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Race Weekend

Race Weekend

General Info

Birmingham-Shuttlesworth International Airport link, travel is less than 10 minutes to downtown Birmingham. Visit the Greater Birmingham Convention & Visitors Bureau link for lodging, restaurant and attraction information.

The course is VERY spectator friendly as it is a double loop course for the full marathon. Some great places for viewing are:

Civil Rights Institute: 520 16th Street North, 35203
McWane Center: 200 19th Street North, 35203
Regions Field: 1401 1st Ave, South 35233
Railroad Park: 1600 1st Ave, South 35233
University of Alabama, Birmingham Arena: 617 13th Street South
Western Supermarket: 2230 Highland Avenue, 35205
South Highland Presbyterian Church, Highland Avenue
Caldwell Park: Highland Avenue and Niazuma
Rushton Park
Avondale Park
Avondale Brewery
Marconi Park
5 Points South district at Jim ‘N Nick’s Bar-B-Q restaurant
Final stretch on the sidewalks of 1st Ave., S.

Free street parking in many areas, excluding parking inside the course routes on race day. For area parking deck information visit QR codes for free Uber transport to and from Boutwell Auditorium will be release the week of the race via email, social media and promotion and the race expo. 

Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend is hosted in historic downtown Birmingham, Alabama. The course includes or is adjacent to many sites important to the Civil Rights movement in America and showcases work by prominent 19th and 20th century architects. Birmingham is an acclaimed city for food, home to many James Beard Award winning and nominated restaurants and individuals as well as an eclectic assortment of hidden gems. Alabama is also notable for its natural beauty – one of the most biodiverse areas in North America and rich in geological assets. For information on local attractions and events during your stay visit the Greater Birmingham Convention and Visitors Bureau. 

Because of the upfront costs to host our races, registrations are non transferable, non refundable and cannot be deferred.  Event insurance is available for purchase, but can ONLY be purchased at the time of your registration.

Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend events are designed to be accessible to people of all skill levels, though individual races to have minimum age limits. NOTE: The full marathon and marathon relay will return in 2024.

Mercedes-Benz Marathon  is 26.2 miles and the Mercedes-Benz Half Marathon  is 13.1 miles. These are challenging distances for novice runners but attainable at a moderate run/walk pace to keep ahead of The Balloon Lady, our official course closer. Visit the race pages for training schedule suggestions, local run events and course previews to help you prepare. The half marathon is our only event to include a wheelchair division at this time. Please email [email protected] for information about equipment requirements and accessibility.

Mercedes-Benz Marathon Relay allows for teams of 4-5 participants to share the full 26.2 distance of the marathon.

The Regions Superhero 5K is 5 kilometers or about 3.1 miles. This event is extremely family and team friendly for runners of all levels.

The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Kids Mercedes-Benz Marathon is open to children age 5 minimum through the 5th grade. This is an endurance building program to keep kids active, so they run or walk 25 miles before event day then finish their marathon distance with the final 1.2 miles completed live on event day. Registration for the Kids Marathon closes on November 30th to allow participants time to complete their journey before race day.

Mercedes-Benz Marathon weekend was originally developed more than 20 years ago to support The Bell Center for Early Intervention Local organizations and individuals can also create teams to run for their own cause.

To learn more about fundraising opportunities email [email protected].

Participants can also donate additional funding to The Bell Center at the time or registration, by visiting, or becoming a Bell Runner.

Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend wouldn’t exist without hundreds of volunteers who assist leading up to and during race weekend. We verify community service credit hours for organizations and individuals, too!

Corporate and community sponsors provide critical support to our events. We offer opportunities for major event sponsors, participation at our event expo, inclusion in our participant race bags and mile-support along the courses on race day. Email [email protected] for details.

Mercedes-Benz Half Marathon includes a wheelchair division. For information about requirements, equipment and accessibility please email [email protected].

