The Blue Ridge Marathon will welcome even more people this weekend than it has in years past.
Organizers say registration is up 54 percent. They attribute it to a number of factors, including the growth of the reputation of the race as America's "toughest road marathon." The 2013 course includes 3,620 feet of total elevation gain and 7,234 feet of total elevation change.
Last year, the Weather Channel recently ranked it among the top 15 most difficult marathons in the world. Typically, racers have come from 48 states and three countries. Organizers have the same expectations this year.