Did you know there are two different ways you can complete the Triple Crown in the Roanoke Region in Virginia's Blue Ridge?
Many are familiar with the series of local hikes on the Appalachian Trail known as the Triple Crown - Dragon's Tooth, McAfee Knob, and Tinker Cliffs, but the region also features the Virginia's Blue Ridge Triple Crown Race Series.
Organized by Blue Ridge Racing, it's a series that showcases three of the best annual running events in our area and is a fun way to experience our fantastic local running culture in Virginia's Blue Ridge.
Virginia’s Blue Ridge Triple Crown Races
- Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon - Saturday, April 22, 2023
- LewisGale Salem Half Marathon - Saturday, October 14, 2023
- Star City Half Marathon - Saturday, November 18, 2023
To complete the series, you must participate in the half or full marathon races in all three of the events in the same calendar year.
As you're planning your running calendar, here are 5 reasons to put Virginia's Blue Ridge Triple Crown Race Series on your list.
1. Fall in Salem - Virginia’s Championship City
The LewisGale Salem Half Marathon is one of many fantastic annual sporting events that takes place in the City of Salem - Virginia’s Championship City! The race begins and ends on historic Main Street in Downtown Salem and this is a spectator friendly event where many in the community come out and cheer on the participants.
With the event taking place in mid-October, it’s also a great time to see the gorgeous fall colors beginning to arrive in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. Whether it’s running along tree-lined streets or taking in views of the surrounding mountains, it’s one of the most beautiful times of year in the Roanoke Region.
Register Now: Salem Half Marathon >
2. Run the Roanoke River Greenway in the Star City Half Marathon
The course for the Star City Half Marathon makes its way along the Roanoke River Greenway, a popular segment of the popular Roanoke Valley Greenway system that has been regularly recognized as one of the best greenway trails in the country. A portion of this route is also what was used for the Carilion Clinic IRONMAN 70.3 Virginia’s Blue Ridge triathlon that has been held in the region over the past three years.
This race features a festive scene at the start and finish line and you’ll get to enjoy great views of the Roanoke River and maybe spot a few sightings of the nearby Roanoke Star atop Mill Mountain. The event also concludes with a fun and delicious “Taste of Roanoke” experience and award ceremonies following the race.
Register Now: Star City Half Marathon >
3. Run the Blue Ridge Marathon - America’s Toughest Road Race
If you’re a runner, completing the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon in Roanoke should be on your bucket list. The marathon course features 7,430 feet of total elevation change and the race has earned the nickname of being “America’s Toughest Road Race.” It’s an incredible course that includes the opportunity to run up Mill Mountain and make your way by the Roanoke Star, run along a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway, and take in gorgeous views of Downtown Roanoke and the surrounding mountains.
The Blue Ridge Marathon is a signature annual event and marathon weekend is one of the best times of year to visit Virginia’s Blue Ridge. The weekend also coincides with the Down by Downtown Music Festival in Downtown Roanoke, which features great live music and concerts happening at various venues throughout the downtown area.
Register Now: Blue Ridge Marathon >
4. Earn the Triple Crown Race Series Medal
Looking to add to your collection of race medals and swag? When you complete all the events in the Virginia’s Blue Ridge Triple Crown Race Series, you’ll receive an awesome Triple Crown medal.
This year’s medal includes the names of all three races you’ll have conquered and also includes some unique geographical elements and icons you’ll recognize from Virginia’s Blue Ridge. It’ll be a great piece of bling for you to proudly wear or display.
Learn More: Triple Crown Race Series >
5. Experience the Outdoor Culture & Beauty of Virginia’s Blue Ridge
Taking part in some of our signature races and outdoor events is one of the best ways to experience a visit to the Roanoke Region in Virginia’s Blue Ridge. The region has hosted numerous major running and sporting events over the years and has received numerous awards for our outdoor scene and culture.
With over 1,000 miles of trails for hiking, biking, and paddling, as well as a great collection of local breweries, wineries, and restaurants for a post-adventure drink or meal, this region is a mountain playground for those who enjoy the outdoors.
Learn More: About Virginia's Blue Ridge >
BONUS: Bank of Botetourt Sprint Series Option
Want to take part in this series but not sure if you're ready for three different half marathons? Join the fun by completing the Bank of Botetourt Sprint Series! To be eligible to participate in the Sprint Series and receive a Bank of Botetourt Sprint Series Medal, you can complete the Salem Half 8K (Salem Half Marathon), Star City 10K (Star City Half Marathon), and either the Anthem Star 10K or Freedom First Relay (Blue Ridge Marathon).
Learn More: Sprint Race Series >
Register now for all three upcoming events in the Triple Crown Race Series and start planning your next metro mountain adventures in Virginia’s Blue Ridge.