Blue Ridge Marathon is bigger this year

ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) The Blue Ridge Marathon has added a couple of new features to the weekend.

The Roanoke Outside Foundation has made Down by Downtown Musical Festival part of the weekend festivities. Groups will perform at various venues in downtown Roanoke.

In Elmwood Park on Saturday, the group Lotus will hit the stage.

"We always felt like running and music go hand in hand. Our ultimate goal is to attract people to the Roanoke region, and once we got them here to show them the breath of everything. We have the beauty of the city, we're ingrained in the mountains and the eclectic downtown," said Julie Boas of Roanoke Outside Foundation.

The festival will include food trucks and beer sponsored by new to the area Ballast Point Brewery.

More than 2,000 people have signed up for the race. This is the first year there is an official double marathon. Several people have signed up to run more than 40 miles in 10 hours.

"We've had a good steady growth so it's been easy to track and keep up with , we've been preparations all week long," Boas said.

The race is named "America's Toughest Road Race" because of the change in elevation. However, there is a family friendly one miler and a 5k or 10k for new runners. The marathon will take place rain or shine.