Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon

Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon – C


On Sunday, June 3, 2012 I had the chance to run my first half marathon outside of the United States as I drove up to Canada to run the first ever Niagara Falls Women’s Half Marathon. Here is my race report card:

  • Cost – B

The cost of the race was within the price range it should have been. It was not an overly expensive race.

  • Race Expo – N/A

I had to work late and could not make it to the expo. I had to a have friends pick up my race bib and swag bag.

  • Race Swag – A

The race swag was the best part of this race. First, I loved that my name was on my race bib so that people could see it and call out my name. Second, the items I received with in my swag bag were awesome. The t-shirt was gray with a very plain purple logo. It was moisture wicking material and women’s cut, which I liked. The race bag given to us was pink and it was reusable. The best part of the swag bag was the full bottle of wine we received.  Also inside was a full bottle of Finesse shampoo/conditioner, 24 press-on toenails (I get it but this had us girls laughing, can you imagine the guys in the race getting this?! I never used these.), a bamboo powder make-up compact, floss, nail clippers, a bag of Werther’s Original candies, a TON of coupons.

  • Course – C-

The course was VERY disappointing. Being that the race was in Niagara Falls, I was excited and thought that I would be running with a view of the falls for a majority of the race. I was sorely mistaken when I ran only the first three miles with a view of the falls. The rest of the course was even more disappointing. (First, you should know that I may be hyper-critical to this race because I do  hate out-and-back course. I like a change of scenery, I have terrible curiosity. I also hate seeing people miles ahead of me.) This race turned into an out-and-back course. That frustrated me.  The race was also along a body of water with absolutely no scenery. There was nothing to look at and nothing to distract me. It was very, VERY boring from mile three to the finish. This race was so boring that I had trouble finding the will power to finish it. The only positive thing about this course was its elevation. The course was flat and very easy on your legs. Flat courses always get brownie points from me.

  • Participants – C

Most of the participants in this race are women, however, I did see some men in the race. Most men that I saw were husband’s and boyfriends who ran along side of their partners and others were just individual runners. The runners in the race were not as supportive as I had seen in other races. I ran with some friends so I was thrilled to run into them along the course. I had no interactions with any other runners along the way, which is rare for me since I do talk so much. The runners were not mean, but they also were not a talkative, supportive bunch.

  • Spectators – D

Because of the race course and temperature, there were very little spectators along the course. This made for a LONG half. There were a lot near the start and finish of the race and those groups were great. Screaming, yelling, cheering. The middle of the race, where we all struggle, the spectators and encouragement was very scarce.

  • Finish – C

Although a lot of spectators stood by cheering and congratulating you, there was nothing spectacular about the finish. It did not overlook the falls, it was in a parking lot. There was nothing remarkable about it.

  • Other Details – C

Although the race is scheduled in June, it was FREEZING up there. It drizzled most of the way and was very cold. I ran in long pants and a long sleeve shirt because of the temperature.

Also, driving to the start line and parking or getting dropped off was a disaster.  THere was only one lane into the start of the race. Luckily I stayed in a hotel about one mile from the start. My running buddies and I thought it would be best to walk to the start line. I am so glad we did. Traffic along the way was at a stand still. Women were getting out of cars and walking to the start. I felt bad for the women who drove and had no choice but to miss the start of the race. (I do believe the race started a little late to try and let some of these people get parked.) Here is a picture of my mother preparing for the elements of the walk to the start line (although not ideal, we did have fun!):


Lastly, there were very few bathrooms along the race course. Be prepared!

  • Overall Race Grade – C

This race is just an average race. If I lived in the area I would probably run it again. I will not travel to run this race again and I honestly would not recommend it to my friends. Sorry Niagara Falls Women’s Half, you are going to have to change some things to get me running back to you! For more information or to sign up for the Niagara Falls Women’s Half click here.


Happy Running!


Jessie Zahner is the owner of You can follow her on twitter at @Athletchic.

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