National pride at stake at this year’s Niagara Falls International Marathon

Niagara Falls International Marathon press release – A Canada versus U.S. showdown, race-day kit pickup, free parking and more creative touches are highlighting this year’s Niagara Falls International Marathon, as if running one of the most scenic road races in North America wasn’t enough.

The Niagara Falls International Marathon (NFIM) returns Sunday, Oct. 14/2018 with the Tim Hortons International Marathon road race starting in Buffalo N.Y. and finishing in Niagara Falls, ON. Race day also includes half marathon and 10k races as well as the Great Canadian-American 5k Challenge, which features a new twist for 2018 that puts national pride at stake and makes those finisher medals mean just a little more.

“We really wanted to do something that celebrates our running communities on both sides of the border,” said Diane Chesla, co-race director. “We thought a little friendly competition with bragging rights and the name of our five kilometer race hanging in the balance would be a great way to bring our running communities together.”

There are still spots available in all of the NFIM road races. Register online at

Everyone who registers for the five km race with a Canadian or American address will automatically be added to their respective teams. Patriotic sculptures representing both countries will be set up at the start line to remind participants exactly what’s at stake. After the race, organizers will analyze and average out finish times (so every runner counts) and will declare the “fastest country” on Monday, Oct. 15. The winning country will earn naming rights for the 2019 five km race as well as see the five km race shirt designed in their patriotic colours.

The Great Canadian-American 5k Challenge is just another way Chesla, co-race director Henri Ragetlie and Tracey Hewitson, the marathon’s chief people officer, continue to enhance the experience of running the NFIM road races. NFIM is keeping pace with the changing road race industry by offering race registration insurance through Ticket Guardian, race-day kit pickup for the half marathon, 10 km and five km events, free race-day parking and shuttle, and a revamped race kit pickup at the Table Rock Welcome Centre that breaks the mold of the traditional expo and puts the focus on a true Niagara Falls experience.

Another creative touch is partnering with Outside Interactive on creating an interactive simulated race-day experience of the 2018 five km race that runners can use on treadmills. A film crew will follow race participants to record the course from the runner’s perspective to produce a high-definition training video complete with cheering spectators and finish line. Then, runners can use their iPad or Android tablets to experience the NFIM five km course at their exact pace wherever they may be.

“Today’s race scene is very competitive and events need to have an element of uniqueness to set them apart,” said Chesla. “Our races follow a beautifully scenic riverfront course full of fall colours and steeped in history. We are one of the few races in the world that starts in one country and finishes in another. You finish at Niagara Falls, one of the wonders of the world.”

“And we have a great, creative team in place that adds the unique touches, such as a fun competition with our friends over the river, to set the experience of running our races apart from other events.”



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