Any runners planning to register, or make changes to current registration while at this years RunFEST Expo must complete all transactions in cash. We will not be accepting Debit/Credit at the Expo. There will be ATM’s on site. We apologize for any inconvenience.
Meet Mariann Zorgel and her Mom Mary Fraracci,
At the incredible age of 86, Mary is returning to the Niagara Falls International Marathon for the second time to run the 5km. This is her story…
Mother of three, grandmother of seven, great grandmother of three. She power walks daily, gardens, exercises and eats right. She will power walk the race and may do a little run if she is able to. Last year she walked/ran. Mariann started walking with her mom over 10 years ago to better her health and her mom joined in. Mariann became a runner, but wanted her mom to continue walking. She takes her mom daily to the Seaway Mall to walk in a program that she partnered with where the participants are walking across Canada in the mall. Her mom enjoys keeping her body moving, enjoys their time walking together and the fact that Mariann sets goals for her with time and distance. She loves meeting with the walkers for some social time to share her experiences of life.
We look forward to seeing them both at this years Marathon!
All Runners must register BEFORE October 16th to insure their name is on their race bib.
WEGO Bus transit is available to transport runners to and from the Niagara Falls Convention Centre and the RunFEST Expo at The Niagara Square Shopping Centre. Buses will depart from the Convention Centre on Friday, October 24th starting at 1pm, running every 30 minutes. Buses will leave Niagara Square at quarter after and quarter to the hour. The last bus returning back to the Convention Centre from the Expo on Friday, October 24th will be departing at 6:45pm from Niagara Square.
Transportation will also be available on Saturday, October 25th to transport runners to and from the Niagara Falls Convention Centre and the RunFEST Expo. Buses will depart from the Convention Centre on Saturday, October 25th starting at 9:30am, running every 30 minutes. Buses will leave Niagara Square at quarter after and quarter to the hour. The last bus returning back to the Convention Centre from the Expo on Saturday, October 25th will be departing at 5:15pm from Niagara Square.
Please refer to the map below for the complete WEGO Bus Route Map.
Click Image to Enlarge
Meet James Mietlicki
At 58, James is returning to The Niagara Falls International Marathon in the hopes of setting a new personal best time.
My second Niagara Falls International Half Marathon is now just weeks away. Being a back of the pack runner, I expect I’ll again be watching those leaders in the Full Marathon passing me around mile 10 as I keep moving along at my steady pace. Finishing in the bottom third, or quarter on the results list is fairly routine for runners like me and the many out there who are just like me in ability and speed, but it’s never too late to start running and share in the challenge.
Many runners have been at it for a lifetime, beginning in high school with track, or cross country and continuing on without interruption, but that’s not me at all. At the age of 58, knowing retirement was just up the road, I realized that I had to do something that would keep me fit and avoid the curse of becoming a couch potato. I had never run at all up to that point, but my daughter and son-in-law had been running for a few years at the time, so one day I decided to try it. I was out of breath after running 2 short blocks, but it was a wake up call and I kept at it. Advancement did not come easily. After a year I could run about a half mile before being all out.
The following summer, the kids were running in a 5K and I went out with the intention to cheer them on, but purely on a whim I signed up for the race. The goal? Simply to finish and hopefully not be the last runner in. It was as much a walk as a run, which continues to be the case in my races today. I crossed the finish line in the turtle time of 40 minutes, but was not the last to do so. That year that single race was it for me, but I kept running nonetheless.
The following year I became a bit more active, doing seven 5K races, always finishing in the bottom quarter, but finishing every one and doing better in terms of finishing times.
Last year as the season was beginning in the area, I was looking at doing an 8K race. Could I actually do an additional 3K? I wasn’t at all certain, but went for it. Success! I finished it. Great motivation as I began to push distance a bit. The kids began urging me to think of trying a Half Marathon. “No way,” I said, but soon I realized that I was able to push to 5 and 6 miles in my running; so maybe it was possible. I began to train toward a Half Marathon for September, but by early June I was doing about 10 miles. One Sunday morning that month I read an article in the paper about a Half Marathon upcoming for the following Saturday; I would try it. That Saturday, with some trepidation, I was out there. By mile 5 I was doubting I could possibly finish it, but I kept pushing along and seemed to get a second wind after mile 7. I finished in the bottom quarter again, but crossed the line in under 3 hours, arms raised in victory. Hardly a record, but a record for me. 23 races completed that season, including 3 more Half Marathons with my first Niagara Falls International Half as the last. By the end of the race I was walking more than running, but once again, I crossed that line and got my finishers bling.
This year I’ve run 36 races, including 5 Half Marathons so far. I was on a plateau in terms of times for most of the season until sudden improvement in August, actually cutting more than 2 minutes off of where I’d been until achieving the true mark of a runner…a running related injury. I’ve been pushing through and continue racing, even if times are a bit disappointing at the moment. Still in the lower half in most races, but I’ve placed in my age group a couple of times, which is a great result for me. With the Niagara Falls and the Philadelphia Half Marathons upcoming, I’ll have raced in excess of 200 miles in total distance this year. And I’ve run some 5Ks straight through this year without any walking…the goal I set 2 years ago which seemed elusive for me. Later today I’ll be heading to an award ceremony to pick up my bling for being one of the 42 people who completed a seven race 5K series here locally.
