The Blue Ridge Parkway will be the site of a new marathon this year. On April 24, 2010, the Blue Ridge Marathon will take off from Roanoke and cover some of the Parkway’s toughest sections in Virginia. The race, which will also feature a half-marathon option, is being directed by Ronny Angell of the longstanding regional outfit Odyssey Adventure Racing.

brpmarathon_FIX copy“The difficulty of this course makes it special,” says Angell. “It will attract people from across the country.”

Runners will start and finish in downtown Roanoke, but in between are three massive climbs, including a two-mile haul up Mill Mountain and an 800-foot switchback ascent of Roanoke Mountain, the highest peak in the area. Marathoners will gain 3,076 feet of elevation over 26.2 miles—and they’ll get to enjoy one of the most scenic marathons in the country.