Wednesday, December 18, 2013

Blue Ridge Marathon Course Changes & Discount Code

The Blue Ridge Marathon recently announced some changes to the 2014 race courses as well as the race options available. I'm pretty excited about these changes so I wanted to pass them along. I also wanted to pass along a 20% off discount code that is good until 12/24/13. Just simply use the code BLITZEN when you go to register.

Instead of offering a marathon relay option as in previous years, the Star K 10K option has been added to the race. I have a feeling that this will be a very popular option this year for those who aren't ready to commit to the half or full...but with 1000 feet of elevation gain, this is definitely NOT an easy 6.2 miles! On the 10K course runners will start just after the full and half marathoners and follow them up Mill Mountain. The 10K and half courses split from the full marathon and continue up to the Mill Mountain Star. Once at the Star, the course takes a quick decent down the "old road" on the front of the mountain. Then 10K runners return down Jefferson street to finish at Elmwood Park. The registration fee for the Star K is $35 before 1/1/14 and $45 thereafter.

Probably my favorite change this year comes to the half marathon course. They made it harder! Like twice as hard. Previously the half marathon course went up Mill Mountain and the rest was relatively flat. The course has changed majorly this year; the half marathon now has two mountains to climb. In addition to Mill Mountain, half marathoners get to climb the infamous Peakwood Drive (aptly nicknamed "Pukewood"), which is Mountain #3 on the full marathon course. This addition means that the half marathon course has a total elevation gain of 1897 feet. Whew! The registration fee for the half marathon is $65 before 1/1/14, $75 before 3/17/14, and $85 thereafter.

The full marathon has also undergone some minor changes, mostly to the last 4-5 miles. My guess is that these changes were made to avoid the Roanoke River Greenway, which has been flooded for the last 2/4 years causing some last minute course changes. The registration fee for the full marathon is $80 before 1/1/14, $90 before 3/17/14, and $100 thereafter.

The start/finish area has been moved from near the Roanoke City Market Building to the newly renovated Elmwood Park. Although I really love the Market Building area, but I feel like this will be a more spacious location and would allow for more post-race activities that won't feel squeezed in between downtown city blocks. There are a couple parking garages nearby so parking shouldn't be an issue.

The YMCA Kids Marathon is back again this year, as is the Unofficial Official Double Marathon (yes, people run America's Toughest Road Marathon twice, back-to-back, starting at 2-3 AM).

Of course, all of the other awesome things about this race will also be back again in 2014...most importantly the amazing scenery, the friendly people, and one of the most challenging road races you've ever done.

1 comment:

  1. I just talked with my running friends about this tough marathon yesterday. It's on our bucket list, but we are not ready in 2014. Maybe 2015. :)


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