males alongside their females, and the top 3 runners were women.
The route is nice. Based on the map, I thought it would be 5km of glory fallsview, followed by 16km of boring streets, but I actually liked the back portion just as much because you got a nice breeze, saw an interesting view of the upper rapids and got some entertainment from muscle beach bodybuilders. Mostly city roads, and minimal to no traffic or angry drivers on detour. Plus there were oranges on course in addition to sufficient water/gatorade, which is great for a half marathon!
Post-race food was ok - lots of fruit, but not much else. Not a fan of the diet Powerade at the end when I needed real sugar - that's girly to the point of silliness. The medal is pretty substantial and a decent design, if fairly conservative (image of runners in front of the falls). Oh, with pink trim, of course.
I wasn't a fan of the Marineland start location. People who drove had to wait in line for 20-30 minutes to park. People who didn't have cars had no transit option from the hotel area on race morning (as public transit doesn't run that early) and had to walk or jog about 5k or cab it into the lineup of cars. Supposedly the organizers are going to help relieve the parking situation next year but they haven't said boo about a shuttle bus or any other eco-friendly solution for all the cars and the carless.
Recommended for a girls weekend, for a proposal, or just for a fun getaway (or fun local race, if you're a townie)... it's a great way to do something different in Niagara, and you can always do a little post-race recovery in wine country or on Clifton Hill or shopping over the border.
Running on Empty
This was my second year running the NFWHM. The atmosphere was terrific with women supporting one another and Kathrine Switzer was truly inspirational. She was so personable at the expo and was there to cheer everyone at the finish line. The volunteers were wonderful, especially when I walked through the tent after the race to pick up my box of food. They all clapped and cheered and made me feel like a celebrity!
Something needs to be done about the traffic line getting into the park. We were almost late because we were stuck in traffic for so long. The $10.00 parking fee is also not cool! The cost of the race is already far too high. (I'd prefer to see it $20.00 cheaper and I could buy my own bottle of wine!)
The route is good and it is mostly flat. But this year it was hot and humid. Even though I was in the top 40 runners, there wasn't enough water/Gatorade available. Some of the cups were less than 1/4 full and I had to stop and drink from three or four cups at a time. I don't normally stop to drink. (No wonder they ran out of cups for some of the ladies behind me!) There also weren't enough volunteers holding out cups so I missed some stations and I know it affected my performance. The route is in a loop, so it doubles back, but the water station was only operating on one side of the road. They should have had tables and drinks on both sides.
The wet face cloth at the end was fantastic! What a great idea! It was so appreciated.
All in all, it's a great race. But I would recommend that they lower the race fee, eliminate the parking fee, deal with the traffic congestion and increase the amount of water/Gatorade available.
This is an amazing race and the organization is outstanding. This was not my first race but it was my first half marathon, so I wanted to make it an special one and God did I find the right race!! It was inspirational with the honour of meeting Katrine Switzer first woman to wear an oficial bid in the Boston Marathon. It was a happy race, the view amazing, the road in great shape, flat, fast. Lot's of entretaiment along the way. Despite of other people's opinion i love the marching band and motocycles going through the runners, it gives carather to the race, it is not an inconvenience. A lot of water stations, and the wet towel at the end it was fantastic!!
This was my first year running this race (my 6th half marathon, 19th race).
I generally really liked this race. The atmosphere was very encouraging. Course was very scenic and flat. The "running by the falls - twice!" bit happens very early on. I enjoyed the swag bag, shirt and bottle of wine - much better than what I've received at some of the other races I've done this year. Meeting Katherine Switzer at packet pick up was my highlight. I think this race would be perfect for first timers or for people running with a group - two out and backs makes for great opportunity to see your friends a few times on the course.
Couple of areas for improvement:
- start line was a bit disorganized. Asking the runners to get into the start area than having to move to the sides to make way first for a marching band than for three motorcycles wasn't great. While the signs for finishing times were a good idea, they weren't spaced out far enough so it seemed that runners were just fitting in wherever they could. Perhaps organized starting corrals would be better.
- Not enough water stations and one (at 16K)ran out of water. I had a hydration belt on, but it was so humid that I had run out so no water between km's 15 to 20. The water stations that did have water didn't seem well organized - one volunteer had powerade, the next had water, one after that had powerade, next had water in powerade cups. For an event in June which might be HOT (as it was on Sunday), this needs to be better organized.
Overall, I did really like this event and found it very inspiring. Hope they make some improvements for next year and continue to grow. Giving 3 bananas as the water station issue is a pretty big one.
Unfortunately, I just didn't think this race was what it was hyped up to be, especially for the cost. It was $125.00 and I didn't sign up late either. Weather conditions have nothing to do with the race, but the heat and humidity, should have ensured there were enough cups/water/gatorade for people. There were not enough at the last two water stations.
The swag bag was nice, but again, not worth the steep entry fee. PLUS the $10.00 parking fee. The course was lovely, and the atmosphere was wonderful for the beginners, all feeling like they belonged there, THAT I appreciated! Never used the porta potties (they did brag that they had WAY more then a usual race) in which they did not! The line ups were HUGE! They could have had about 20? at the starting line; and very few along the course. NO real course officials seen; only 2 paramedics seen along route. The 'fire fighter' finish? They were in tshirts and I didn't even know they were fire fighters until after. No uniforms.. not what I expected compared to the Toronto Women's Half. There were little fan fare, crowd support.. 2 bands that I saw along the way, only 5 water stations.. and like I said.. 2 ran out of cups.. considering it was such a humid and hot race, you would think they would have been more prepared. The boxed 'lunch' was lovely, but with the humidity, the boxes tore and hence the food spilled out.. :( The ice cold wash cloth at the end was AWESOME! I'm afraid that even at the discount of 66.00 for next year, I don't think I'd run it. Lovely medal, but really? Not worth the hype. The parking fee should be included in the entry fee. People were selling muffins after, but SELLING.. not giving away. These races offer free advertising from companies (the wine/advertisements, etc) in the swag bags and finish line. They have 2500 extra people tasting/trying their merchandise.. I wouldn't think we would have to pay MORE for it. Thumbs down for this one.
