Blue Ridge Marathon-Race Day Details

America’s Toughest Road Marathon is already challenging enough, so we want to ensure that all your race day logistics run as smoothly as possible.  Take some time to review these Race Day Details and you’ll be enjoying those complimentary post-race massages before you know it.

Roanoke is a great place to live, work and play.  So, we hope that you’ll take the opportunity to visit the area’s attractions during the race weekend.  Bring your medal with you around town and score discounts from local shops & restaurants.

Without our sponsors and community partners this race wouldn’t be possible.  If you see a representative from one of our sponsors or a police/EMS officer, please let them know how much you appreciate all they do. They’d love the opportunity to meet and talk with you.

We would also like to extend a special thanks to our friends at Foot Levelers. They are incredible to work with and if you don’t own a pair of custom orthotics from them you don’t know what you’re missing.

 View Full Weekend Event Schedule


Shakeout Warm-Up Run:

  • For those who arrive early (or live locally) you’re invited for a warmup run along the Roanoke River Greenway.  Our guest Dick Beardsley will be leading anyone who wants to join on a light, three-mile (or less) run.  The Shake Out Run begins at 7:30am (Friday morning).  Look for the Fleet Feet Sports tent in the gravel lot off Reserve Ave. at River’s Edge Sports Complex.

Packet Pick-Up Tent (Friday, 3-8pm):

  • New this year, we’ll have a 20′ x 80′ tent set up next to the City Market Building from 3-8pm on Friday.  You’ll begin your registration/packet pick up by entering this tent off of Campbell Avenue.  Inside the tent you’ll receive your bib and then exit into the City Market Building.  Inside the building you’ll have the opportunity to:  pick up your event shirt (guaranteed if you registered by 3/22, first-come-first serve for those who registered after 3/22), visit vendors, purchase Big Head Todd & the Monsters concert tickets, and BRM merchandise.
  • We STRONGLY encourage runners to pick up their own race packet. It is important for runners to personally verify their data and make any necessary changes prior to race day.  If you are unable to attend you may have someone pick it up for you, but they MUST bring a copy of your driver’s license.  For more packet pickup details click here.

Speed Up Check In:

  • Hate standing in line?  Know your runner bib number in advance.  Click here to search for your bib number. If you’ve registered recently your name may not appear online, but fear not…as you make your way through the registration tent you’ll see a sheet of paper listing all runners by last name and their associated bib number. Knowing your bib number will allow our volunteers to more quickly find your stuff.

Foot Levelers Pasta Dinner:

  • Load up on the carbs while listening to guest speaker, legendary American runner Dick Beardsley.  Dinner begins in the City Market Building (same location as packet pick up) at 5:30pm on Friday, April 17th.  The dinner is $25/person and can be purchased on our webpage (or at the door if still available). You will not receive a physical ticket, but your name will be on a list at the door.  Email Julia Boas to confirm your ticket.

Race Day Breakfast:

  • Coffee, bagels, etc. will be available for purchase starting at 5:30am at Sarah’s Place (located at the start line).
  • Sweet Donkey Coffee will have a booth set up near packet pick-up at the Elmwood Amphitheater Stage starting at 5:30am




  • During big events in downtown Roanoke you want to know your parking options and have a plan in place for the easiest route to access event parking.  Follow the link for parking information.


  • You can view the entire course online (Full, Half, or 10K) .  Take time before race day to create your strategy-and remember this is THE TOUGHEST road course in America, there is no shame in walking!

Pace Corrals (starting line):

  • Pace corrals will be offered to ensure a positive race experience and provide all participants the same opportunity for a safe, quick and smooth start and sufficient room along the course.  Corrals will be self-seeding, so please be respectful of your fellow runners and line up in your respective corral, according to the pace that you plan to run.  IF YOU PLAN TO WALK please stay in the back of the pack and to the right side of the road.  We have been experiencing bottle necks with people walking over the Walnut St. Bridge (within first mile). For help figuring out which corral you should go to, click here.

Road Markings & Signage:

  • This color coding will correspond with all signage throughout race day including bibs, mile markers and arrows along the course.  Only follow signs and arrows that match your bib colo
    • Full Marathon= Red Signs & White Mile Markers

    • Half Marathon = Yellow Signs & Yellow Mile Markers

    • Star 10k= Green Signs & Mile Markers

  • There will also be cones and race fencing along your course.  For your safety on busy city streets, please stay INSIDE the cones and markers whenever possible.  Runners should also be advised that many roads along the course are OPEN to traffic during the race.  For your safety, obey signage, course marshal instructions, traffic laws, and stay to the side of the road when possible.

Aid Stations:

  • Aid stations sponsored by local businesses  have generously donated supplies and volunteer time to help make your experience at the Blue Ridge Marathon a great one.  All aid stations will have GU Brew to help power you up those hills.  As you run toward an aid station remember that 1st table (brown cups) will be GU Brew  and 2nd table (white/green cups) will be water.
  • Bananas, oranges, and pretzels will be available (3rd table) for full marathoners at miles 7.0, 12.7, 17, and 22.9, and at miles 3.5 and 7.8 for those running the half marathon.
  • GU Gel will be available at mile 7.0, 14.3, 19.8 and 22.9 for full marathoners, and at mile 7.8 and 10.6  for those running the half marathon.
  • Of course there will be other treats along the way, but we don’t want to ruin the surprise!


