29 Jul '14, 5am

This hilly Virginia road marathon claims to be the toughest in the country:

This hilly Virginia road marathon claims to be the toughest in the country:

When a friend told me about the Blue Ridge Marathon in Roanoke, Virginia, I knew I had to run it. The April race bills itself as the "toughest" road marathon in the country, thanks to its 7,400 feet of elevation change. Since I'm the sort of runner who actually enjoys downpours, blizzards, and extreme terrain, the superlative made it hard to resist. I had already done four other marathons (including Chicago and Marine Corps ), but the courses they were run on felt tame. Blue Ridge offered a way to test my mettle—and earn some bragging rights—in a way that few other races could. While reading up on the event, I discovered the Mount Lemmon Marathon in Tucson, Arizona, which also claims to be the toughest 26.2 in the world due to its nearly 6,000 feet of elevation gain. I live in Washington, D.C., so choosing the closer race was easy, but I did wonder: Which is harder? Fast-f...

Full article: http://www.runnersworld.com/races/race-recap-blue-ridge-m...

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