What a wonderful race! I had the feeling from start to finish that the organizers really cared about the women racing. The race attracted women of all shapes, sizes and ages and everyone was warmly welcomed and appreciated. The linen tablecloths, real flowers (and tp!) in the portapotties were all a lovely tough. Having Katherine Switzer there cheering all of us on was inspiring and special. The course is lovely and scenic and flat (although windy). I PR'd at 1:58 and felt great. Yay!
This was my first ever half Marathon and it was great! Already signed up for the 2013 and have even more friends coming to join us. Any woman wanting to try a half for the first time this is the one! non competative and FANTASTIC swag bag!
I was excited about being part of this inaugural race. I echo the comments above. I especially loved the music played at the start (and finish) that focused on women, i.e., "Girls Just Wanna Have Fun". The bride and groom, who had just tied the knot the night before, were fantastic, as they still donned the tux and wedding gown, despite the dirty, wet ground. I hope they are a part of the event in 2013 and wear their wedding clothes again! I am looking forward to another great event and two of my friends have already signed up.
It was a wonderful race. The organization was fantastic. Nothing forgotten and most definetaly a non-competitive atmosphere. Runner were having fun. The most fantastic "Goody Bag" I've ever received. It was unfortunate it rained but it still was an excellent experience
I loved this race -- it was fast and flat, the scenery was great, and I really felt taken care of. The porta-potties put a smile on my face -- flowers and lavender so the stalls didn't smell at all! -- and the finish line area was well organized and thoughtful: box lunches! massages! lots of water!
But in addition, something felt very different: whereas most races feel very "competitive", this race seemed to feel very encouraging and inclusive. Runners were calling out encouragement to other runners they didn't even know, because the names were in big letters on the bibs, and we passed each other at several points. I think it might be because it was a women's race: we all wanted everyone to do well and enjoy it! Refreshing!
Forgot to mention — I set a PB here! So that makes it even better!
I wasn't too sure what to expect for this race as it was the first one but wasn't disappointed at all. Loved the hype leading to it, the swag bag was even better and yes, I will freely admit that the bottle of wine was the main reason why I signed up! I love the half marathon distance and it fitted well in my schedule. From start to finish, it was a fantastic race (yes, even with the delay, these things happen). I also found the parking fee of $10 a bit steep but the more people in the car, the cheaper it becomes :) Loved, loved the port-a-potties! You knew you were in a women's race! The lunch box at the end was great as well. No need to line up and not being able to carry anything because you're getting yet another stale bagel! I love that my medal says "Inaugural" at the bottom. This will always be a special one. I don't depend on water stations/washrooms when I run a HM so it didn't bother me too much. But I would have liked to know the full route ahead of time, I like to know where I'm going. But this will be a moot point if they keep that lovely route for next year. Will definitely be back but will NOT stay in Niagara Falls, at least not in the area with gazillion of hotels/motels. I'll go out of the city and drive in. It doesn't take long to get there and it ensures a good night sleep. We had partyers at our hotel and they kept me awake most of the night.
Overall, I think it's a great race for people doing their first half marathon. It's small enough that you retain the "people" feel. Crowd support is minimal but that's Canada for you. Firemen were a nice touch but it would have been nice to have a little more oumpf about them. I remember thinking "that's it?" LOL But that sax player can come back any time... nothing sexier than that kind of music!
We had a blast at this race. 14 runners from Northshore Runners Port Dover. Many were in their first 1/2 marathon and it was a great way for them to start. Several of us achieved PB. I knocked off 5 minutes from my time. The volunteers were excellent and the start/finish was comfortable. The course is lovely - one of the world's natural wonders so what more could you ask for?
Nancy Van Helvert
What a great race! Lots of parking, no worries about shuttle buses, bag checks, etc. and the scenery was great! Absolutely loved that the finish was so very organized, treats in a box ready to grab and go, and chocolate milk - how great was that! Would only make two recommendations, that there are more parking attendants to get the runners in on time to the start, and more porta potties on the route. I don't think I've ever enjoyed a half as much as this one. Thanks to all who organized this, and to all the volunteers as well!
An AMAZING race! The route was flat and scenic (good for first time 1/2 marathoners); the swag bag was the best by far (and I have run close to 100 races); the fresh flowers in the porta potties were a lovely touch; lunch box at the end was a real treat as you just "grabbed and go", so many races there is such congestion in the food tents; white linens on the tables in the rest area at the end added a sophisticated feel to the whole experience. I LOVED that the woman singing O Canada at the start was also a runner, with an incredible voice!!!
I would recommend more porta potties at the start line and perhaps have an officer at the lights close to the parking lot to ease up on congestion leading into the lot (the race was delayed due to this). I also thought the $10 parking fee was a little steep.
By far this is one of my favourite half marathons, I would highly recommend it and I can’t wait to do it again in 2013! Job VERY WELL done to everyone involved in organizing this GREAT race!
**I can't forget the sax player at 17K....can I request him again next year ;)
This was a good race for its first time. I especially liked the personalized bibs as it was great to hear your name as people were cheering you on and it was great to cheer on other participants by their names. Scenery was wonderful in spite of the rain. An easy course which was mostly flat.
Not enough port a potties along the route and more upbeat bands with a variety of music (i.e. - rock, country, calypso, 50's, etc.) would have been great.