Overall Rating
Overall Rating (145 Reviews)
4.4
(145 Ratings)(145 Reviews)
DIFFICULTY
2.9
SCENERY
4.1
PRODUCTION
4.3
SWAG
3.6
The Full marathon is a certified Boston Qualifer! It starts at ArcelorMittal Dofasco Park, at Green Mountain Road and First Road East, Stoney Creek ON, and the first 15k of the marathon is along the back country roads of Hamilton, and the edge of the escarpment. You will then head … MORE
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Recent reviews

    mich.gauthier FIRST-TIMER '19

    This was my first time running the half (any half) marathon. The route was easy to follow, and not too difficult terrain. Lots of water/aid stations along the way so … MORE

    This was my first time running the half (any half) marathon. The route was easy to follow, and not too difficult terrain. Lots of water/aid stations along the way so I did not have to worry about staying hydrated.
    I loved that at the end there was warm soup as many years this weekend is cold!
    Other runners were super friendly and not intimidating as it appeared many fitness levels. Definitely would consider running this one again!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    goomba FIRST-TIMER '19

    I really enjoyed my overall experience and would definitely consider running this race again! I heard about this race while researching a marathon within a couple hours driving distance of … MORE

    I really enjoyed my overall experience and would definitely consider running this race again!

    I heard about this race while researching a marathon within a couple hours driving distance of my home (Buffalo NY). I wanted to run in a smaller race after the overwhelming experience of running Chicago last year. This course was advertised as fast, and had good reviews online.

    Race organization was terrific, I only wish bib numbers had been assigned beforehand. The race tracking app was easy to use and my family members liked it, but they couldn’t set it up until late Saturday night. Packet pickup was a breeze and I like the shirts that were a part of the swag.

    Being a point-to-point course, they offer a shuttle bus so you can park at the finish and go to the start. I did not participate as my boyfriend was able to park at the start and walk over with me. It was nice to have a warm building and AMPLE portapotties while waiting for the start. And, it was nice to have my spectator by my side ’til the race started. The beginning of the course has the best scenery as you are along the escarpment, but by halfway moves into a more suburban area. The downhill section is fast but I did pay for it a little later – it’s also easy to add distance if you run over on the left side of the highway.

    Difficult course for spectators to navigate, at least as an out of towner. My boyfriend got to see the start about the 11 mile (17/18km) point, but couldn’t make it to the other planned stop. There were great volunteers and water stops about every 3km/ 4-5miles which was excellent especially considering the smaller race. They offered nuun instead of gatorade which I liked a lot, but I think it was electrolytes & carbs which I wish I realized beforehand.

    The portion of the course immediately after the highway was a little bit of a surprise. It transitions to a narrow path with 1 short but steep down and up. It’s tough after that breezy downhill. Then you enter near where the finish is to run the out & back portion. This is mentally tough as you know you’re running away from the finish AND it’s the really tough part of the race (19-22.5 mile/30-37km). It’s flat and easy but a bit monotonous, the good thing is you aren’t running opposite the runners about to finish for very long! The finish was great as the last 2k had quite a bit of spectators since they could walk there from the park. You have to take a sharp turn to the finish, but at this point I couldn’t care less and was just psyched to finish. Set an 11min PB/PR from my previous best. It’s a smaller marathon (I believe about 800 runners) but since I was mid-pack at the 4/3:45 groups I never felt really alone. The food after the race was great (SOUP!!!) but I did not stay at the post-party long as I was cold. Including race photos (and a video of the finish!) in registration was great, not much variety in the pics but I got to get several quality ones (including their logo).

    Good course, nice time of year (it was a little cold & windy but not terrible), well organized. Perfect for someone who appreciates a smaller, less hectic marathon experience

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4
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    meaganj16 REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This race is the perfect event to end the season with a half or full, or even a 5k or 10k if winter running isn’t your preference. The weather can … MORE

    This race is the perfect event to end the season with a half or full, or even a 5k or 10k if winter running isn’t your preference. The weather can be hit and miss though with the cold wind. The race is very thoughtful with considering the weather elements for runners. The expo is outside in an enclosed tent. The finishers shoot takes you right into the post race food tent which also shelters runners and offers fruit, soup and pizza to help warm up.
    The long sleeve race shirts are always perfect for the season and I love the medals. Another nice touch are the reusable bags for race kits compared to some races who still use plastic bags.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    mariacyu REPEAT RUNNER '19

