Inaugural Race Will Take Place in October 2016

The City of Salem, along with corporate sponsor LewisGale, announced the formation of a brand new road race for the entire Roanoke Valley during a news conference this morning at City Hall. The inaugural LewisGale Salem Half Marathon will take place on October 15, 2016 and provide runners with plenty of scenery and challenges.

“When we were designing the course we tried to keep every type of runner in mind and make sure we built in plenty of views of the mountains and the areas along the greenway,” says Nathan Wooden, Salem Parks and Recreation Special Events Coordinator and a distance runner. “There are definitely some hills that will slow down a runner’s splits, but there is enough distance between the hills to help runners maintain their pace and not hit the wall.”

The Salem Parks and Recreation Department will spearhead the organizational efforts for this new fall event that also will feature an 8K race and a Kids Fun Run through the streets of Salem, the Roanoke College campus and the along the Roanoke River Greenway.

“Our mission is to get people moving and we really believe this is an outstanding outside event that runners will gravitate to because of the course and the time of year,” says John Shaner, Salem Parks and Recreation Director. “In addition, we think this is a great compliment to the other sporting events we already host in the city.”

For the past 41 years, Salem has hosted and helped maintain the longest active road race in the Roanoke Valley, the Salem Distance Run. In addition, the City will host its 77th NCAA National Championship event when the Stagg Bowl returns to Salem Stadium on Friday, December 18. Plus, in August of 2016, Salem will welcome teams from all over the nation to town as it serves as a co-host of an ASA/USA Girls National Softball Championship for the fourth straight year.

“Having the sports piece in place is vital for the region’s overall tourism efforts to be successful,” says Carey Harveycutter, Salem Director of Tourism. “This new half marathon should be an outstanding fall event for Virginia’s Mountain Lovers Region and I expect it will attract runners from a number of states.”

All three races will start and finish on Main Street in the heart of Downtown Salem. Race maps for all of these events are available online and registration for these inaugural races is already open. You can register and get complete information on the LewisGale Salem Half Marathon at

Mike Stevens
City of Salem
Communications Director
(540) 375-4112 - work
(540) 352-2041 - cell