The plan for next year, God willing, is to go for a Full Marathon. It will take dedication to proper training, and there will be doubts along the way, but I will keep at it and believe I can meet that goal.
When I began to get a bit more involved in running 3 years ago, a lot of people told me I was crazy, that I was too old for this. A lot of others will wonder why people like myself who are always finishing at the back of the pack keep doing it as we are never going to win a race, but those people just don’t get it. You are never too old to challenge yourself and winning doesn’t require that you cross the line first and get the trophy, or the medal. Winning comes in meeting the challenge and trying to do the best you can do every time out. The only person you are really running against is your former self, and your only competitor is your head telling you that this is too hard, that you should stop, and that you can’t do it. When you cross the finish line, whether its a local 5K, or the Niagara Falls International Marathon, you are a winner whether you are the first, or last to cross that line.
Meet Marlene Jones and her story on being a marathon “completer”
My story is that anyone can participate in the joy of running. Someone has to come last and I am often that person.
I started with a half marathon in 2006 and each year since have averaged three a year. I have simple objectives 1. Cross the finish line. 2. Smile and thank all the support staff on the route 3. Check out the scenery. 4. Enjoy the run.
My biggest challenge with running races is to avoid being removed from the race because I am slow. I have come close. I love the races that have early start times for us old slow guys.
Some of the races I have come last or near last are: London(England), Lake Taupo (New Zealand), Las Vegas, the Cherry Blossom in Washington, the Falmouth Freezer and the Long John race in Nova Scotia.
Favourite lines people have said to me ” you are a completer not a competitor,” “you are lapping the folks on the coach”.
I have both Canadian and American grandchildren so from my first race I had an objective to do The Niagara Falls International Marathon the year I turned sixty. I am dusty so this is it. I have not trained like I should. I will surely be at risk of not making the seven hour cut off but I have talked my running buddy into us giving it our best shot. Wish us luck.
Marlene Louise Rippey Jones
The last day to make changes to your registration is October 10th
Meet Rick Mannen!
An accomplished distance runner, among the top marathoners in Canada from 1984 – 1995, Rick has completed over 500 races and over 50 full marathons! and he’s excited to come back to the Niagara International Marathon where it all began. This is his story…
The Niagara Falls Marathon brings back many great memories for me from past years. My very first marathon was what was once known as the Skylon International Marathon, running almost the identical course as is used today starting in Buffalo, running over the Peace Bridge in Canada and running along the Niagara Parkway to finish in Niagara Falls. The year was 1978, 36 years ago and at 20 years of age, I finished 103rd in a time of 2:49:29, fast enough to meet the qualifying standard of 2:50:00 for the Boston Marathon. I ran the Boston Marathon in 1979 and finished 424th in a time of 2:34:21 and then went on to run 2:27:57 finishing 8th at the 1980 Ottawa Marathon. I started to think I might have a future in distance running but unfortunately I experienced numerous injuries over the next four years that made me question this thought.
In late 1983, my body started to mend and training started to click with a new coach and training partner. In October 1984, thirty years ago at the age of 26 years, I returned to the Skylon Marathon and surprised the pre-race favourites by running away from the lead pack at 16 miles and winning the race in 2:19:40. I still recall the climb up the Peace Bridge from Buffalo, cresting the highest point on the bridge knowing that the balance of the race was mostly flat, fast and scenic. I also remember there was a cooling effect from the Niagara River along with a slight wind. I felt like I could run forever that day.
For the next 10 years, I became a consistent 2:19 – 2:20 marathoner competing for Canada at the Pan Pacific Marathon Championships in Long Beach, CA and the 1987 World Cup Marathon Championships in Seoul, South Korea where I finished 57th overall and was the 2nd Canadian to finish in our team of four in a personal best time of 2:19:00.
In 1991, I won the Buffalo Marathon in a time of 2:22:35 and that record stood for 15 years before being broken in 2006.
Then in 1995 at the age of 37 years, I returned to the area and won the Niagara Falls Marathon in a time of 2:32:06. It felt as if I returned home again.
After a lengthy hiatus from running, I never imagined I would ever return to the marathon distance, but I am running and competing again and have a much different outlook and set of goals. So at 56 years of age now, I am returning to the race that started it all 36 years ago, the race that took it to a new level 30 years ago and that reaffirmed I still had it 19 years ago. I am looking forward to competing in this year’s Niagara Falls Marathon, rekindling those amazing memories and retracing those same steps that have so much meaning for me. I think it will feel like déjà vu and will likely feel very surreal. I can’t wait.
Week 35 (Sept 29- Oct 5) Register this week for a chance to win a
Deep Relief Recovery Pack ($50 value)
Click here to see a list of past prizes and winners!