    Was fun to have the challenge of Hammer the Hammer ( 5+10km on Saturday and then marathon on Sunday) 4 medals and 2 shirts! Medal was the same as last … MORE

    Was fun to have the challenge of Hammer the Hammer ( 5+10km on Saturday and then marathon on Sunday) 4 medals and 2 shirts! Medal was the same as last year just gold instead of silver but you get a cool Hammer medal in addition to the distance medals.
    Would do again.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    The volunteers were amazing and incredibly well organized! Despite the cold temperatures, the scenic course kept me going throughout the race! MORE

    The volunteers were amazing and incredibly well organized! Despite the cold temperatures, the scenic course kept me going throughout the race!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    2

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    yu254261 FIRST-TIMER '19

    I really enjoyed this race, it is a lot smaller that the big ones (about 5000) but ran like a big event in that it was very smooth and everything … MORE

    I really enjoyed this race, it is a lot smaller that the big ones (about 5000) but ran like a big event in that it was very smooth and everything was planned out. The course is good the first half is the hardest which is good because you are still fresh. Don’t let the net downhill fool you there are hills, I heard some people behind me getting upset out that. The only issue is the weather as it was very cold and the wind was really rough because you are running about 70% in the open. It was my first full marathon and I would definitely do it again.

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Teresa Burch
    burcht FIRST-TIMER '19

    I would recommend this race to other runners! Fellow runners were friendly! There were no line ups! Great location and parking! The race path had lots of room. The scenery … MORE

    I would recommend this race to other runners! Fellow runners were friendly! There were no line ups! Great location and parking! The race path had lots of room. The scenery while running was great! The entire race was run very professionally and proficiently! Well done!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Profile photo of Paula Roberts-Banks
    paula.a.banks REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This is a race that I've been doing every year for the past few years. The only variable in terms of quality is the weather. The rest of the day … MORE

    This is a race that I’ve been doing every year for the past few years. The only variable in terms of quality is the weather. The rest of the day is fantastic, and just keeps getting better year after year. The scenery is lovely: the first half is largely open fields and slightly rolling terrain, run on quiet rural roads, with a couple of particularly beautiful stretches along the edge of the escarpment, looking out over Lake Ontario to the distant Toronto skyline. Then you head down the closed Red Hill Expressway for a gentle descent over about 6 kilometres. Then 2 kilometres of gravel trail, with a couple of the shortest yet steepest hills of the course. The final 10 kilometres are run on Beach Boulevard and the Waterfront Trail, right beside Lake Ontario. The wind will always be a factor in this race, given the geography and the open terrain, however the fact that the course takes a rough figure-8 shape means that you’re never always battling a headwind, nor profiting from a tailwind. This year, the principal headwind came on the 7 westbound kilometres of Mountain Road (kms 14-17), though the wind was strong enough that the north-ish roads perpendicular to Mountain Road were also pretty windy. But there was a nice tailwind down the Red Hill (last year that was a headwind) and also an assisting wind for the final 7km along the waterfront trail. This race can give you any kind of weather conditions: I’ve run it in warm sunshine, cold rain, warm rain, strong winds, and light snow. While the weather can’t be controlled, what’s really nice is that you have a nice, warm recreation centre to hang out in until 2 minutes before the start. And there are tents, hot soup, and parking right at the finish line waiting at the end (you park at the finish and are bussed to the start).
    This is a fast course, but not ridiculously so. The descent is gentle and I have never found it punishing on the quads or the hamstrings. My Garmin shows an elevation gain of 143m and an elevation loss of 290m. Compare that to Mississauga, which does not feature a descent of the escarpment, and which I would consider largely flat in feel, with a gain of 90m and a loss of 167m. Yes, Hamilton is a downhill marathon and a good option for a BQ, but it’s not extreme by any means.
    Finally, I want to thank the race organizers, the volunteers, police and spectators who all contribute so much energy and enthusiasm to make the runners feel welcome, supported and happy.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    Aarnold FIRST-TIMER '19

    Well organized race. This was our first time running the marathon (had run the half twice before) - the views of the city on the marathon route were lovely, and … MORE

