ROANOKE, Va. -

The 5th running of the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon is in the books!

Organizers say each year, the race has gotten bigger and better and this year was no exception.

"It was an awesome weekend," Catherine Fox with the Roanoke Valley Convention and Visitors Bureau said.

Monday, a brand new Elmwood Park sits vacant; quiet and gloomy.

Saturday was a whole different story.G 0 [[

"I don't know if the day could have gone much better," said race organizer Pete Eshelman.

Eshelman is picking up some of the pieces from Saturday's race.

He says the new finish line, in a new park with great weather was a great combination.

"The timing couldn't have been better, the newly renovated Elmwood Park opened up and it was the perfect time to move into this finish line, have it here, showcase this community, showcase this park, and it was spectacular," Eshelman said.

And what's spectacular for race organizers is spectacular for Catherine Fox with the Convention and Visitors Bureau, or Virginia's Blue Ridge.

She says this race has become a keystone in attracting new people and therefore new dollars to the region.

"When you have people from 40 different states, several countries, as far away as Hawaii and Alaska, they're taking that message back and that message is what brings people here," Fox said.

As for what's next, race organizers want to grow the race even more, but still keep a personal feel.

Based on the success they've had after 5 years, it's an idea worth running with.