For information about becoming an Elite Runner see the marathon and half marathon race pages or email [email protected]

For awards and prizes see information under marathon or half marathon or email [email protected] for current prize purse details. 

Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend does not currently offer any virtual race options.

We are constantly monitoring local COVID-19 infection rates and seeking guidance from local, state, national and international medical organizations as well as athletic and event hosting bodies as we develop our policies and procedures. Stay informed of new developments by following us on social media and checking back regularly to our COVID-19 page.

Yes. Mercedes-Benz Marathon is a USTAF certified course and our results are automatically sent to the Boston Athletic Association.

Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend’s running events always move forward unless weather conditions are extremely dangerous. A little rain or light snow? No problem, we are running! Thunderstorms, hail, sleet or severe snow will cause delays or cancellations in extreme cases. Stay abreast of official race decisions by following MBMW on social media and keep an eye on local weather conditions ahead of the event at here.

Information about our runner tracking apps and event live feeds will be announced race week and accessible on our homepage.

We offer a variety of sponsor options including Title Sponsorships, Mile Sponsorships, Specialty Sponsorships and Race Bag inclusion. Contact [email protected] for information and availability.

Present a photo ID and your race number at the Expo at Boutwell Auditorium Friday, February 10 or Saturday, February 11. No race day packet pickup for the half marathon. Your timing device is attached to your race bib and your bib must be worn to participate. Relay teams should send only ONE member to pick up bags for the group. Most Kids Race Bags will be distributed in advance at school, but if running as an individual packets will be picked up on a set day at our local office (please watch your email for instructions) or will be available for pickup on race weekend at the Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama booth at our expo in Boutwell Auditorium. Online registration closes on Thursday before race weekend.

Kids Marathon registration closes on November 30th each year to give students time to train. Registration for the half marathon and 5k are all open through end of day Saturday on race weekend at our expo at Boutwell Auditorium.

Mercedes-Benz Marathon: 16-yr-old minimum, 700 max capacity, 6 hour limit.
Mercedes-Benz Half Marathon: 12-yr-old minimum, 2,500 max capacity, 4 hour limit.
Mercedes-Benz Marathon Relay: 12-yr-old minimum, 200 team max, 6 hour limit.
Regions Superhero 5K: no age limit, 1,500 max capacity, 1 hour limit.
BCBSAL Kids Mercedes-Benz Marathon: Min 5 years – 5th Grade. 1 hour limit.

Baby joggers/strollers*, in-line skates, bicycles, unauthorized vehicles and unregistered runners are prohibited on the course. No pets or smoking on course. Any participant breaking one of these rules will be removed from the course, disqualified and will not receive the finishers’ amenities.

*Baby joggers are permitted at the Regions Superhero 5k, however these runners must start at the back of the pack.

Our half marathon course is a 13.1 loop from start to finish that the marathon and marathon relay participants complete twice. Please check the page for your event under The Split to find out how and where the double loop effects your race.

All events have fully staffed and equipped fluid stations along the course. BodyArmor, water, petroleum jelly and ibuprofen will be available at each stop. Clearly marked miles and digital clocks will be at the beginning of each mile. Toilets will be available at every water station. Other items and course support such as fruit, cookies, cheerleaders, live entertainment and more can be found all along the course. GU will be provided for our Sunday events.

Emergency personnel with the city of Birmingham and Ascension St. Vincent’s Health System will be on call. Medical stations will be available throughout the course and at the start and finish line. If you have medical concerns related to the courses or to your personal situation, please inform the race staff by writing any necessary medical information on the back of your race number and leaving an emergency contact number on your entry form. Call 911 if you or anyone along the course needs emergency assistance.

Answers for many other questions can be found under the individual race pages or in our race weekend information. Can’t find an answer to your question? Email [email protected] for help!

Runner Tracking

Details on how to virtually track your runner are coming soon.

Join Us On Race Day

Prices will increase soon, so register today!


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