ROANOKE, Va. -

Nearly 2,000 runners poured into downtown Roanoke for the 2014 Blue Ridge Marathon and hundreds of others came to watch.

The race is over, but local businesses are just beginning to cash in on the big event.

"You've got people coming here to experience it, figure it out why is it the toughest road marathon and they're here discovering that,” said Catherine Fox with the Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau.

Runners from Hawaii, Alaska, Germany and even Switzerland made the trip to southwest Virginia.

"It's a great way to show off the Star City,” said runner Jonathan Seidel. “We've got a lot to offer here in Roanoke as far as outdoor recreation is concerned."

Not only did the race attract runners, but it also got sports writers like Sarah Flynn coming into town.

Flynn ran the 10k and plans to write about her experience here in Roanoke for a running magazine that circulates the country.

Flynn said she knows exactly what she's going to write about in her article.

"Obviously the beautiful scenery here,” said Flynn. “I just saw the flowers are out, the mountains are so blush and green, so that's something is not necessarily something we have in DC or any part of the country. This is very unique."

Tourism officials said the marathon grows every year and the more people who come out, the more business we will see in the Roanoke Valley.

"We are getting on the radar,” said Fox. “People who may never have come here are here to run the race."