Join me for the 8th annual America’s Toughest Road Marathon on April 22, 2017! Did you know that Roanoke, VA, is one of the few running races allowed on the Blue Ridge Parkway in the country (America’s most visited National Park)?
The Blue Ridge Marathon has THE MOST elevation change of any road race in the United States. This is how it gets it’s “toughest” road marathon status.
You don’t have to run a marathon though to participate! They are offering FOUR distances for this race: 10k, half, full, & double. I will be running the 10k. New to this year is also the RELAY!!
For this post I want to highlight the FOOT LEVELERS BLUE RIDGE MARATHON specifics.
DATE: April 22nd, 2017
LOCATION: Course Start at Elmwood Park in downtown Roanoke, VA
START TIME: 7:35AM
PACKET PICK-UP: Friday, April 21st from 3:00pm-8:00pm & Saturday, April 22nd from 5:30am-7:00am
MARATHON COURSE DESCRIPTION & MAPS:
Full Marathon is limited to 750 runners
Total Elevation Gain/Loss=7,430 ft
7.5 hour cut-off time AND a 6 hour cut-off time at mile 22.
If runners do not maintain a 16:20 min/mile pace then course marshals reserve the right to pull you from the course for your safety.
USATF Full Marathon Course Map
Interactive Course Map
Full Marathon Race App Map
Course Hydration provided by SKRATCH LABS
Walkers are permitted and encouraged
The Blue Ridge Marathon course is not for the faint of heart. The course begins and ends in downtown Roanoke. In between, runners will enter the Blue Ridge Parkway, where they will make three significant climbs and descents.
The course begins easily with one mile of rolling hills, before taking its first turn upward as runners begin the 2-mile climb up Mill Mountain. At the top of the day’s initial climb, the race enters the Blue Ridge Parkway, where there are several lengthy and challenging hills over the next two-plus miles. Then runners will encounter the most beautiful but challenging portion of the course – the climb up Roanoke Mountain.
Roanoke Mountain ascends approximately 780 feet in two miles with multiple switchbacks. Runners will see magnificent views of the region’s mountains and valleys as they pass the numerous overlooks, and will be rewarded with the best view at the top. The steep decent on the back of Roanoke Mountain is equally beautiful and difficult as the gradient forces runners to keep their speed in check.
After 4 miles of climbing and descending, the course returns to the Blue Ridge Parkway where runners will re-trace their steps toward Mill Mountain. Participants will then ascend Mill Mountain (the part not covered on the first pass) to the famous Mill Mountain Star, overlooking the beautiful Roanoke Valley and — much of the course still to be run!
From the Star, runners will encounter another major 2-mile decent down Prospect Avenue – also known as the “old road” to Mill Mountain. Back on the valley floor the final 10 miles is rolling with several challenging hills. Don’t let mile 18 and 24 sneak up on you!
The Valley section of the course briefly skirts the Roanoke River before turning into the historic and scenic area known as South Roanoke, famous for its beautiful homes. Be aware of a long climb on Avenham and Peakwood Avenues as you turn into the neighborhood. You will crest the hill right at 20 miles.
The terrain flattens out for the next 3 miles as you make your way through Old Southwest, along the Roanoke River Greenway, and through Wasena before heading downtown to the finish line at Elmwood Park.
Make sure to Use my code: BRMFRIENDS to save 15% any of the four race distances (10k, half, full, & double) and there is no expiration date!
You can REGISTER HERE:
Stay tuned for the 30 day countdown and specifics about the half marathon! and be sure to check out my Instagram page for all my training pictures!