If you’re a runner, the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon in Roanoke should be on your bucket list!
The total elevation change of 7,430 feet proves why it’s “America’s Toughest Road Marathon” and you’ll get to experience the beauty of Virginia’s Blue Ridge Mountains by running up, over, around, and down them! You will even get to run a portion of the race on the scenic Blue Ridge Parkway - America’s Favorite Drive!
Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon
Date: Saturday, April 17
Start/End Point: Jefferson Street (beside Elmwood Park) in Downtown Roanoke
Time: Start at 7:35 a.m.
View the Course Map
COVID-19 Safety Protocols
Race organizers are committed to providing a safe, in-person event for the 2021 Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon and working with public health professionals and epidemiologists to minimize the risk associated with COVID-19. Numerous changes and health protocols are being considered and implemented, which will be announced prior to race day. Get the latest info on the COVID-19 Updates page on the Blue Ridge Marathon website.
Blue Ridge Marathon Course Map
It’s a grueling challenge that will put you to the test, both mentally and physically, as previous runners can attest to:
"It's the joint-taxing, muscle-battering misery of its downhills—like the one I'm plunging down now—that is central to its claim of being toughest. I try to take it easy, but there's no way to soften the pounding." - Adam Voiland, Runner’s World
Looking for more information, here’s a description of the course from the official race website:
"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."
However, it’s not all about running. The Blue Ridge Marathon also has a reputation of being one of the most fun and friendly races that participants have ever experienced, with a full weekend of activities and experiences that offer multiple days of good times! It’s a community event that showcases the best of what Roanoke has to offer.
This year's weekend schedule includes highlights such as:
- Freedom First Down by Downtown Concert on Saturday Night in Elmwood Park (will be socially distanced)
- America's Slowest 5K Recovery Run on Sunday Morning
- Virtual Recovery Zone with Post-Race Recovery Tips & Stretching Videos
- Live Streaming of the Finish Line on Facebook
- Friday Expo at Berglund Hall
“It’s the most beautiful, most supportive, and friendliest race I’ve ever run. Add it to your bucket list.” - Gina DeMillo Wagner, Blue Ridge Outdoors
As the Blue Ridge Marathon has grown over its history, there are now a variety of race options for runners of all skill levels, including:
- Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon (Race Details)
- Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Half Marathon (Race Details)
- Anthem Star 10K (Race Details)
- Blue Ridge Double Marathon (Race Details)
- Four Person Marathon Relay (Race Details)
- Carilion Children’s Family 1 Miler (Race Details)
- Sunday Slow-K (Race Details)
- Virtual Race Options (Race Details)
With so many distances, there are running & walking opportunities for everyone in the entire family! Register >
This is one of the best weekends of the year to plan your visit to Virginia’s Blue Ridge! Register now for the race and check this iconic event off your bucket list!
All images courtesy of Roanoke Outside.