If you love running or marathon training, the Tim Hortons Niagara Falls Marathon is one of the coolest things to do in Niagara Falls. No other marathon provides participants with the opportunity to see one of the world’s most awe-inspiring wonders when they’ve finished the race: Niagara Falls. That’s why people from around the world visit Niagara Falls to participate in this unique event.
In 2019, the race takes place on Sunday, October 20. Race kit pickup is the previous day, so if you’re planning travel, you’ll want to arrive in Niagara Falls at least a couple days before the marathon.
In addition to a full marathon for those who’ve stuck to a marathon training plan, there are also 5km, 10km and half-marathon races for runners of all ages and skill levels. The roar of Niagara Falls is a great motivator throughout the race. Whether you’re a marathon pro or are a first-timer, this marathon is a great one to plan a Niagara Falls trip for.
What Can People Expect from a Marathon Race?
Running a marathon is an amazing accomplishment for any runner. Each marathon is 26.2 miles or around 42.2 kilometers. A half-marathon is exactly half that distance: 13.1 miles or 21.1 kilometers.
The average time to run a marathon is around 4 hours, 22 minutes for the average male and 4 hours, 48 minutes for the average female. Elite runners can finish a marathon in around 2 hours, 20 minutes or less.
Some marathons require qualifying times in order to participate. At the Tim Hortons International Marathon, there is no qualifying time requirement – though finishing this marathon does provide you with a time you can use to qualify for the Boston Marathon.
If Tim Hortons International Marathon runners do not reach the half-marathon timing mat within 3-and-a-half hours after the marathon starts, they will receive a half-marathon medal and will be bussed back to the finish line.
What Can Runners Expect from the Tim Hortons International Niagara Falls Marathon Race?
In 2018, nearly 900 runners participated in the Niagara Falls marathon, and 719 runners completed the marathon route. The marathon race is capped to 950 runners, so there is plenty of room to run and take in all the gorgeous scenery along the route.
The race begins at Albright Knox Art Gallery in Buffalo, New York. It finishes at the brink of Horseshoe Falls in Niagara Falls, Canada. All runners must have a valid passport in order to complete the race. Some runners will also need a visa to enter either or both Canada and/or the United States.
The race route is pancake flat, which means elevation does not change except for one point, which is the Peace Bridge crossing. Runners cross Peace Bridge from the United States into Canada after the first 4 miles of the race. Elevation throughout the race is 172 meters.
The race course follows the beautiful Niagara Parkway, which follows the Niagara River. Every 2.5km, there are water and Nuun electrolyte replacement tablets available. There are also CLIF BLOK energy chews available at various points throughout the race.
Each race participant will be outfitted with their own custom finish tab, which accurately keeps track of finishing time. Depending on predicted finish times, runners will be placed in various starting corrals. Each participant receives a medal to take home and commemorate the race.
Runners this time of year can expect highs around 60°F/16°C and lows around 40°F/4°C. During your training, try to run in similar temperatures so that your body is used to the weather. It helps to wear a garbage bag and throwaway long sleeved shirt during the race that you can shed as your body warms, too. In case of rain, wearing a running hat will keep the rain out of your eyes.
Marathon Training Plan Tips
It is very difficult to complete a marathon without any marathon training. It is also not advised to attempt to do so, as runners risk experiencing injuries or endurance issues throughout the race. Consult with your physician before signing up for any long-distance race to make sure you are healthy enough to participate. Not doing so could result in dehydration, cramps or even death.
If you are cleared to participate in a marathon by your physician, here are some marathon training plan tips.
- Plan to dedicate at least 16 weeks to structured marathon preparation. This includes running between four and six times a week, with a long run each week.
- Hydrate before, during and after each run. Replenish your body with water and electrolytes lost while running.
- Increase distance gradually. Do not attempt a 42km run your first time out. Over the 16 weeks, gradually increase the long run distance you complete each week. If you’re already used to running long distances, you can start with a longer distance initially, but don’t go farther than what you’re used to in the beginning. Aim to get up to a distance of at least 32km within a month before the race.
During training, you should also integrate weight training to build up muscle strength. Be sure to stretch and recover adequately. Using a foam roller can help, and regular massages during training are also beneficial.
Take care of your body with good health practices. Get adequate sleep, don’t train when you are sick, and eat a balanced and nutritious diet while training.
Turn Marathon Participation into a Fun Niagara Falls Trip
There are so many fun things to do in Niagara Falls before and after your trip. Some ideas for how to celebrate completing the Tim Hortons International Niagara Falls Marathon include:
- Grab your friends and cheers your race with a beer at a local brewery.
- Toast your race completion at a Niagara Falls winery.
- If you’re in Niagara Falls with your beloved, have a romantic celebratory meal together.
- Pamper yourself and soothe those sore muscles with a Niagara Falls spa package.
And don’t forget a comfy place to sleep! You’ll want a luxurious bed to relax in after your hard work. Book a stay at Marriott on the Falls Niagara Falls hotel. We’ll make your Niagara Falls stay one that takes care of your every step of the way.