- 6 miles/10K, 13.1 miles/Half Marathon, 26.2 miles/Marathon, Virtual Race, Relay, Other
- Road Race
- Event Website
This is a great race if you are looking for a challenge. I can promise you that you will never, ever look at another road marathon course the same way after running this one. I live around 6 hours away so we broke up the driving in 2 days since we had the kids with us. We got into Roanoke around 5pm the night before race day and headed straight to the expo. This year the expo was at Elmwood Park, which was a really fun area to have it. There was a band playing music there and then booths selling race merchandise, plus other vendors. You could could also grab a snack or drink, it was the perfect pre race chill atmosphere! Plus, I had an idea of where the race would end the next day. I like to visual things so seeing where I'm going to finish is important to me! The race shirt was tech material and something I will wear often. I also bought a sweatshirt, hat, socks and a few stickers. I figured why the heck not, plus they said that the merchandise would only be sold there and online so I didn't want to miss out.
I booked a room at The Roanoke Hotel & Conference Center, which is a super nice hotel! It was less than half a mile walk to the start area. I don't know if you are like me but I do not like being far from the start, or having to take a bus and go early. I like to show up about 10 minutes before the gun goes off so this was perfect in my opinion. My hubs and kids came along with me and it was nice to have them see me off! The race went off right on time. We were mixed in with the other racers doing the 10k, half or relay. Everyone had a different bib based on what race they were running.
I knew going into this race that it would be tough, but I knew that I had to be tougher! The first mile was nice and easy and then we started to climb. I slowed my pace when I needed to, and then also walked the hills when needed. It was fun going back down the mountain and seeing other runners that were making the climb and being able to wish them well or let the know they were doing great! For such a small race there was A LOT of support on the course from the runners, to the volunteers to the people that live along the course that were out there cheering us on. I LOVED that part. More towards the end of the race I wasn't sure what hurt more, the climbing uphill or the downhills. Both of them are hard. However, the hard is what makes the Blue Ridge Marathon what it is. It's not a course you go run when you are trying to PR or BQ. It's a course you run when you want a good challenge or something different. You will not be disappointed from start to finish with this race. It was well run and I really enjoyed myself and am still smiling when I think back on it. Bonus was that I placed 2nd in the Masters for female and got a really unique award and also that they give free race photos!!