Runners finish Blue Ridge Marathon despite weather cancellation

The race was cancelled shortly after the start due to severe weather

ROANOKE, Va. – The Blue Ridge Marathon didn’t go quite as planned Saturday, with the race getting cancelled just a couple hours in due to the weather.

But several runners were determined to finish, no matter what.

David Iobst was halfway through the marathon when officials cancelled the race.

“They said you could either stop and get shelter, or continue at your own risk. I looked at a few of the people near me and asked ‘do you want to keep going?’ and we were like sure, why not,” Iobst said.

Runner Tanner Motsko wasn’t sure if he was allowed to continue.

“I was confused at first, like can I still run? Because people had just stopped running, and I was like ‘well, I’m going to keep going,’” Motsko said.

Officials say the race was cancelled due to lightning in the vicinity.

Roanoke Outside Event Manager Kait Pedigo says they sent shuttles all through the course to evacuate numbers.

“We can’t keep volunteers or medical staff or police on the course, so those people continued at their own risk,” Pedigo said.

She says they were disappointed to call the race early.

“It’s a true testament of human spirit to put this race on, and have 3,000 people come to Roanoke to run, so it really is a point of pride for us, so we’re completely gutted that we weren’t able to finish,” she said.

Iobst says he’s glad he stayed the course.

“I thought about it a lot, wondering if I should continue or not, but seeing how much the volunteers were supportive, and also just the community itself, and also the community around Roanoke was very supportive,” Iobst said.

The rest of the weekend’s events are set to go on as planned.

About the Author

Abbie Coleman officially joined the WSLS 10 News team in January 2023.

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