Mercedes-Benz Marathon Relay
The race begins at the same time as the Mercedes-Benz Marathon & Half-Marathon. Each relay team will consist of 5 people, all being at least 12 years of age on race day. Team members must submit all five entries together and must designate one team captain. You must have four members to call it a team and participate, but only teams with 5 members are eligible for awards.
Each marathon relay team will be given one timing belt which will have the “team” timing chip attached. This timing belt is to be worn by the next runner once they have crossed over the timing pad at each relay exchange. Relay runners will need to be alert for their upcoming exchange zone. This area will be designated by signs and will be to the side of the marathon course after crossing over the timing mat allowing for room to pass off the timing belt. Please be considerate of other runners during the transition. The last runner will take off the timing belt at the finish line and leave it with finish line officials before receiving their team finisher’s bag with their five finisher’s medals.
When registering online at Runsignup.com it is not important to list the runners in correct relay leg order. If you have changes to your team you will need to notify us to make those changes. For example – team members, shirt sizes or change in relay category.
Should the runner of the FIRST LEG of the relay wish to also continue running in the Half or Full marathon that runner must complete, including payment, an individual entry form for the half/full marathon. This person will wear the relay team number and timing belt in addition to their personal half or full race bib. Your relay timing device will be attached to a belt worn around your waist and your individual timing device will be attached to your individual race bib.
Team categories are:
- Men’s Team
- Women’s Team
- Middle School/High School Team (must include at least 2 females)*
- Mixed Open (must include at least 2 females)
- Masters (all members are 40 years and older on race day and team must include at least 2 females)
*One award will be given in this category. We do not distinguish between middle school and high school teams.
Your overall Team registration is non transferable, non refundable and cannot be deferred. Event insurance is available, but can ONLY be purchased at the time of registration.
$250 through December 31, 2021
$275 beginning January 1 through Race Week and Expo
High School/ Middle School-
$200 through December 31, 2021
$225 beginning January 1 through Race Week and Expo
Relay teams are capped at 200.
You will need to send only one team member to the Expo to pick up race packets. They will be given out as a team, not as individual participants. No race day packet pickup.
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.
Bag check is available for all participants who want to leave their clothing or other non valuable items in a secure, checked area during the race. Bag check is located on the east side entrance of Boutwell Auditorium between the Auditorium and the Birmingham Museum of Art. You will see volunteers ready to help you. All items must be contained in a CLEAR PLASTIC BAG. We will provide those if you don’t have one. Bag Check will close promptly at 1:30 p.m. All items not picked up will be donated to a local homeless shelter. Please know that our volunteers and staff can not be held responsible for any valuables left in your bag.
The first runner will need to arrive at the start line in plenty of time to park the car, warm-up, check in gear, etc.
All other relay runners will need to be at their designated relay exchange areas in plenty of time. Although transportation is provided to each exchange point, it is the responsibility of each runner to be on time and ready to run the next leg of the relay.
While some runners will want to provide their own transportation to their exchange areas, many others will need transportation. For those relay runners, transportation will be provided to their respective relay exchange area via yellow school buses. Bus locations to be determined. Please check back. Anyone using the buses for transportation will be required to wear a mask while riding on the bus.
Each bus will be marked #1/#4 (both go to Glen Iris) and #2 (Avondale Park) to designate which bus to ride on to get to your exchange area. There will be no bus to relay exchange #3 at Kelly Ingram Park by the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. It is a short 3 block walk from the start/finish area. Please remember that many roads along the course will be closed, so you are encouraged to use the transportation provided. Buses will begin departing at 6:15 am and last departure will be 7:00 a.m.
Runner #2 going to Relay Exchange #1 – Glen Iris Elementary
Runner #3 going to Relay Exchange #2 – Avondale Park
Runner #4 going to Relay Exchange #3 – Birmingham Civil Rights Institute (no buses provided)
Runner #5 going to Relay Exchange #4 – Glen Iris Elementary
Below is a map showing the location where to load to Glen Iris, and a separate location to load to Avondale Park.
