Economic impact of Blue Ridge Marathon continues to grow
The Blue Ridge Marathon and its associated races in Roanoke continue to grow their economic footprint, according to a post race survey from the Roanoke Regional Partnership and the Roanoke Valley-Alleghany Regional Commission.
This year, 1,677 runners participated in the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon, half marathon or the Anthem Star 10K.
The races, which were held in April, generated an economic impact of $556,000, up 6.7 percent over 2014. That includes $340,693 in direct new sales activity and $215,482 in indirect and induced spending, according to the survey.
The races’ impact grew with an increase in the number of participants and an increase in the length of time runners spent in the city. More than 43 percent of survey respondents stayed in the area at least one night, and 37 percent stayed one or two nights.
The races drew runners from 37 different states and six countries.
The race has attracted long distance runners intrigued by the tough elevation climbs. The marathon has been nicknamed “America’s toughest road marathon.” The marathon climbs Mill Mountain and Roanoke Mountain for a total elevation change of 7,430 feet.