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Thousands race through the star city for the Blue Ridge Marathon

Excitement and nerves were pumping through downtown Roanoke as nearly 3,000 runners laced up their shoes and took off for the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon. A race people call one of the toughest marathons ever.

“It’s just bragging rights pretty much, I mean not everybody can say they ran a marathon but then running “America’s toughest” that’s pretty cool,” Ryan Weger, Marathon runner said.

For 10k race leader, Bryan Swann, the more than 7 thousand feet elevation gain didn’t scare him off.

“I personally enjoyed this race, I have done the 10k previously, the half previously, as well as the marathon twice at that,” Swann said.

There were over five different races ranging from the marathon to the half marathon to the 10k and family one miler giving people from all over the country a chance to check off their bucket list items.

“It taught me I can do really hard things and that if you just put your mind to it, you can do it, because I didn’t at all think I was going to PR, but I did really good,” Rose Chinn, family miler runner said.

Organizers told us the marathon weekend is expected to bring in over 10 thousand people to downtown, showcasing how important this event is for the star city.

Vice mayor joe cobb- “This event brings in 1.2 million dollars every year to the economy for Roanoke so over time that’s over 10 million dollars. And Roanoke’s so good at hospitality, we love to welcome people here,” Vice Mayor, Joe Cobb said.

But the fun doesn’t stop once runners cross the finish line. Downtown Roanoke is ready for the crowds to experience what the city has to offer.

” You know people are going to hang out downtown, there’s a great festival down here there’s stuff going on at the amphitheater, along the art walk there’s so much for people to enjoy, and all of our amazing downtown businesses, just hang out, have a great time,” Cobb said.

Source: WSLS News 10

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