Yes! They will be at the finish line.
• Do you think this marathon is a good one to run as a first time Marathoner if you are an ok runner, who has ran several half marathons and smaller races with her best half being 1:40?
We posed this question to our Facebook page and got several responses worth of sharing:
Via Troy (AKA “I only dink pinot”):
Your half marathon PR is certainly respectful. While there are certainly easier marathons to tackle the BRM is achievable assuming your training has been designed for a marathon. Since most mortal runners struggle getting through the 18-20M wall and this distance falls right smack in the middle of climb #3 I would suggest being extra conservative on your pace. It is not a bad strategy to walk the steep climbs…sure you give up some time but not as much as you might think (besides the time limit is 8 hours!). Leaving some gas in the tank for the last 10K to finish your first 26M would be wise in comparison to having to slog through the final miles. Be wise on hydration and fuel and plan on having fun. You can do it!
I was a first time marathoner last year for the Blue Ridge Marathon. The only half marathon I had previously run was the inaugural Blue Ridge Half-Marathon (finished in 2:06). If you go into the marathon with the attitude that you’re going to enjoy the views and the experience first and worry about your pace second then yes I would do this as a first time marathon. If you’re worried about time, find something flat. My goals for last year were 1. Finish 2. Finish in under 5:00 and 3. Finish in under 4:30. I only met two of those goals, but the way I felt crossing underneath the MLK bridge with the finish line two blocks away was incredible. That’s why I’m doing it again!
Of course it depends on your goals and expectations, but I ran this marathon in 2010 and think of it as my favorite race ever! I’ve been running half marathons for decades, and added marathons in the past five years. It was a physically challenging course, the views were breathtakingly scenic, and the two combined made my slowest marathon finish the most rewarding finish. I would highly recommend this race to anyone who seek challenges or just enjoys beautiful vistas!
The 1:40 half time is impressive. My question for the questioner would be, “Have you run 18 miles or so in practice?”
• Do you have an estimate of the time that you can expect to add for this course vs. an average course?
Answered by Matt (AKA sage26), owner of Texas Tavern (which you need to visit while here):
I would say on average if you have someone that is a 3hr-4hr marathoner then they should expect our course to add an additional approx 40-70 seconds (as compared to running a flat marathon) per mile. For ex: a 3:00 marathoner should probably expect around a 3:15-3:25 on this course. A 4:00 marathoner probably somewhere in the 4:25-4:35 range.
Specifically I would say when encountering the big climbs they should run approx. as follows:
MILL MTN (1st climb)
Mile 2 – (start of mill mtn) add approx. 1:00-1:15 minute to “flat marathon” race pace (4.2% grade)
Mile 3 – (mill mtn) add approx. 1:30-2:00min (6.3% grade)
ROANOKE MTN (2nd climb)
Mile 6 – (add approx. 2:00-2:30 min) 7.3% grade
Mile 7 – (add approx. 2:00-2:30min) 6.4% grade
PEAKWOOD (3rd climb – mile 17.3-19)
I haven’t done a grade on this but I think it is about in between mill mtn and Roanoke mountain in steepness. I would expect to add about 1:30-2:30 min. per mile on this climb. However, it will “feel” harder than first two because of it being late in the race. These are a ball park estimates. A slower marathoner may want to slow down even more than I have indicated on these specific climbs so as to be a little conservative.
Yes. You’ll find the runner bag check located in the corner office of the City Market Building (corner of Wall St. and Salem Ave). Please place your belongings inside a bag. We’ll collect the bottom tear-off number from your runner bib and attach it to your bag. All you need to claim your bag is your race number.
- Of course. Admission is free…but no food or drink allowed upstairs (including your hydration pack).
Yes. There are toilets at every water/aid station, as well as the finish and start lines.
All runners (except Relay Teams) will utilize disposable chips. This means that you can pick your chip up Friday at Packet Pick up. You must show valid photo ID to pick up your packet. If you are picking up for someone else you must have a copy of their ID.
Yes, shower facilities will be available for free at the Downtown Kirk YMCA located at 520 Church Ave. To use the Y’s facilities, you will show your bib at the front desk. There will be directions in with your Final Instructions.
There are public parking garages throughout the downtown area, most of which are free on weekends. Click here to view a map of parking garages.
If you register online, you will receive a Confirmation Email immediately. We do advise early registration. Registration fees increase the closer it gets to race day.
Runners participating in the Blue Ridge Marathon may use portable listening devices not capable of receiving communication. Runners must also be able to hear commands and instructions from event staff, course marshals, emergency personnel, and police. The majority of the course takes place on roads open to vehicles, please ensure you can hear cars and voice. Use ear pieces at your own risk.
No – there will be NO refunds or deferments. We incur fixed costs for each runner based on registration numbers. As a result, we are not able to allow any refunds.
No. Bibs are not transferable. Transferred bibs will result in disqualification.
