A new event for runners is set to take off next April, organizers announced this week. The inaugural Blue Ridge Marathon is planned for April 24 in Roanoke, and will be the first marathon to be run almost entirely on the Blue Ridge Parkway.
The event is touted as "one of the most difficult and beautiful marathons on the east coast," according to race organizers. The run will start and end in Roanoke and will include steep climbs and descents on Mill Mountain and Roanoke Mountain. The course includes 3076 feet of total elevation gain and 6140 feet of total elevation change!
The event was planned to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Proceeds will benefit Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway, a non-profit group that works to protect viewsheds along the parkway.
Due to the nature of this event, the full marathon is limited to a maximum of 400 runners, however, a half-marathon is also planned.
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