Leg #1 – 5.6
Leg #2 – 4.1
Leg #3 – 5.4
Leg #4 – 3.6
Leg #5 – 7.5
Below are diagrams of each location showing where the exchange zone will be for the hand-off to be made. Please don’t make the exchange directly on the course and get in the way of other runners.
Note that you will be veered off of the main course to make the exchange and so you will not be in the way of the marathoners and half-marathoners. Please do not make the exchange in the middle of the road and obstruct other runners. Please only exchange in the designated areas for safety purposes.
If you are providing your own transportation to your relay exchange area, remember that the marathon course will be closed off to traffic starting at 7:00 a.m. You will not be able to drive on the actual course once runners start arriving in that area. Please DO NOT PARK DIRECTLY ON THE COURSE! Please plan ahead.
When runners have completed their leg of the race, there will be transportation available back to the finish line area, except from the Birmingham Civil Rights Institute. The buses will wait until they are full to head back to the finish line. Look for the bus or signs directing you to your bus at the exchange area for your ride back.
6 Hour Time Limit – Must maintain a consistent pace of at least 13:44 minutes per mile. Relay teams need to keep this in mind and may need to alternate slower runners with faster runners to keep within the time limits. Relay Team Member #3 must stay in front the “Balloon Lady” when the course splits. If they do not stay in front of her then the team member will be sent to the finish line and will be disqualified. Team members still at remaining relay exchanges will not be able to run.
It is very important that Relay Leg Participant #3 understands how the course has a “Split” so the full marathon and relay marathon participants can continue on the double loop course. Beginning at approximately mile 12 the street lanes will be coned off separating the half marathon runners from the full and relay marathon runners. Please pay attention and be aware of which side of the street you should be on. The Full and Relay marathoners need to keep to the right side of the street to stay on the correct course to begin your double loop. The course will fully split at 20th Street N and Park Place in front of Linn Park. Relay Leg Participant #3 will need to be ahead of the Balloon Lady (designated last finisher) at this point and will need to turn RIGHT onto Park Place to begin the 2nd loop. If this runner is not ahead of her at Mile 13, the team will be disqualified and will not be able to continue onto the 2nd loop. We have always had 2 or 3 relay teams get disqualified because this relay leg had on head phones or was talking on the phone and didn’t pay attention to anyone or any signs around them and went on to the finish line instead of starting the 2nd loop. Please make sure this relay leg team member knows about the split!
Race bags contain a short sleeved, gender-specific technical shirt, gifts from our sponsors, and special offers from partners, local and national businesses. Finishers receive our classic Mercedes-Benz ornamental medal and a custom finisher’s gift designed anew annually. Each team member will receive a medal and gift, all given to your leg #5 team member to distribute.
Our Post Race Party features live music, barbecue from Jim ’N Nick’s Bar-B-Q, beer, Coke, Dasani, BodyArmor, and massages. Food and festivities are included in your race entry fee. IDs will be checked for alcohol.
Seven fully staffed and equipped fluid stations will be on our double loop 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 at approximate miles 4, 6.5, 10, 17, 20 and 23.
Two medical stations will be on the course. One will be at Glen Iris Elementary school (before miles 6 & 19) and at Pepper Place (near miles 11& 24). Emergency personnel with the city of Birmingham and Ascension St. Vincent’s Health System will be on call. Medical stationer will be also be available at the finish line and inside Boutwell Auditorium. 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 along with an emergency contact number.
4 Members to race, 5 Members to be eligible for awards. Awards will be presented to the winning relay team in each category at the Post Race Party Awards Ceremony in Boutwell Auditorium between 1:00 – 1:30 p.m.
Awards ceremony plans may be altered to meet COVID-19 safety protocols and will be announced in advance of race weekend.