    Well organized race. This was our first time running the marathon (had run the half twice before) – the views of the city on the marathon route were lovely, and a little hilly at the start but not too bad. Once you meet up with the half route it’s all downhill (almost 🙂 ) which is great! Excellent job, everyone!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    4

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    NoraSanders REPEAT RUNNER '19

    This run is on a beautiful route along the shore of Lake Ontario. (Same general area as the Beachstrip Parkrun if anyone is looking for a weekly event to prepare … MORE

    This run is on a beautiful route along the shore of Lake Ontario. (Same general area as the Beachstrip Parkrun if anyone is looking for a weekly event to prepare for your races!). The Road2Hope is friendly and well run and they have hot soup at the end, very welcome on a cool fall day. I also appreciate that they have age group awards….. they give that extra little bit of motivation.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    struble1600 FIRST-TIMER '18

    Definitely a must do. Hidden Gem of a race course. Lots of fantastic views and really fun course to run. Fantastic race medal and post race experience. MORE

    Definitely a must do. Hidden Gem of a race course. Lots of fantastic views and really fun course to run. Fantastic race medal and post race experience.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    2
    SWAG
    4
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    senior REPEAT RUNNER '18

    I have ran the Hope2Run half marathon every year since its inception in 2007. It's location (an easy 45 minutes drive from my home in Guelph), the date (the first … MORE

    I have ran the Hope2Run half marathon every year since its inception in 2007. It’s location (an easy 45 minutes drive from my home in Guelph), the date (the first Sunday in November, ideal racing temperature), and the availability of ample free parking (just off the QEW and and a bare 50 meters from the finish line), made it an ideal venue for me. The nice, warm gym, meters from the start line is an extra bonus.
    The course may be divided into three sections: (1) a flat 6-7 km section on the top of the Niagara escarpment; (2) a 5.5 km down hill section along the Red Hill Valley Parkway (practice down hill running, for come race day you will trash your quads!); and (3) the flat Waterfront trail by Lake Ontario. The construction of the Pkwy in 2007 made this route possible and we were the first to use it (before it was open to traffic.
    For me, the 2007 and the 2018 races were the most memorable. The first race was a shocker! Just before the Barton street exit there was a gap in the divider, and race marshals waved us to the other side of the Pkwy to run the other half of the course back up the escarpment to the top! At 71, totally wiped out, I barely made it to the uphill finish under 2 hrs. In subsequent races we exited the Pkwy at Barton, ran West, turned North on Woodward then under the QEW to the Waterfront trail. The problem was that there was a level train crossing on Woodward, and if the timing wasn’t right, runners had to stop to let the train pass. So in 2011 the course was re-routed: after exiting the Pkwy at Barton we entered the Red Hill Trail and crossed over the QEW on a pedestrian bridge to reach the Waterfront trail. This solved the train problem permanently. Also, at my request, the race organizers graciously extended the five year age groupings from M65+ to M80+.
    The second most memorable race in 2018 started during warm-up; the first time ever the full-marathon started 15 min after (as opposed to before) the half marathon. I couldn’t find out why. Also THE FIRST TIME EVER I DECIDED TO RUN WITHOUT MY WATCH! Knowing that the clock at the finish is started with the gun, I lined up in the front. My goal was a 2:06:00 finish (an even 6min/km pace). At 4 km the 2:00 hr bunny passed me, I saw the 2:15 bunny running toward me after the 18+ km double-back on the Waterfront trail (I gestimated he was 6-7 min behind me). The last two km was a struggle. At the finish line I looked up at the clock and couldn’t believe my eyes: 1:53:40! I thought maybe the clock stopped, so I looked again – no, it was moving. It never occurred to me that if this was true, I should have caught and passed the 2:00 hr bunny! After I changed in my car, I walked back to look at the posted times. I couldn’t find my name around the 1:53 times, not even around 2:00 hrs (I should have looked at the back-side of the bulletin board). After the award ceremony Michelle, the MC, and I walked over to the timer’s trailer to sort it out. On the way she asked “Which clock did you look at?” “What do you mean? The one above the run-in chute!” I said. “That’s the clock for the full-marathon! They started 15 min after the half.” Sure enough, add 15 min to 1:53:40 and you get 2:08:40. The timer in the trailer confirmed it. Mystery solved. I didn’t make 2:06, but, at my age, 2:08 is more realistic. Next time I will wear my watch!

