There's a buzz around Roanoke about a new marathon: The Blue Ridge Marathon. It's scheduled for April 24, 2010. I registered for it last week. It's going to be a doozie, climbing Mill Mountain twice, and running around the "4-mile loop" over Roanoke Mountain, which I've read is the steepest spur road off of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Then at 24 miles, it hits one of the steepest hills in Roanoke City. Someone had an evil grin on his face when he designed this course.
I ran the 4-mile loop the other evening, and my quads are still sore from the 2+ mile, 1000' downhill pounding. People who sign up for this one had better train on that loop, or else they will be in for a big surprise.
I'm not sure why they say this one is "on the Parkway," although it does benefit Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway. Runners will be on the actual BRP for about a quarter of a mile. I guess relating it to one of the most famous drives in the southeast will bring in more runners.
This event is being put on by Ronny Angell of Odyssey Adventure Racing. Ronny knows how to put on races, so it is pretty much guaranteed to be a success.
Seriously, if you are thinking about running this one, make sure to test your legs on the 4-mile loop before race day.
Run hard out there.