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Race Dates

2018: Saturday, April 21, 2018
2017: Saturday, April 22, 2017

Course Information

Profile: Very Hilly
Type: Mostly Loop
Surface: Road/Pavement
Certified?: Yes

Race Day Weather

Mean Temp.: 56°F (13°C)
Average High: 68°F (20°C)
Average Low: 44° F (6°C)

Historical Weather

PR Score & Course Score

PR Score: 92.61
Course Score: 92.61

Race Size

2017: 411 Finishers
2016: 426 Finishers
2015: 401 Finishers

BQ Percentages

2018: N/A
2017: 1.5%
2016: 2.6%

Miscellaneous Information

Pace Groups?: No

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Course Description

The Blue Ridge Marathon is self-proclaimed as the "America's Toughest Road Marathon." It lives up to it's billing with long climbs and a very challenging course. The course starts at about 950', climbs peaks of approximately 2100', 1700', and 1600' and returns to the finish area back around 950'. Any PRs or BQs will be well earned at this marathon.

Marathon Rankings

The Blue Ridge Marathon was the 156th largest marathon in the U.S. last year and was the 157th largest in 2016.

Last year 1.5% of finishers qualified for the Boston Marathon and 2.6% of runners qualified for Boston in 2016.

This gives the Blue Ridge Marathon the 433rd highest percentage of Boston Marathon qualifiers in the U.S. last year and the 452nd highest percentage in 2016.

Its Course Score of 92.61 ranks it as the 431st fastest marathon course in the U.S. and the 7th fastest course in Virginia.

The typical race time temperature and humidity levels are the ideal range for optimal marathon performance. This, coupled with the Course Score, gives the Blue Ridge Marathon a PR Score of 92.61. This PR Score ranks it as the 428th fastest marathon in the U.S. and the 7th fastest in Virginia.

Learn more about PR Scores and Course Scores on the FAQ page.

Elevation Chart

Max Elevation: 2144 feet (653m)
Min Elevation: 914 feet (278m)


Recent Blue Ridge Marathon Reviews

5 Stars from 3 Reviews
View all Reviews

review of 2017 Blue Ridge Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Very tough road marathon with lots of steep hills that just kept on coming! Excellent race support with frequent aid stations including food at several stops, well-trained volunteers, and a scenic course. End of course food pizza and fruit, nothing special. Nice shirt, medal, and running socks.

Race Tips

Steep hills may best be tackled with a run/walk. Even the downhills are tough, some pretty steep.

10k, half, and full marathoners start together, then split off.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

review of 2016 Blue Ridge Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Town gets behind the event. There is a pre/post activities. Runners are pretty friendly and medals tend to have multiple uses (belt buckles, bottle openers, etc.)

Race Tips

As advertised, very hilly. The first Half is the most beautiful course I have ever seen. Despite hills, the course does travel greenways, which includes some of the latter miles.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

A few hotels downtown are within walking distance. Plan on staying Friday night thru Sunday, because there is so much going on.

review of 2015 Blue Ridge Marathon.   

5 / 5 Stars


Beautiful and challenging course. SOOO well organized, it was a joy to be a part of this event. They even have a champagne stop along the full marathon course, and the finish festival was relaxing but fun. Would totally recommend this race to anyone!!

Race Tips

Just take it easy. This course has the most elevation of any other road race in the US. This race is about getting to the finish line, don't expect a PR.

Logistical Tips (Hotels, Restaurants, Parking, Discounts, etc.)

Amazing downtown in Roanoke. Such a cool vibe, great restaurants and nightlife, really nice hotels and everything is pretty affordable. They even have a music festival of some sort with free live concerts all within walking distance of the start/finish line. I would recommend making a weekend out of it.

Finish Time Equivalent

If you ran the Blue Ridge Marathon in 4:27:00, what would your time in the Boston Marathon be?

See how your race times would compare on other marathon courses using the Marathon Time Converter Tool.