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Tuesday, February 1, 2011

Blue Ridge Marathon -- Peakwood

The Blue Ridge Marathon is coming up on April 16. Last year’s event was billed as one of the toughest in the country, what with climbs up Mill Mountain and Roanoke Mountain.

Then, we on the organizing committee realized that it might just be THE toughest on-road marathon in the nation. (There are many trail marathons which are tougher) So the committee decided to go for it – to solidify the position as the toughest in the USA – by adding another major climb.

That climb is Peakwood, in South Roanoke. It winds uphill for about 1.6 miles at an average steepness of 10-percent. Runners in the marathon will hit it at 17 miles. After climbing Mill Mountain and Roanoke Mountain.

Our story on this day focused on the climb itself. Thanks to local marathoners Troy Lenderking and Matt Bullington for tackling the run and giving us their appraisal. Both are excellent runners (Matt finished 6th in last year’s National College Blue Ridge Marathon.) To be fair, like me, they are members of the committee. But they had not run the route before this day, and their assessment was honest – it’s going to be hard.

For more information on the marathon click here.

Don’t forget there is also a half marathon option, and this year there is a category for walkers. It is not nearly as rigorous as the marathon – but still a great goal to get you healthy and in shape for summer.

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