The Blue Ridge Marathon, though not as well known as the Boston Marathon, has distinction all its own: it's known as the hardest marathon in the United States. In 26.2 miles it climbs not one, not two, but three peaks with an overall elevation gain/loss of 7000 feet. Crazy! The first, and tallest peak, Roanoke Mountain, is one I haven't climbed as of yet. I hear there are some good hikes there, though. The second, and second tallest, is Mill Mountain, of the famous Roanoke Star. The third is Peakwood Drive, and inserts a 1607 foot climb and descent between miles 17 and 20.
I met a couple people at the gym who were doing the loop TWICE as an ultra-marathon!
(Later, they told me they completed the first loop and decided that once was enough. I can't blame them. But there were some hearty souls who did complete the ultra.)
Even though I was doing such nonsense last year with a pack on my back, this year I was in enough shape to go downtown and cheer the runners in. No more.
Later in the evening, even though I hadn't actually RUN, I saw no reason why I couldn't enjoy the post marathon festivities. I'd just have to pay an admission fee, since I didn't have a bib number. So on Saturday night, I was experiencing that summery evening concert under the stars that I had been dreaming of last weekend.
But at least I get to buy beer to enjoy with my live music!
After the concert wrapped up at the ripe old time of 8:00 pm, I wandered around downtown Roanoke, enjoying the other bands that lined the streets and performed in the bars. I also enjoyed a little barbecue with my blues. I am, after all, in the South!
Sunday, April 27, I checked out a bike path along the Roanoke RIver. It was a nice biking path, but since it was Sunday early afternoon, quite crowded. Wearing the clip-in shoes was probably not the smartest thing I've ever done. On the bright side, I got a lot of practice clipping in and clipping out of pedals I haven't used in a year and a half. (No small children were injured as a result of my bike ride!)