Niagara Falls, Ontario is located in the Golden Horseshoe region on Southern Ontario. There are three falls that make up Niagara Falls: Horseshoe Falls, American Falls and Bridal Veil Falls. Horseshoe Falls is the most powerful waterfall in North American (per vertical height and flow rate).
The city itself is rather small – less than 100,000 people, but I can guaranteed you will never be alone. Tourists from all over the world come to marvel at the Falls from land or up close on the Maid of the Mist. Regardless of the time of year you visit, the Falls are always beautiful!
Mark and I visited the region at the end of October as the beauty of the fall colours were winding down. I can’t say that I was disappointed though. Many of the trees still had colourful leaves and the temperature was fairly mild for the time of year.
For a better view of the Falls and the city (mostly Clifton Hill), we rode the Sky Wheel: a large, enclosed Ferris wheel.
If you are lucky to visit the region on a clear day, the entrance fee is worth the price for the views of the Falls and the surrounding region! This is the opportunity to see Clifton Hill from above (away from the crowd) and marvel at the colourful buildings and flashy neon signs.
Our main purpose in Niagara Falls was the marathon. This was my first marathon event. As such, a large carbohydrate filled meal was a must. On Clifton Hill, there are a lot of chain restaurants which Mark and I were trying to avoid. We spotted a cute Italian restaurant: Mama Mia’s Italian Restaurant – how could we go wrong?
With portions like this, how could we be disappointed?! This was the best fettuccine Alfredo I have ever eaten! Nothing has yet to compare to this dish. Thankfully it was delicious and I was able to feel confident on the eve of my marathon that I wouldn’t starve.
The Niagara Falls Marathon labeled itself as “the only marathon in the world that starts in one country and finishes in another.” The start line is in Buffalo, NY which meant that all the participants had to be bused across the border to the start line.
The course is fairly flat, with the only uphill being the bridge crossing the border – which was totally neat to do on foot! Once you’ve crossed into Canada, the course is mainly along the Niagara River Parkway. This Parkway can be nasty if runners catch a windy or rainy day. But, the running gods seemed to be in my favour that day: clear skies and sun all along my route.
The suffering along the 42.2km route came to a beautiful end as runners were graced with a downhill finish with a beautiful view of the falls and a rainbow.
The Niagara Falls Marathon was a very well organized race. It was a little lonely along the pathway, but the solitude can be nice in our very hectic lives. The novelty of beginning in Buffalo, running across the border, the views of the Niagara Rivers and the Falls at the finish make this a fantastic marathon route for any level of runner.
Would you ever run a marathon? Have you run a marathon? Where would you/did you run your first marathon?