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 FOUR PERSON MARATHON RELAY specifics.
RUN THIS EXCLUSIVE MARATHON COURSE, WITHOUT THE WHOLE 26.2 THING…
April 22, 2017
Brand new for 2017 we are introducing a new FOUR PERSON RELAY course that allows teams to tackle America’s Toughest Road Marathon together. The course is broken up into manageable sections that are accessible to all runners who are interested in an elevation challenge without the extra mileage. For this inaugural year, we will be allowing 14 teams of four people to participate (56 total racers) in the relay with hopes to build on future years. Once your team is registered for the relay, there will be NO CHANGES to team members. If a team member must drop out, the switch will have to be made at the Friday Race Expo registration table and a $10/runner charge will be applied.
Below are general descriptions of each leg of the race including approximate mileage. A relay map and exact details will be released and sent to runners prior to race day:
RUNNER #1: Mill Mountain Leg
Total mileage for runner #1 is ~6.2 miles. #1 will line up with all the other racers at the starting line, and begin when the gun goes off at 7:35am. Runner #1 proceeds up Mill Mountain 2.7 miles to the “spur” (where the road splits and you can go left to the Blue Ridge Parkway or right to the Mill Mtn. Star). Runner #1 will actually be completing two separate sections, and will wait at the spur while runner #2 runs the Roanoke Mountain Loop. We will have a tent set up by the Mill Mtn. Spur aid station and runner #2 can bring a bag with clothing and other supplies to leave in the tent for your use. Once Runner #2 returns from their 9.2 mile section on the parkway, they will “pass the baton” back to Runner #1 who will then run their remaining 3.5 miles up the rest of Mill Mountain to the star and then down the back side of the mountain on the old toll road until they reach the Fleet Feet sports aid station where runner #3 will be waiting.
Runner #1 must complete their first leg by 8:20am (~16:20 minute mile pace), and their second leg by 11:45am.
RUNNER #2: Roanoke Mountain Leg
The total mileage for runner #2 is ~9.1 miles. This runner is responsible for the “beast” leg of the route, which is the longest and arguably toughest section of the course. Runner #2 will run the entire Roanoke Mountain loop along the Blue Ridge Parkway, reaching the highest elevation peak along the course. All runners participating in the relay must take the shuttle to the appropriate transition area, relay runners not on the shuttle will be disqualified. The runner #2 shuttle will depart from Williamson at 6:30am, runners will be taken up to the Mill Mtn. Spur transition point. They can take a duffle with supplies for themselves and runner #1.
Runner #2 must be finished with their leg by 10:50am in accordance with the 6 hour cut off at mile 22 (~16:20 minute mile pace).
RUNNER #3: Peakwood Mountain Leg
Total mileage for runner #3 is ~6.1 miles. This runner will run the loop through South Roanoke with the added bonus of running up and down the notoriously steep Peakwood Mountain. This runner will start and end near River’s Edge Sports Complex where there will be a support tent set up next to the Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke aid station. All runners participating in the relay must take the shuttle to the appropriate aid station tents, relay runners not on the shuttle will be disqualified. The runner #3 shuttle will depart from Williamson at 7:50am, runners will be taken to the transition area near River’s Edge. This means you can cheer on your teammates at the start before heading over to meet the shuttle. You may also take a duffle with supplies for yourself, runner #1.
Runner #3 must complete their leg by 1:25pm (~16:20 minute mile pace).
RUNNER #4: South Roanoke to Downtown Leg
Total mileage for runner #4 is ~4.8 miles. This runner gets to have all the glory of crossing the finish line, as well as having the shortest leg of the route through downtown Roanoke. While their section is certainly not flat, they will not summit any of the three mountains along the course. Runner #4 will also be dropped at the support tent next to the Fleet Feet Sports Aid Station, and once runner #3 departs will need to be prepared to head over to the final transition area on Jefferson St. (just a short walk from the support tent). All runners participating in the relay must take the shuttle to the appropriate aid station tents, relay runners not on the shuttle will be disqualified. The runner #4 shuttle will depart from Williamson at 8:50am, runners will be taken to the transition area near River’s Edge. This means you can cheer on your teammates at the start before heading over to meet the shuttle. You may take a duffle with pre-running supplies and leave it with runners #1 & #3 to bring back for you on the bus.
Runner #4 must reach the 6 hour cut off point at mile 22 (~16:20 minute mile pace).
MARATHON RELAY COURSE DESCRIPTION & MAPS
Total Elevation Gain/Loss=7,430 ft
7.5 hour cut-off time (**Still applies to relay teams-if your teammate doesn’t make it to the 6 hr. cut off point at mile 22 then they will be pulled from the course)
USATF Full Marathon Course Map
Interactive Course Map
Full Marathon Race App Map
Course Hydration provided by SKRATCH LABS
Cost: $350/team ($87.50/runner) The relay requires significantly more logistics than ANY of the other distances and the cost is less than the half while still covering transportation, tent rentals, staffing and other logistical fees.
All members of the relay team will get their own unique Blue Ridge Marathon Relay finisher’s medal, marathon shirt, and the first three teams regardless of their gender or age category will be awarded a trophy at the end of the full marathon award ceremony.
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 my packet pickup and race recap posts and be sure to check out my Instagram page for all my training pictures!