wazUPwidis Urban Run and Stair Challenge


Event Date

Sat, Feb 6, 2016


Roanoke, VA


About This Activity

Breaking News:   Anyone can run a trail race. How many people can say they’ve run with reckless abandonment through office buildings, parking garages and train yards during a race? It’s time to take a look at Roanoke’s most breathtaking race, wazUpwidis.  WazUpwidis is back and is ready to test the fortitude of anyone willing to brave the elements and course.

The brainchild of Roanoke City Parks and Recreation and Mountain Junkies LLC, wazUpwidis is one of the most unique races you’ll ever have the chance to run. Last year during the event, 367 participants experienced the uniqueness of this race. The attendance numbers are expected to grow this year, so make sure you’re a part of the growing phenomenon.

Race Videos:

Take a look at the event as it was captured by our race day videographer Paul Workman: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=fYyRV82m0cQ

He did a great job of getting an inside look at the race and everything it has to offer.

What’s up with the race…and the name?

Simply put, the objective of wazUpwidis is to run through, up and over a few of Downtown Roanoke's landmarks, traversing surprisingly difficult elevation in two of the city's parking garages and finishing with a breathtaking climb and descent in the Wells Fargo Tower.  You may be able to run, and you may be able to climb - but can you do both?

As for the name - It is very likely that at some point in this race you will think the words, “What's up with this!?” However, due to the difficulty of the race (and your overall lack of oxygen) it will most likely come out as a one word gasp, thus the name WAZUPWIDIS!

Packet Pickup and Race Day Info
Thursday 2/4/16 at Gilbert Chiropractic in Salem - 375-3990; from 10-1 & 3-6.
Race Day
Packet Pickup, Check-in, and Race Registration - 7:15-8:40 in the Pedestrian crossing at the Wells Fargo Tower.

There will be a Race Briefing at 8:40 at the intersection of Market St. and Norfolk Ave.

Preregistration & Wave Information

  • The race will be started in 3 (maybe more) waves separated by 5 minutes; Wave 1 at 9am, Wave 2 at 9:05 and Wave 3 at 9:10

  • Waves have been set up to help the race go as smoothly as possible.

  • We have set the waves by your running pace (the times you gave us of your per mile pace or 5k race times).

  • Waves have been setup to minimize runners from each wave overlapping each other.

  • We trust that you have given us accurate information.

  • If you plan to run with a "buddy" we expect you to run in the wave of the slower "buddy's" pace.

  • Course Details:  Course Map
  • The course is close to 3.25 miles of horizontal running plus 1000 steps of vertical running up and then back down.  Times from last year ended up being over a normal 5k time (equal to around 4.3 miles).

  • The start will be at the pedestrian crossing at the Wells Fargo Tower (the corner of Market St. and Norfolk Ave).

  • From here you will head to the transportation museum where you will encounter some locomotive inspired terrain.

  • Cross Salem Avenue and you will climb the ramps of the Campbell parking garage, head down the stairs (85), and then return back onto Salem.

  • Heading toward 2nd St. you will head down the stairs at the light and run in front of the Warehouse Row Condominiums to the Martin Luther King Bridge.

  • From here you will take a right, heading down 1st Street.

  • Half a block past Kirk you will take a right into an alleyway.

  • Left at the next ally, which will take you to the entrance of the Church Avenue Garage where you will climb 165 steps.

  • At the top you will cross over the top deck of the garage, enter the stairwell and descend 165 steps back to 1st Street.

  • Here you will head back to the MLK Bridge and back onto the 2013 course.

  • Head over the MLK bridge, run to the main entrance of the Gainsboro Parking Garage where you will run down the ramps, then up the stairs (57), and exit the garage taking a right onto Centre Ave and then another right onto North Jefferson St. and then a left onto Shenandoah Ave.

  • Here you will run down to the Pedestrian Bridge (39 steps up).

  • Cross the bridge, down the escalator and out the door to the best part.

  • Here you will climb the 20 flights of the Wells Fargo Tower (440 up), (we will have a place for you to drop off extra layers of clothing before you enter the stairwell) cross over to the down stairwell at our friends at AECOM's office, head down down down to the main lobby (440 steps down).

  • Out the front doors, taking lefts around the building and entering the parking garage stairwell to level 3 (60) and then finishing heading up the ramps to the 7th floor finish (using level 3 will allow us to avoid runner traffic and pedestrian walkway traffic congestion).


  • Each participant needs to be aware that the course is on restricted city streets.  While we will have course marshals at critical positions on the course, participants need to be aware of their surroundings and the potential of vehicles, people, or other hazards on the course.

  • Bib number must be worn on your front, and visible at all times. Do not tear off the bottom strip until the finish (Even if we chip time the event. The tear tag is our backup).

  • There will be Waves - Each wave will be set up by what you chose at registration and by your stated 5k pace.

  • Follow the marked course - no short cutting. We have eyes everywhere!

  • Because of the course and our lack of excitement for cleaning up stomach contents from the stairway.  We will not have a Waterstop.  If you think you will need water you will need to BYODrink.

  • Communicate and be courteous to other participants and volunteers.

  • When in STAIRWELLS - stay to the right.  Faster participants have the right of way and should be able to pass you on your left.  Do not block other runners by using both handrails.

  • Headphones (ipods, mp3 players, etc) are permitted only if you keep the volume down so that you can hear other runners behind you and our volunteers when they need to get your attention. Failure to do this will jeopardize the use of headphones for you and the other runners in the future.

  • Dogs are NOT permitted.

  • If you drop out for any reason, please let us know at the finish line or a course marshal/volunteer.

Race Age Groups:  13 male and female age groups. with medals given to the top 3 in each age group.  The top 3 male and female and masters winners of each race will receive unique awards.

Age brackets for the races include, for both male and female:

14 and under; 15-19; 20-24; 25-29; 30-34; 35-39; 40-44; 45-49; 50-54; 55-59; 60-64, 65-69, 70 & up.

 ***Race Management reserves the right to add or remove age groups and awards depending on race participation.***

Directions and Parking for the Race:

Recommended parking is in the Center in the Square parking garage (free parking on Saturday mornings).

The Start Location:

There will be a Race Briefing at 8:40 at the intersection of Market St. and Norfolk Ave.

The Finish Location:

The finish will be on the 7th floor of the Wells Fargo Tower parking garage.  Due to height restrictions in the parking garage, Porta Potties will not be available at the finish, and will be at street level near the start location.

Discuss This Activity