Blue Ridge Marathon celebrates 10 years

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ROANOKE, Va. (WDBJ7) Blue Ridge Marathon celebrates 10 years of running America's toughest road race. This year organizers look to turn visiting runners into future residents.

The start of the Blue Ride Marathon is always memorable
Steve Stone, Foot Levelers: "As a runner, it's just something you won't forget, it leaves a mark on you," said Steve Stone, Foot Levelers.

The Blue Ridge Marathon has left its mark in running history as America's toughest road race."You see the race grow every year, the community, the number of runners, the greenway, the whole outdoor narrative," said Julia Boas, Roanoke Outside Foundation.

The Roanoke Outside Foundation shared new details about the upcoming marquee race on April 13th. Everyone has a reason to eat cake for this announcement because it's the 10th year of the race - the foundation expects about three thousand runners this year huge growth since it's the first year of 900. More than a thousand people travel from all across the county for the race and the Down by Downtown Music Festival, so organizers see it as an opportunity to 'sell' Roanoke.
"We want to make it a weekend-long vibrant reflection of our community," said Boas.

The total economic impact is more than 4 million dollars adding new events like the "Slow-K", a recover race or featuring Olympian Jeff Galloway will really pay off. The race kicks off Roanoke's marathon season, with two other big races later in the year.

"We are really trying to create a series where people will come back time after time in various seasons to our region to get the full perspective of what we have to offer," said Bree Nidds.