Believe it or not, running in the Niagara region, especially as summer winds down into fall, is one of the greatest pleasures of area runners’ lives, and much of that pleasure has to do with the changing look and feel of the place. As autumn emerges, the summer foliage starts its deepening into darker, less vibrant greens. Subtle hints of gold, amber, and red begin to show themselves here and there in the many species of trees and bushes.
The weather begins to cool, and the crisp air makes breathing in and out on a morning run feel so much more invigorating than when the heat was at its fullest. As the days shorten, it’s easier to head out for sunrise and sunset runs without losing too much sleep as well. Throughout it all, September and October continue to showcase the countryside’s luscious landscape. From the vineyards and waterways to the famed trails in and around St. Catharines, if you’re a runner, it’s the perfect time to plan a visit to Niagara.
Maybe the great weather and amazing foliage is why the Niagara Falls International Marathon is held every October. Much more than just a race, the whole weekend is full of fun, as well as some learning opportunities. Here is a look at some of what the weekend will hold if you’re looking to run a marathon — or at least a 5K — toward the end of October.
Friday, October 23
Starting at 1 p.m. at the Scotiabank Convention Centre, a Health and Fitness Expo will get underway that will last until 7 p.m. During the Expo, runners registered to participate in any of the Niagara Falls International Marathon races can stop by and pick up their numbers and race packets. New registrants can also sign up. Over 20,000 people — runners, volunteers, walkers, visitors, and community members — usually attend the free Expo, where booths, product demonstrations, and exhibits abound — all centered on the theme of running, health, and fitness.
Saturday, October 24
One of the many highlights that occur the day before every Niagara Falls International Marathon race day is the Running Room International Breakfast Run that takes place at 8:30 a.m. A free and friendly run, it’s a perfect opportunity to meet racers and runners who are in town to race from all over the world. You’re encouraged to bring a flag that’s representative of the country, province, or state from which you hail. After the run, runners are all invited to take in a complimentary breakfast at the Niagara Falls’ Planet Hollywood. If you happened to miss out on the Expo the day before, its doors will be open once again on Saturday from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m.
Sunday, October 25 — Race Day!
The highlight of race day is, of course, the running. Whether you plan on participating or spectating, it’s a jovial and friendly time that includes people from all over the globe. Here are just some of the race categories offered:
- Full marathon
- Schools marathon challenge
- Half-marathon wheelchair
- And more!
Come to Niagara for one of the most enjoyable international events of the year. Whether you run or cheer, the Niagara Falls International Marathon showcases the best of being in Niagara.