For the second year, the Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon has released a unique art print that captures the essence of America’s Toughest Road Race™ experience.
Fatinha Ramos, a renowned Portuguese artist who lives and works in Antwerp, Belgium, was thrilled about the opportunity to apply her talents to the 2018 edition.
“Immediately I felt drawn by the combination of physical challenge and amazing scenic beauty. I loved discovering Roanoke and learning about the community spirit that surrounds this event,” said Fatinha. The design features an ‘impossible’ incline on Mill Mountain with two runners going up together, each with their own personal path to the top.
Fatinha’s work has been rapidly gaining international recognition, winning a string of recent awards in countries as diverse as the United States, France, Germany, China, and Korea. In 2017 she illustrated a best-selling children’s book for New York’s Museum of Modern Art, which is now out in Europe as well. In 2016 she was included in the annual list of 200 Best Illustrators worldwide.
The project was commissioned and developed by Ingmar Leliveld from Charlottesville, Virginia, who had worked with Fatinha before. As part of preparation, Ingmar met with local runners and volunteers to hear what the Blue Ridge Marathon means to different people. One encounter in particular inspired this year’s design.
“When people sign up there’s a sense of fear, as if they just did something they shouldn’t have done,” said a Blue Ridge race veteran, “but after the race, nobody talks about how difficult it was. Then it’s about the community, the camaraderie, the supporters along the course.” The central idea of the design is to remind you of that, as enduring window into your own Blue Ridge experience.
This unique art print will be available for purchase in two different sizes at the Race Expo on Friday, April 20 from 3-8pm.