Become an Official 2016 Blogger!


Calling all bloggers2

Once again the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon is looking for bloggers of all kinds to spread the word about “America’s Toughest Road Marathon” (we know it’s the best, but it’s better coming from you).  Bloggers don’t have to participate in the full marathon; Anthem Star 10k and Blue Ridge Half Marathon participants are welcome too.  While we love to hear from competitive athletes, we also love bloggers with inspiring stories, a unique perspective or those that run for a cause.

We are also hoping to reach a wider audience this year, so if you live ~4-7 hours from Roanoke, we may be able to help with transportation costs to make your journey possible.  Just include those details in your application below.

All selected bloggers will receive a FREE entry for the race of their choice, a free concert ticket to the Down by Downtown Music Festival during race weekend, marathon swag (can be used for blog giveaways), and support from our race director and event manager.  If you have questions, please feel free to contact us.  Otherwise, just fill out the application below.

Deadline for entries is August 27th, and selected bloggers will be announced by September 10th.  If selected, your responsibilities will be to blog once a month until race day, write a post-race review of your experience, host at least one giveaway and interact with us on social media.  Have fun with it and we can’t wait to have you join the Blue Ridge Blogging Team!



2015/2016 Expo Tour Announced

Foot Levelers and the Blue Ridge Marathon are coming to a city near you!

We have selected six races where runners can come and meet the race director or event manager, and pick their brains about “America’s Toughest Road Marathon” face-to-face.  Our bucket list race takes a little courage to register for, and a lot of tenacity to finish, so speaking to our staff in person can help you decide if our unique race is the challenge for you.  Plus we will be offering special deals, handing out sweet runner swag and signing autographs (j/k).  They’ll probably be worth something someday right?

Why Come to An Expo?

Even if you’re not running in that particular race, most race organizer don’t mind if you come check out the booths.  It gets more foot traffic for their event and makes sponsors happy!  Here are a few other perks you might not know about race expos…

  1. Crazy Discounts:  If you register for The Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon,  Half Marathon & Anthem 10k onsite at the expo, you will receive a CRAZY GOOD discount for the race distance of your choice.  Bring your friends and family, you all save!!  Plus we will be giving out 20% discount codes unique to each expo that can be used typically for 10 days after each race.
  2. Free Swag:  Every runner who registers onsite will get a top of the line Headsweatz brand Blue Ridge signature hat.  We will have a bunch of runner specific swag so that you can train in style for all your 2015-2016 races.  Not to mention at some expos we’ve seen runners getting free pre-race K-tape applications, massages, smoothies and more!
  3. Get Scanned:  So many injuries from long distance running derive from small issues in your posture, stance, foot arches, etc. These small issues don’t typically become a problem, but when they are repeated for 30-40 miles a week they can lead to long-term injury or pain.  Foot Levelers (our friends & official orthotic of the Blue Ridge) are going to be joining us offering FREE foot scans at a few of the expos, so you can learn more about what could be causing your pain, and how to correct it.
  4. Meet Our Staff: Unlike most larger races, when we come to an expo we bring our actual event manager and/or assistant race director.  This means that you get the rare opportunity to speak with the people who actually organize the race.  They’ve run the course, they will be there for you when you cross the finish line, and they know what it means to be a runner.  So come pick their brain at the expo and gain real insight into America’s Toughest Road Marathon.

As always if you have questions, feel free to email us anytime.  We look forward to seeing you along our east cost race expo tour this year.  For the latest Blue Ridge Marathon news, join our bi-monthly mailing list (we promise we don’t send a bunch of junk):

Buy 2015 Race Shirts

Leftover 2015 race shirt are now available (in limited quantities) for purchase online. The shirts are sold at cost with shipping & tax included for a flat rate of $10. Once your order is placed, the item will ship within 7 business days. Only the sizes shown are available.

The technical race shirts are lightweight and breathable, made of 100% polyester.

