Grab your cow bells and get ready to cheer on runners in the seventh running of the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon on Saturday.
Even if you aren’t participating in one of the four races – marathon, half marathon, Anthem Star 10K, or Carilion Children’s Family One-Miler – you can be a vital part of the experience. From volunteers to friendly faces along the route, it takes the support of the community to make runners from all over the country feel at home and give them that final push to cross the finish line.
So come out this weekend. Ring a bell. Make a sign. Shout words of encouragement. Support runners as they power through America’s Toughest Road Marathon. (You can find the perfect spot using one of the course maps.)
And then come out to Elmwood Park and celebrate after the race. There will be plenty of food, beer, and live music. If you can’t make it during the Finish Festival, come back to the Galactic show at 6 p.m. The New Orleans-based funk band features an eclectic mix of vocals and instrumentals and is sure to be a blast. (Tickets are still available.)
5 Ways to Participate in the Blue Ridge Marathon (That Don’t Include Running)
- Cheer on the runners from a spot along the course (bonus points for having a creative sign)
- Volunteer on race day (it’s not too late)
- Watch the races live on WDBJ7 from 7 a.m. to 11 a.m.
- Come to the Finish Festival and congratulate a runner (track your pals along the way on the race app)
- Get your groove on with live music at Down by Downtown (three days of live music, starting Thursday)
Blue Ridge Marathon
- When: April 16, races start at 7:30 a.m.
- Where: Start and finish at Elmwood Park
- Finish festival: Expect to find food trucks, craft beer, artists and vendors and plenty of live music. 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.
- Down by Downtown: Get Galactic tickets online; Friday pre-race concert featuring Rumpke Mountain Boys and Annabelle’s Curse is free
Welcome Kirk Dudley to Get2KnowNoke this week. With his crazy sense of humor and love for all things Roanoke, the final week of 2015 is sure to be a good one.
Kirk is a native Roanoker and works as a software developer and is a music artist. You can listen at iLL-it Records. He’ll help you find great things to eat around town, might help you find the perfect New Year’s Eve party location, and promises to avoid Game of Thrones spoilers and cat videos.
In addition, he’s a beer and sock enthusiast that prides himself on his bobble head collection – maybe he will share a photo or two – and his favorite color is orange.
Here’s why Kirk wanted to join the Twitter Takeover: “Because Roanoke is the bees’ knees. I grew up in Roanoke and love to meet new people. I know that a hashtag is not the same thing as a hashbrown although both are good in their own ways. I have a family who will help me come up with new content to share.”
Tweeting from his personal account, @speekeazy, Kirk is just fun to follow. Whether he is talking about cool food and brews or movies or music, his sense of humor shines through. (So be ready for a few giggles along the way.) He’s posted more than 8,300 tweets since 2009. Here’s his bio: Just using my lyrics as therapy and loving that others use my words in the same manner. ill-it.com
Here are a couple more facts about Kirk.
- What he likes about social media: “The fact that you can share information to millions of people in an instant. Want to know what the special is at Metro? Just check Twitter.”
- Favorite Roanoke Region places: “I really like all of the outside activities that the Roanoke area has to offer. The greenways are absolutely fantastic and the fact that they are expanding and connecting makes me excited about what the future holds. The hikes in the area are also superb. Dragons Tooth. Devils Marble Yard, McAfee Knob, Roaring Run, and Bottom Creek Gorge are all great. It’s a beautiful and cheap way to spend a day. I am also a fan of the exploding craft brewery scene in Roanoke right now. Places like Big Lick Brewing, Soaring Ridge and Parkway are showing that the Roanoke area can brew with the best of them.”
If you are on Twitter, give @speekeazy a follow and make sure to join the conversation with him this week on @Get2KnowNoke.
Welcome Liz Lively to Get2KnowNoke for the next week. Liz is originally from North Carolina but says she calls Roanoke home, and she has a bubbly personality that’s totally infectious.
Liz says she just loves all that the region has to offer seven days a week for her family, including a 5-year-old son, Cliff.
Her personal account is @whoababyliz, and you can follow her personal tweets there. Liz is active in the community and works as director of development and marketing for the Science Museum of Western Virginia.
Here are a couple more facts about Liz.
- What she likes about social media: “I love that you can learn about what is going on in our area so quickly. You can upload photos to show your friends and family about you and what you are doing. It is instant!”
- Favorite Roanoke Region place: McAfee Knob because of the view. “I never get tired of hiking it and in any season.”
If you are on Twitter, give @whoababyliz a follow and make sure to join the conversation with him this week on @get2knownoke.
The Jefferson Center was packed for the Radical Reels Film Festival and Get Outside Expo on Sept. 16. The national film festival showcases some of the best mountain sports videos of the year and is only making two stops in Virginia.
More than 700 people turned out to meet vendors, sample the fare from area food trucks, and catch the films. All of the proceeds from the event went to support the Roanoke Outside Foundation.
Roanoke Outside is a charitable organization working to make your region the capital for world-class, outdoor fun, with things such as RoanokeOutside.com, Get Outside Weekend Update, Blue Ridge Marathon, and GO Fest. Tax-deductible contributions help us continue to push for a future where Roanoke is the greatest place for outdoor recreation.
Some left as big winners. Plenty of prizes were raffled at intermission, including gift cards to restaurants, stores, and concert tickets. Thanks to everyone who came out and made the event a success and we can’t wait to see you again next year.