The course begins easy enough with about a mile of rolling hills before it begins the 2-mile climb up Mill Mountain where at the top the race enters the Blue Ridge Parkway. It is here where runners will encounter several lengthy and challenging hills over the next 2-3 miles. Then comes the most challenging (and most beautiful) part of the run—climbing Roanoke Mountain.
During the 780 feet up Roanoke Mountain (over 2 miles), runners will see beautiful views of the region's mountains and valleys. The run down Roanoke Mountain is just as beautiful and just at challenging.
I don't want to give all the race's secrets away, so check out the website for more details on the course, travel info, registration info, and post race events.
Proceeds from the Blue Ridge Marathon will benefit the FRIENDS of the Blue Ridge Parkway. FRIENDS is a non-profit, volunteer organization that is dedicated to preserving and protecting the Blue Ridge Parkway, a national treasure. FRIENDS programs focus on preservation, protection and education.
So, you've got plenty of time to build that mileage base and get in shape for this challenging race! If you've run a challenging marathon or one in a beautiful location, I'd love to hear about it. Email the name of the race and link (if possible) to RunnerDude at firstname.lastname@example.org. Be sure to put "Challenge/Beauty" in the subject line.