GJ to Run 'America’s Toughest Road Marathon'

Update: Gear Junkie editor and founder Stephen Regenold finished the National College Blue Ridge Marathon with a time of 3 hours 57 minutes. See the full race report here.

Roanoke, here I come! This weekend I am signed up and committed to running “America’s Toughest Road Marathon,” the National College Blue Ridge Marathon. The 26.2-mile course starts and ends in downtown, Roanoke, Va., but it meanders up, up, up to the Blue Ridge Parkway and the mountains above the city along the way. In total, the course entails a staggering 3,620 feet of elevation gain (7,234 feet of total elevation change). Hilly is an understatement!

Says the race’s promo copy: “The uphill portions will test each runner’s strength and endurance while the equally challenging downhill sections are sure to weed out those who are unprepared.” Yikes. But I think I am ready! Monitor the blog this weekend for updates as I lace up Saturday morning in Roanoke and run off from the start line into the mountains above the town. —Stephen Regenold

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