• I have read that it sometimes helps if a friend joins you to run for a few miles at the end of the marathon (i.e. miles 22-24) for moral support. What are the marathon rules about this?
Due to liability considerations, and out of respect for the registered participants, non-registered runners are not permitted to run or walk within the boundaries of the official marathon course. Friends may stand adjacent to the edge of the defined course and cheer the participants on! Friends must NEVER cross the finish line or enter the finish zone which begins approximately 2/10 mile before the finish.
• If I sign up for the marathon and I later decide that I want to run the half, can I switch events? Is there an additional cost?
You can transfer from the marathon to the half. To switch, send an email to the marathon office (email@example.com) indicating your name and desire to switch. The office will make the switch for you and confirm via email. There will be no refund of the difference paid when switching from the full marathon to the half marathon. These changes can only be done prior to April 22. After April 22 they must be made at packet pick up on Friday April 25. No changes can be made race day (April 26).
• If I sign up for the half and I later decide that I want to run the marathon, can I switch events? Is there an additional cost? How can I change my status prior to race day?
You can transfer from the half to the marathon. You must first register and pay for the marathon and then contact the marathon office via email alerting us of the change. You will be issued a rebate check based on the lowest fee paid. These changes can only be done prior to April 22 and must be communicated through the mail or e-mail.
We strongly encourage all runners to pick up their own race packet at the Packet Pick Up and Expo on Friday at the City Market Building from 3:00 pm to 8:00pm. It is important for runners to verify their data and make any necessary changes. However, if it is not possible for you to pick-up your own packet, you may have someone pick it up for you. That person will be responsible for verifying personal race information (name, age, birthdate, etc.) and MUST bring a copy of your drivers license (or valid photo ID) and bring a release/waiver signed by you – click here to download the release and medical information sheet. This is for special circumstances ONLY. Team Relay members can also pick up their team packets but must bring a valid photo ID and completed waiver for each team member.
Yes…and guess what, they’re free. We’re excited to partner with Game Face for 2014. There will be six photographer out there capturing the race from start to finish. Game Face will upload the photos and they will be yours for the taking!
It’s not entirely drivable. You will not be able to drive the back side of Mill Mountain after reaching the Mill Mountain Star and Roanoke Greenway portion. Otherwise, the remainder of the course can be driven.
Yes, Awards will be give to the top three males and females in each age group.
Weather in Roanoke, VA in the Spring can vary dramatically. 2010 weather was overcast with a high of 63 degrees. 2011 was 55 degrees and rainy. We suggest you bring gloves, a hat and long sleeve shirt. Early in the race, you might have to shed some clothes so don’t wear anything too nice in case you want to throw them away (your competitor bib number must be pinned to the front of the clothing you wear since event officials will be inviting unregistered runners to exit the course. You could be mistakenly identified as an unregistered runner if your bib number is not visible). If you want to shed some clothes prior to the race start, you will be able to check them into the Gear Transfer Station and have it transferred to the finish line. See the Weather section of the website for historical race day temperatures.
Full Marathon – miles: 1.1, 2.7, 3.8, 5.0, 6.3, 7.0, 8.9, 9.6, 10.7, 11.9, 12.7, 14.3, 15.4, 17, 17.8, 18.6, 19.8, 21.5, 22.9, 24.5, and 25.7
Half Marathon – miles: 1.1, 2.7, 3.5, 5.1, 6.4, 7.8, 8.7, 9.5, 10.6, and 12.3
We provide GU Electrolyte Brew (lemon lime and pomegranate) and water at all fluid stations along the course. GU Energy Gels (vanilla), GU Chomps (watermellon), and Roctane Ultra Endurance Gel (island nectar) will be available at mile ~14.6 and 20 for the full marathon, and mile 7.6 for the half marathon.
Certain stations will be stocked with bananas, oranges, and pretzels on the 3rd table. Full Marathon: miles 7.4, 13, 17.2, and 23.2. Half Marathon: miles 3.8 and 10.1.
The Time Limit for both courses are 8 hrs. That will be a 18:32 min/mile pace for the full marathon course and 37:04 pace for the half. There will be a 7 hr cut off at Mile 22 for the full marathon course (intersection of Jefferson St. and Highland Ave). If you do not reach this point by 2:35pm you will be directed to the finish line by continuing straight on Jefferson Street to the finish line in Elmwood Park (you will not be allowed to continue on the full marathon route). This rule will be strictly enforced.
No, the last opportunity to register is at Packet Pick Up and Expo on Friday from 3:00 pm to 8:00pm. A $10 processing fee will be applied. There is NO same-day registration.
SEVERE WEATHER POLICY: In the event of severe weather, the race director may decide to shut down the course. Should that happen, volunteer course marshals will be released from their positions; runners will be notified and asked to take shelter at the next aid station and wait for a shuttle bus to take them to the finish line. If you refuse to take shelter and continue on the course, you do so at your own risk.
All of the race is run on paved asphalt.