COVID-19 Updates

Updated 03/16/20

It is with a very heavy heart that we announce the cancelation of Foot Levelers Blue Ridge Marathon Race Weekend and the Elmwood Park portions of the Freedom First Down by Downtown music festival.

Over the weekend the CDC released new recommendations for “mass gatherings or large events” which include the cancelation of events with more than 50 people for the next eight weeks.

This race, started by a group of volunteers who felt their hometown needed a marathon, has grown into an event that is helping build a better community. It is the primary revenue generator for the Roanoke Outside Foundation and its only employee, Julia Boas. This event allows us to further our mission of improving access to the outdoors for all.

As a homegrown event that shares revenue with 15 nonprofits, we are not sure we can weather a scenario in which every runner defers until next year. Our appeal to you is to “run virtually” or “donate” in support of our small boutique race.

While no refunds will be issued (view the terms you agreed to upon registration), you have three options:

  1. Donate Your Entry and Feel Good About It: You can do nothing. We will mail you a receipt noting your tax-deductible donation to the Roanoke Outside Foundation, and you get to know that you’re helping keep a small race going into the future. You will also receive a generous appreciation discount for 2021 (emailed at a later date). If you opt for the “virtual run” or defer you will not receive a donation receipt.
  • Run Virtually: You’ve trained for this race so, for this year only, we will offer a “virtual race” category that allows you to run at your convenience. We hope to still have some festivities associated with the virtual race, including both a physical and virtual finish line. You have until April 13 to switch to the “virtual race” and May 4 to complete your run — to switch, go to and select “Purchase Merchandise.” Virtual race details can be found here.
  • Defer to April 17, 2021: Defer your race entry to 2021 by April 2 – to defer go to and select “Change Event.”

REMEMBER you have until:

  • April 2 to defer your entry to April 17, 2021
  • April 13 to switch to the “virtual race”
  • Do nothing and your entry fee will be donated

The Freedom First Down by Downtown music festival, which coincides with race weekend, has also been canceled. There will be no concerts at Elmwood Park on Friday, April 17 and Saturday, April 18.

Thank you for your support and understanding.