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It’s the most wonderful tiiiiimee of the yeaaaaarrr! The endurance athletes of the world are oogling the blank canvas that is the 2012 calendar and wondering exactly what races they can fill it with. Heck, lets be real, MOST of you probably have your registrations paid for and hotel rooms booked. It’s OK, you can admit it, you are among (total type A) friends here.
Since the big move, I really had no set-in-stone plans for 2012, other than focusing on the Ultra in March. So imagine my excitement when I received and email with an offer to run what is thought to be THE toughest road marathon in the WORLD, with three mountains to ascend and descend, totaling 7,234 feet of elevation change.
That sounds disgustingly painful…
So obviously, I accept that offer.
Watch this video, “ooh and ahh” at the pretty sights while simultaneously wondering if you are experiencing sympathy D.O.M.S…
So there’s this other race, the Mount Lemmon Marathon in Tuscon Arizona. 6,000 foot elevation GAIN, straight uphill. Sounds equally as horrible, so much so that I think I’ll put that on my race “to do” list! As you can imagine, THEY also consider themselves the “Toughest Marathon in the World”. So here’s what the race directors from the Blue Ridge Marathon had to say:
“when organizers of the Blue Ridge Marathon learned about Mount Lemmon’s claim they issued a challenge to “let the runners decide which is tougher”, and they backed their challenge by offering free entries into their race to anyone who had just completed the Mount Lemmon Marathon. About 20 runners accepted the offer and hit the pavement this past April. After the race, organizers showed some southern hospitality by treating the Mount Lemmon runners to breakfast at Thelma’s Chicken and Waffles. Those who know Thelma’s would argue this was a bribe…and that may be the case. Regardless after experiencing 26.2 miles of elevation change, pounding rain and hail, and a course that trekked through the downtown area, followed a river, climbed the mountain, and took runners back down the mountain, runners were asked to share their experience. Here’s what they had to say:
(Heather note: Listen to the dude at minute 2:31 “Mile 6 is probably when I started cramping in my calves”. Mile 6? SIX?!?! )
I am clearly an absolute glutton for punishment, so this sounds right up my alley. I can’t WAIT to check Virginia off of my 50+1 states marathon list (I am counting Marine Corps Marathon as the +1, for the record) and it sounds to me like I’m really going to have to EARN this finish.
So….are you interested? Here are the details:
- What: Full & Half Marathon. 5-Person Team Relay. Walking Half. YMCA Kids Marathon
- Where: Roanoke, VA and Blue Ridge Parkway
- Date: April 21, 2012
- Start Time: 7:30 am
- Total Elevation Change: ~7,234 ft. (full), ~2,500 ft. (half)
- Most Difficult Section: Roanoke Mountain on Blue Ridge Parkway
- Beneficiary: Friends of the Blue Ridge Parkway
- Magnificent Views: Plenty
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