Believe the hype. The Blue Ridge Marathon bills itself as "America's Toughest Road Marathon." With 7,234 feet of elevation change over the full marathon it is definitely not flat and I can say unequivocally that it is the hardest marathon I have run to date.
My goal heading down there was to complete the Double Marathon, a distance of 52.4 miles. I managed to complete just over 39. While I had worked diligently at getting on the treadmill and doing hill specific workouts along with utilizing the 100 pushups and 200 situp apps to improve my overall core and strength, I neglected recovery and stretching. This neglect manifested itself in a case of plantar fasciitis in my right heel that while I tried to rest going into the race, was compounded running down the descents on the first marathon. Near the end of the first marathon, my heel felt like I was landing on nails and heading up the first climb of the second marathon, I made the decision to walk the 1/2 marathon. While I recorded my slowest 1/2 marathon on record at 3 hr 19 min, I thoroughly enjoyed myself. My fun button did get pushed and I made at the time what I thought was the best decision for me not to do further damage to my heel.