All shirts have the race distance, date and location printed on the front. The race and sponsor logos printed on the back. For question please email

Click The Images Below to Purchase Your Shirt:


Order Online

Download the 2015 Race Guide

Click the Guide Cover Image Below to Download:

Guide Cover Image 2015
















Race Guide Table of Contents:

  1. Runner Welcome from Foot Levelers
  2. Event Schedule
  3. Aid Station Location Map
  4. Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon Map
  5. Downtown Attractions
  6. Downtown Event Map (Includes locations for pasta dinner, packet pick up, finish/start line, live music, first aid, etc.)
  7. Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Half Marathon Map
  8. Finish Festivities
  9. Anthem Star 10k Map
  10. Runner’s Bib Features (There are more than you think!)
  11. Good Luck Letter from our Marathon Committee

Questions?  Contact our event manager Julia Boas!


How To Read Race Elevation Maps

How to Read Race Elevation Maps

A course that seems hilly or flat may be the opposite when you consider the scale of the chart.

By:Jenny Hadfield; Image by iStockphoto: Published March 18, 2015
Woman Running Up a Hill

Can you explain how to interpret a course elevation map? I’m trying to get a better understanding of a marathon I’m running this fall that looks intimidating on the chart, but there is no mention on the website about it being super hilly. Thanks. —Kayla

You are wise to get a handle on the marathon course now so you can develop a solid training strategy. You’ll want to train on terrain that’s similar to what you’ll face in the race.

On elevation charts, the elevation (listed in feet or meters above sea level) is located on the left side of the chart and reads from low (on the bottom) to high (on the top). The distance of the race is located along the bottom of the chart and will read from left to right in miles or kilometers.

First, note the range of elevation from the bottom to the top. If there’s a small range—like in the Marine Corps Marathon chart below, which ranges from zero to 230 feet—it means that even the largest hills aren’t that large. This course is flat to slightly rolling. Even flatter is my hometown race, the Chicago Marathon(also below), with a 30-foot elevation range. (Where we lack in elevation, we more than make up for in skyscrapers.)

If you’re not looking closely, you might think the Chicago course is hillier than the Marine Corps course because of its scary-looking profile. However, if the elevation scales were identical, the Chicago Marathon would look like a flat line and resemble the reality of the course (flat with only small bridge inclines). Those “steep” ascents and descents only gain or lose about 10 feet in elevation—not so scary after all.

If the scale of your map ranges in hundreds of feet, like the one for the Boston Marathon (below), it means there will be some elevation change and it is likely a rolling course. Also, you can see there is a significant loss of elevation in the first ten miles, but it still has some incline spikes in the first five. You can also see the steepest descent at around 15.5 miles followed by the famous “Newton Hills” (from 17.5 to 21 miles). The challenge of this course is the overall loss early in the race plus the uphills later in the race.

If the elevation chart’s range includes thousands of feet—like the one for the Blue Ridge Marathon (below)—it means you’re going to be tackling some tough hills. This may not look as hard as, say, the Boston Marathon, but if you plotted the two on the same scale, Boston would seem flat to gently rolling by comparison.

To get a sense for what the elevation changes in your race mean in real life, try running a rolling or hilly route near you. If you have a GPS watch that measures elevation change, use it, or chart the route using an online running tool that includes elevation (like to see how your run’s elevation chart compares to that of your race.

If you start to get into this, you can determine the grades of the hills you run in training versus those you’ll face in the race to see how similar they’ll feel.  The grade of a hill equals the vertical gain divided by the horizontal distance you’re covering. So, for example, if you gained 300 feet over 0.7 miles, here is how you would calculate it:

First, convert the mileage to feet, using the knowledge that there are 5,280 feet in a mile.
0.7 x 5,280 = 3,696 feet

Then divide the amount of gain (300 feet) by the distance covered (3,696 feet).
300 feet of gain / 3,696 feet = 0.08, an eight-percent grade

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You can ask Coach Jenny a running question on the Ask Coach Jenny Facebook Page or email your question here. Follow her on Twitter @coachjenny.

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