Blue Ridge Marathon Ramps Up Activities for 2012

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Runners in last year’s marathon traverse a ridge.
Runners in last year’s marathon traverse a ridge.

Organizers of the National College Blue Ridge Marathon and Half Marathon have announced that Foot Levelers, a Roanoke-based manufacturer of custom orthotics would be joining the race as a primary sponsor in 2012 along with Ferrum College and Scott Insurance.

“We are pleased to have Foot Levelers come on board as an Overlook sponsor for the event.  Not only are they a Roanoke-based company, but also clearly there is a strong connection between marathon running and the benefits of orthotics.  This is a natural partnership,” said Pete Eshelman, chairman of the Marathon.

“Foot Levelers is proud to be part of an event that engages the community in so many ways,” said Foot Levelers Vice President for Marketing Chuck Carver.  “It’s also a wonderful way to show the rest of the world the Valley’s wonderful natural beauty and vibrant downtown,” he added.  “We are anxious to show the running community the value of our products, which can improve running efficency.”

Foot Levelers will sponsor a pasta dinner for participants and their families to be held the evening before the run, and will also be the title sponsor for the race expo to be held at the Taubman Museum of Art.  Dr. Tim Maggs, a chiropractor who specializes in running and has helped in the training of several NCAA Division I and professional runners, will be one of the speakers at the pasta dinner.

Ferrum College will be joining the event as this year’s marathon mile marker sponsor.  “Ferrum College has long felt that we needed a stronger presence in the Roanoke Valley,” said Vice President for Institutional Advancement Kim Blair.  “This is an opportunity for Ferrum to show its support of the Valley and to play a role in a wonderful outdoor event that draws people from all over the country.”

Scott Insurance also joined as a sponsor.  The Lynchburg-based insurance company will sponsor a water stop and several mile markers on the half marathon course.

Organizers also announced that they are partnering with the Arts Council of the Blue Ridge for an art contest.  The winning entry will be used for the marathon and half marathon t-shirts, posters, and other print and promotional materials.  Entries, due by January 30, should reflect the beauty and/or difficulty of the race’s designation as America’s Toughest Road Marathon.  Additional details are available at www.blueridgemarathon.com.

Although it was partially rained out last year, the Marathon is looking forward to a continued partnership with the Down By Downtown music festival.  The festival includes four days, over 50 bands, including live music Friday night and Saturday night in the race finish area.   For more information please see the Down By Downtown Facebook page.

Returning this year will be the 26.2 jpeg photo contest, the YMCA Kids Marathon, walking options for the half marathon and team options for the full event and the Roanoke Criterium Bike Race. Volunteer support will be coordinated and provided in part by the Rotary Clubs of the Roanoke Valley.

Though the course will not be altered significantly from the 2011 version, which featured 7,200 feet of elevation change, the starting line will be moved to Jefferson Avenue, to accommodate the large number of runners.