  • Port-a-toilets from Tidy Services are located at start & finish areas, as well as at every aid station.  The bulk of the start line toilets are located by the amphitheater stage area, but a few will be located directly next to the Start Line Arches.

Bag Drop:

  • We’re pleased to provide a complimentary bag drop for all runners.  The bag drop is located inside a Storage Truck which will be located next to the Elmwood Park Amphitheater (look for the bag drop flag).  Runners are asked to place their items in a clear plastic bag, which will be available at Friday’s packet pick up.  All bags are subject to search.  Your runner bib will have a tear tag labeled “bag drop”.  This tag will be affixed to your clear plastic bag.  It’s not a bad idea to also write your bib number on your bag.  To pickup your bag after you’ve finished just show your runner bib and our volunteer will match your number to your bag.


  • Due to heightened security Police and EMS officials have asked that runners and spectators not bring bags/backpacks to the start and finish line areas. If you must bring a bag please ensure it is a clear plastic bag. All bags are subject to search.  Guns are NOT permitted in the finish festival area, or on the race course (even if you have a concealed carry permit).  Thank you for your cooperation.

Watch Live:

  • Thanks to WDBJ7 you can watch live coverage of the race via their CBS station (Channel 7) or stream it via their website.
  • At the finish line there will be a few TVs (under a tent) where you can also watch live coverage.
  • Via your computer (or smartphone) you can also watch live a live feed of runner results.

Severe Weather:

  • 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.

Road Closures:

First Aid:

  • Medical personnel will be located at each water station should you need assistance. They will also be at the finish area.  Please take the race at your own pace.


Fleet Feet Sports Recovery Zone:

  • Thanks to Fleet Feet Sports Roanoke you will have all your recovery needs met right as you cross the finish line.  This isn’t your ordinary finish line either, you will be pampered with complimentary massages from local therapists, chiropractic adjustments, ice baths, free access to Addaday Therapy Sticks & foam rollers, recovery sandal demos, and 15 min. recovery yoga sessions by Floyd Yoga Jam.There will even be a recovery expo where your trusted friends at Fleet Feet can offer you advice on nutrition, compression, footwear, and more.  See below for details about our ever-growing recovery zone!

Live Music & Other Festivities:

  • Once again we’re excited to partner with the Down by Downtown Music Festival to provide you with some live entertainment. This year’s finish line is located directly next to Roanoke’s new Elmwood Park Amphitheater.  On Friday there will be a FREE live concert after the packet pick up in Elmwood Park (just a couple minute walk from the expo location).  On Saturday there will be live music on the stage at 9am, 11am, and 1pm, as well as a ticketed concert starting at 6pm.  Additionally there will be live music throughout 20 other downtown venues Thursday evening through late Saturday night.
  • Local food vendors will be serving up food as well as Parkway Brewing and Starr Hill Brewing beers.
  • New for 2015 is the Family Y Zone brought to you by the Kirk Ave. YMCA in downtown Roanoke.  A great addition will have family friendly games and activities for spectators and festival goers from 7:30am-3:30pm.
  • Other vendors will be spread throughout the park.


  • Runners will have access to the “runner only food tent”.  Please DO NOT provide food to your friends and family, be courteous of the runners who are finishing after you by ensuring there is enough food for all runners.
  • Non-runners will have their choice of food provided by several local food vendors.  The finish line is also only a few blocks away from downtown Roanoke.  There are many restaurants and local businesses offering 10% discounts to people visiting for the race, click this link for details.

Awards Ceremony:

  • Runners will be finishing inside the newly renovated Elmwood Park this year.  Join us in congratulating all the winners from each race.   Follow the link for more details about our awards ceremony. The award ceremonies will take place in front of the Elmwood Park Ampitheater Stage at the following times:
  • 10:00am:  Anthem Star 10K Awards
  • 12:00pm:  Foot Levelers Half Marathon Awards
  • 2:00pm:  Foot Levelers Full Marathon Awards

Big Head Todd & the Monsters:

  • After you’ve crossed the finish line, head back to your hotel room or house, shower, chill and then hobble back to Elmwood Park Amphitheater (gates open at 5pm, concert at 6pm) for the final celebration – great music, local food vendors, delicious craft beer and more.  Runners can purchase up to two tickets at the discounted rate of $12 at the Friday registration/packet pickup or at the concert gate – just show your runner bib.  Additional tickets for can be purchased in advance through Jefferson Center or at the gate for $22.


  • Help us to continue making America’s Toughest Road Marathon an even bigger and better event.  Your suggestions to improve the marathon can be submitted through a brief survey that will be emailed to you after the race.  Everyone who completes the survey will receive a big discount off their 2015 entry. We truly value your honest feedback and thank you for your continued support.