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    run2bfit REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Great time of year to run. Cooler temps and beautiful scenery in November. Well organized start and finish areas, easy parking, soup, pizza bread, fruits at the finish. Fast race … MORE

    Great time of year to run. Cooler temps and beautiful scenery in November. Well organized start and finish areas, easy parking, soup, pizza bread, fruits at the finish. Fast race and great for getting PB’s. I improved my time this year. Great Race overall!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Nicole Caklos
    nicole_caklos REPEAT RUNNER '18

    I've always enjoyed the 5k run in previous years; it is a great way to end the race season after completing a half marathon prior to this race. The only … MORE

    I’ve always enjoyed the 5k run in previous years; it is a great way to end the race season after completing a half marathon prior to this race.
    The only change (and disappointment) is that the finish medals this year were not actual medals – they were just rubbery leafs basically which was kind of a bummer!

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    kritty FIRST-TIMER '18

    The stations always had water, however the Gatorade ran out by race end. The course was clearly laid out and the transportation to the start line was very organized and … MORE

    The stations always had water, however the Gatorade ran out by race end. The course was clearly laid out and the transportation to the start line was very organized and concise. The post race food was plentiful with a lot of variety. After doing this once I would definitely do this race as a full marathon again!!! As a side note the vendors at the expo were a bonus as I was able to get my hands on some excellent deals!! It was a fantastic experience as a first marathon!!!!

    DIFFICULTY
    4
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    3

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    Profile photo of Jarek Grendzienski
    jaras70 FIRST-TIMER '18

    Organized very well,excellent atmosphere,nice scenery and really good time for runners.See you next year again.They really care about the runners and did everything to make this race unforgettable. … MORE

    Organized very well,excellent atmosphere,nice scenery and really good time for runners.See you next year again.They really care about the runners and did everything to make this race unforgettable.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    3
    SCENERY
    5
    SWAG
    3

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    nosneb REPEAT RUNNER '18

    Ran the half twice, first time paced a friend to a best time, this time I decided to run my own race and a new Personal best. The course is … MORE

    Ran the half twice, first time paced a friend to a best time, this time I decided to run my own race and a new Personal best. The course is fast but still had a few challenges with a short dirt trail section. The shirt is ok if you don’t mind being a walking billboard for some dental company. Don’t bother with what they call Pizza at the end is not worth your time. The warm soup broth was a nice touch.

    DIFFICULTY
    2
    PRODUCTION
    4
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    1

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    ravinderrathore FIRST-TIMER '18

    1. Must prepare for hill run. 2. Must do warm up before start of the race. 3. If need, run with group...race bunny to stay motivated. 4. Put on favourite … MORE

    1. Must prepare for hill run.
    2. Must do warm up before start of the race.
    3. If need, run with group…race bunny to stay motivated.
    4. Put on favourite music while your body is getting through the grind of long run.

    DIFFICULTY
    5
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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    melissamcenroe REPEAT RUNNER '18

    This race is run so professionally and smoothly; it feels like a big city run but with the ease and convenience of a small town race. The downhill/flat course is … MORE

    This race is run so professionally and smoothly; it feels like a big city run but with the ease and convenience of a small town race. The downhill/flat course is fast, and although there is virtually no crowd support aside from the last few k on the water, the views aren’t bad and runners and volunteers are friendly. The biggest drawback is the bus to the start- you need to get on board a full hour before the race starts and it’s a bit early for me, but there is a great place to stay warm and hang out inside. Honestly, this is a gem of a race- a great value and the perfect time of year to peak.

    DIFFICULTY
    1
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    3
    SWAG
    2

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    Chauser FIRST-TIMER '18

    Running down a closed off highway was a unique experience. I love how when you exit off of the highway, you enter onto a narrow two person wide trail that … MORE

    Running down a closed off highway was a unique experience. I love how when you exit off of the highway, you enter onto a narrow two person wide trail that then takes you down to the waterfront so you can really enjoy the beautiful scenery that Hamilton has to offer.

    DIFFICULTY
    3
    PRODUCTION
    5
    SCENERY
    4
    SWAG
    4

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