I signed up for the Niagara Falls 5k event (Niagara Falls International Marathon) because it was somewhere far enough for me to make a weekend away out of it, but close enough that it wouldn't be too costly. Well that, and it was another race to try out. It's been really enjoyable attending all these races, especially since they all offer so much that are different from the others. Each race is really unique and I really do believe that if you can, you should try each race at least once to see if you like it.
The primary charity that is supported by the NFIM is The Greater Niagara General Hospital Foundation. "The GNGH Foundation's mission is to develop, manage, and distribute charitable resources to support and enhance the provision of patient care programs and services at the Greater Niagara General site and for the Niagara Health system." In addition to a primary charity there is a secondary charity, which is The David Gregory MacKinnon Memorial Foundation. Their mission "is to preserve the memory of David Gregory MacKinnon by encouraging education and advocacy for families affected by kidney disease, scholarships for higher education and acquisition of essential medical support and equipment, through sustained fund raising and public contributions." Outside of both of these charities there are a handful of others that you are able to collect pledges for as well.
The NFIM had an expo the Friday and Saturday before the races, which was held at the Skylon Tower. The expo was organized fairly well, with bag and bib pick up at the beginning, and timing chip activation and t-shirt pick up at the end. The in between was where you were able to shop for discounted goodies, pick up your samples of anything and everything, and maybe even register for a race with some added freebies. I picked up quite a bit of stuff, and even managed to sign up for a Spring race. I'll tell you, some of those expos are dangerous, but beyond worth it. Just try and go in with a level head, otherwise you're spending every dime you came in with.
Like most races, with the NFIM had partnered with numerous hotels to get discounted rates for the weekend. I booked with the Radisson Hotel & Suites Fallsview, and I was very happy with my pick. It was a short distance to the expo, and very central to everything at the Falls. The longest distance was getting to the start line, but after finishing the race I was that much closer to getting back to my hotel room. The room had a jetted tub, my legs definitely thanked me for it later. Overall, it was a great experience and sleeping on a Sleep Number Bed the night before a race made a big difference for me when I woke up in the morning.
Thankfully, it was a morning with no rain. It was starting to look like all my double race weekends were beginning to be full of rain. Although there was no rain, I must admit it was a very cold morning; colder than most are used to, since you're right by the falls.
The course of the race looped back after the first 2k, so once you were back around past the start line you had just about 1k to go. It was very flat, outside of the very minor incline over a bridge, so definitely not so rough on the legs.
If there was one thing I could've changed about the course it would be supporters. I know that a 5k is very different than a 10k, half marathon, or full marathon, but I also know that support motivates people and can really help someone out. I understand that there were support groups every number of miles for those running the marathon, so it wasn't necessarily going to happen so often for us 5k peeps... I'm just a sucker for applause.
Just want to add, before I sign off, that I couldn't be happier that I was 5/15 for my age group.. One day I'll be in the top 3.. One day.
Photo credit for all photos in the slideshow - Jason J. Wilson.
About This Page
Race recaps of all of the races and events I participate in.
At My Best
5k - 00:26:38
The Playoff Run (2014)
10k - 00:55:14.1
Hannukah Hustle (2014)
15k - 01:36:28.9
A Midsummer Night's Run (2014)
21k (Half Marathon) - 02:00:45
Rock 'n' Roll New Orleans (2015)
25k (Trail) - 4:12:32
Run for the Toad (2013)
Mud Run - 00:52:44.0
Mud Hero Urban Toronto (2015) *First Mud Run*