Blue Ridge Marathon on the Parkway

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Blue Ridge Marathon on the Parkway
DateApril 24, 2010
LocationRoanoke, Virginia, United States
Event typeRoad
Official siteBlue Ridge Marathon

The Blue Ridge Marathon - America's Toughest Road Marathon - is an annual marathon, half marathon, 10K, team relay, and double marathon held in both Roanoke and Roanoke County, Virginia, United States. Officially announced on August 12, 2009, the inaugural event occurred on April 24, 2010.[1] The course starts in Downtown Roanoke and finishes in Elmwood Park. The race is a boutique run that attracts approximately 3000 runners. The beneficiary of the marathon is the Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway, a group dedicated to the preservation of the Blue Ridge Parkway.[1]

The Course[edit]

The 26.2-mile (42.2 km) course starts in Elmwood Park in Downtown Roanoke. From the start, the course turns to the south along Virginia State Route 116 (Jefferson Street) prior to beginning the ascent up Mill Mountain along Walnut Street.[2] From Mill Mountain, the course continues in a southwesterly course to the Blue Ridge Parkway, where the ascent up Roanoke Mountain begins at the 5.5-mile (8.9 km) mark.[2] Following the descent down the mountain, runners reenter the Parkway and make the descent down Mill Mountain near the Mill Mountain Star.[2] After the descent, runners then wind along the Roanoke River and through the South Roanoke, Wasena and West End neighborhoods prior to reaching the finish in Elmwood Park.


The first marathon held in Roanoke was organized by the local running organization, the Star City Striders, and held in 1983 as the Star City Marathon.[3] The event would be held again in 1984 before being shortened to a half marathon in 1985 due to severe flooding resulting from Hurricane Juan. The marathon returned in 1986, but was discontinued the following year and replaced with an annual half marathon and 5K.[3] The announcement in August 2009 for the 2010 event marked the return of a marathon to the Roanoke Valley for the first time since the 1986 event.

Announced on August 12, 2009, by Roanoke representative Bob Goodlatte,[1] securing a portion of the Blue Ridge Parkway to hold the event involved a bi-partisan effort from congresspersons whose districts the Parkway traverses. In addition to Goodlatte, representatives Rick Boucher Tom Perriello, Virginia Foxx, Patrick McHenry and Heath Shuler all gave their support to for holding the event.[4] The inaugural, 2010 event was scheduled to coincide with the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway and be included as part of the year-long celebration.[1][5][6] In 2010 the official event name was the Blue Ridge Marathon on the Parkway, but in 2011 the name was shortened to Blue Ridge Marathon.

The race is put on by the Roanoke Outside Foundation, a nonprofit with a mission of connecting people outdoors. The Roanoke Outside Foundation was created as an economic development initiative by the Roanoke Regional Partnership to leverage natural assets to attract talent and investment to the region.

The inaugural race was held on Saturday, April 24, 2010, with 324 runners completing the marathon and 450 completing the half-marathon.[7]

Marathon winners[edit]

Year Race Athlete Country/State Time Notes
2010 Men's Sykes, TimTim Sykes  United States (VA) 2:42:17 [7]
Women's Ostergaard, KarenKaren Ostergaard  United States (NC) 3:30:14 [7]
2011 Men's Dixon, MichaelMichael Dixon  United States (NJ) 2:41:26 [8]
Women's Terry, NicoleNicole Terry  United States (VA) 3:19:27 [8]
2012 Men's Brown, KarstenKarsten Brown  United States (VA) 3:01:38 [9]
Women's Bosshardt, LaurenLauren Bosshardt  United States (GA) 3:32:50 [9]
2013 Men's Powers, JeffJeff Powers  United States (PA) 2:39:49 [10]
Women's Wesolovski, HeatherHeather Wesolovski  United States (NY) 3:24:25 [10]


  1. ^ a b c d Boone, Jenny Kincaid (August 13, 2009). "New marathon rising in Roanoke". The Roanoke Times.
  2. ^ a b c USA Track & Field. "Blue Ridge Marathon: Course Map". Retrieved 2009-08-21.
  3. ^ a b Doughty, Doug (November 20, 1998). "Star City Half Marathon should draw large field". The Roanoke Times.
  4. ^ Dudley, Danny (August 12, 2009). "Blue Ridge Marathon coming to Roanoke". Roanoke, VA: WSLS 10. Archived from the original on August 21, 2009. Retrieved 2009-08-21.
  5. ^ Blue Ridge Marathon on the Parkway. "Welcome to the Blue Ridge Marathon". Retrieved 2009-08-21.
  6. ^ Staff Writers (August 12, 2009). "Inaugural Blue Ridge Marathon on the Parkway Announced". The Martinsville Daily.
  7. ^ a b c Staff Writers (April 24, 2010). "Blacksburg man, North Carolina woman win Blue Ridge Marathon". The Roanoke Times.
  8. ^ a b "2011 Blue Ridge Marathon Results". Queen City Timing. Retrieved April 20, 2011.
  9. ^ a b "2012 Blue Ridge Marathon Results". Retrieved May 11, 2013.
  10. ^ a b "2013 Blue Ridge Marathon Results". Retrieved May 11, 2013.

External links[edit]