Interview Focus on a race

9 questions to discover a race : Blue Ridge Marathon

18 Dec 2009 04:57
Jean-Loup Fenaux

Ronny Angell is the President and owner of Odyssey Adventure Racing as well as the race director for the upcoming Blue Ridge Marathon.

Hello, on April 24th 2010, you’ll be organizing the Blue Ridge Marathon . Can you tell us where it is located?

National College Blue Ridge Marathon will start and finish in beautiful Roanoke, VA.


This will be the inaugural edition of the race. Why was it created in the first place?

Yes, this will be the inaugural edition of the National College Blue Ridge Marathon. It was a group of three guys that had different piece of the puzzle that accidently meet at a business outing that had this idea of bring a marathon to the Roanoke Valley. The one guy John had the idea and was talking to me and I knew the third guy Pete. John is in marketing, Pete is in outdoor branding for Roanoke, and I’m event organization.

We knew the 75th anniversary of the Blue Ridge Parkway was in 2010. We all thought it would be great to bring a marathon that would show case the Roanoke Valley and the Blue Ridge Parkway. So the wheels started turning.

What kind of route have you set up for the runners? How would you describe it?

The race route for the National College Blue Ridge Marathon will be gorgeous. The Dogwood trees will be blooming their beautiful white buds and the red bud plants will be blooming their vibrant reddish-purple flower also.

The views from the Blue Ridge Parkway will be breath taking. One of the climbs takes you to Roanoke Mountain which has some of the best view in Roanoke of mountains surrounding the Roanoke Valley. The other climb is Mill Mountain which will reward runners of the best view of Roanoke.

Blue Ridge Parkway
Credit : Steve Jenkins

The National College Blue Ridge Marathon will take runners by different historic land marks in the valley. Go to to find out which ones. The course will be challenging with over 6000’ elevation gain and loss, but it will be beautiful.

How many runners do you expect on Saturday morning? What type of runners do you plan to attract?

With this being our first year we are expecting 500-700 people between the full and half marathon. This will not attract first time marathoners or marathoners looking to set a PR. This marathon is for someone looking to come visit a beautiful part of the world, meet a friendly hometown community, find a new place to play and train with all the outdoor recreation possibilities Roanoke has to offer and BRAGGING RIGHTS that they finished one of the toughest marathons on the East Coast, if not the country.

Do you organize other races during the Week-End? If so, on what distances?

We will be holding a half marathon in conjunction with National College Blue Ridge Marathon.

At that time of the year, what kind of weather can we expect?

The National College Blue Ridge Marathon will take place on April 24, 2010. The weather for Roanoke this time of the year averages in the 60’s and lows in the 40’s. Most of the time a pleasant spring day.

Have you planned festivities around the marathon?

This year we plan on having an expo with the National College Blue Ridge Marathon. There are other events going on in Roanoke that same weekend.

The marathon finished, what advice would you give a runner who has never been to Roanoke before? A good restaurant, a fancy sightseeing?

Bring your bikes, boats, and hiking shoe because there is lots to do. If you plan on taking it easy there are lots of low key things to do, like visit one on the three museums you will be running by.

Taubman Museum of Art

Taubman Museum of Art
Credit : hragv

There a lot of good restaurant in Roanoke it depends on your favor. All are with in walking distance of the start and finish.

In a single sentence, what would you tell the readers of ahotu Marathons to make them register for the Blue Ridge Marathon?

Come join us on April 24, 2010 for the inaugural edition of the National College Blue Ridge Marathon for bragging rights and beauty where you think you have just ran through a post card of the Roanoke Valley.

Thank you Ronny
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