I do not know why I continue to be shocked by the comments of runners in our sports community. If you truly run a race for the shirt, then you need to spend some time reevaluating your goals. Oh, and why not try running another race so you can compare the loot???? Are you freaking kidding me about the shirts???? I have done races twice as hard and you NADA!!!!! Nobody cheering at the finish, no timing, no name in paper, and a crappy homemade sandwich at the finish. And that was an extreme adventure race that took 6 hours!!! You people are spoiled and just rediculous. The nerve to actually complain when you signed up, nobody asked you to do this race. How about the races that have NO fresh made food on site, no FREE beer, and that's just the tip of the iceberg!!!! Oh and to the weenie that complained about the medals???? was this your only race where you got a medal???? I personally would be po'ed if they changed the medal, it is one of the nicest in my collection. I ran with at guy starting at mile 25, we bagan chatting, his car broke down on the way here from Htsvl, he paid 1000 to get it fixed, got here too late to get packet. He ran with his number written on a piece of paper. He was so happy to get the opportunity to run the race, didn't care if he got a medal, a shirt, or his time. Well, he got all of that and a beer to boot when the directors heard about his unwavering attitude, he felt so excited to GET TO RUN!!!!!!!! Ya'll, give me a break, get out of bed next year, come down and watch the Bell
Center Kids run, then lets talk about your shirt/medal, or having to wait to get a shirt. Thank GOD i CAN run!!!!
Outstanding event as usual........large crowds, plenty of fluids on the course. Post race party band was by far the best ever.........no question.
try watching the news, it isn't the races fault that weather changes, btw, i found the weather perfect on race day.
First of all, I really enjoyed the run and my thanks goes out to all who coordinated the event. The folks along the route who provided support and refreshments were great!
I would consider adding the national anthem and a word of prayer just before the race begins. I plan to run again..........great marathon!!
My girlfriend and I had a wonderful weekend. From the signing in on Friday, through the 5K on Saturday and the half marathon I participated in on the Sunday, it was a well run and organized event. I look forward to being involved next year and future Alabama and countrywide events. Thank you to everyone involved in the organization and support of the Marathon weekend and for making it such an enjoyable and rewarding experience.
As always, the Mercedes Marathon was well managed and a pleasure to run in. I ran the Honolulu Marathon in December of 2009. By far, the race amenities at Mercedes are better. This is my third year, and God willing, I will be back for a fourth.
I ran the half-marathon, as did my husband, and we both really enjoyed it. Some hills, but not too many. Plenty of water/poweraid stations and lots of spectators cheering on the runners. I managed to get a 1-minute PR and I had a wonderful time running on Valentine's Day! A great event!
I cant believe we didn't get a long sleeve t-shirt this year. Honestly that's one of the reasons I run it.
I don't understand why the tents were set up where they were so we had a big log jam after the race.
This year was my 6th year in a row to participate. I thought the weather was the best we have had. I liked the course since I only did the half this year.
Thumbs down on the tents set up after the race and skipping out of the long sleeve t-shirt.
Oh - I know the massages are free. I couldn't believe there were only 4 tables. If they are volunteers and not getting paid I have a suggestion. On the application, click the box if you want a post race massage and add $5 to the entry fee. This should be enough to pay people to be there. 4 tables was a long wait.
This was my first full marathon i enjoyed it.The course didn't have to many hills there was a nice crowd.It was very nice weather for running a marathon in.
Tho i wasn't able to get a massage so i hope that next year we could maybe pay for them so they can stay longer and so the line won't be so bad that people won't be able to get massages. but besides that I thought it was a great experience.
Pretty good course. Challenging. Well marked.
Very good water stops. Plenty of them. Both water and powerade at all stops.
Good police/traffic control.
Good packet pickup. (Hard to get to when another event is going on at the Civic Center.)
Cons: (Most are the same as last year)
Need start corrals
Finish too crowded. Move the food and shirts somewhere else.
Very poor shirt. Need a distinctive design for the race. Long sleeve please.
Need to put the date on the medal as well as the band.
Very poor age group awards. Nothing expensive is required. Just something with the race logo, date, finish place and age group.
Relay points crowded. People waiting in the streets.
Some very rough streets.
A couple of mile markers wrong.
Not many spectators. Community doesn't seem very excited about it.
Entry fee is too high for this quality of race. A number of my friends did not run because of the price.
No race day packet pickup. Lots of people live within driving distance but are not going to drive to Bham the day before just to pick up their packets.
I live in Bham, so I don't know what the experience of out of towners was. But this race doesn't compare well to most of the races I travel to. If they are trying to make it into something regionally or nationally known, they have a bit of work to do.
This was my first time running the Mercedes Half Marathon and I had fun. The organization of the event was pretty good and I say thanks to those who organized and sponsored it.
There were a couple of notes I would like to make:
The packet pickup was quick and easy, but the expo was rather small.
The starting area needs some improvements. For example port-a-potties were pretty much nonexistent. When I did find one it had a pad lock on it. Another improvement would be some music or other type of entertainment before the start. I would think a local radio station would jump at the opportunity to provide music to the thousands of participants and their families.
This race really needs to use corals and a wave start. It was very difficult to weave past all the walkers at the start. It could not have been fun for the walkers either to have runners bumping into them continually. Even if corals were not being used, educating the participants (maybe announcements?) that slower participants should start further back might have helped a bit. I think many of the slower participants (less experienced) did not understand that their time is based on their "tag" time and not when the gun went off.
I thought the course was ok and the hills were fine. I did however find it odd that we ran through areas where there was parking on both sides of the street making it quite narrow.
I did not like the staging areas for the relay runners. A couple of times I ran into the situation where they were standing on the street waiting for their turn and obstructed the "regular" runners. I think it is great that so many people want to participate but I feel SOME relayers diminished my enjoyment of the race. Is it not possible to have runners on one side of a street and relayers on the other at these transition points?
I like the medal, the hat, and the finisher's tech shirt. I did not like the lineup to retrieve my finisher's shirt. There are tons of ways to fix this, but maybe it could be as simple as handing out shirts in the packets and providing finisher's hats at the finish. This way they could hand out the medals and hats at the same time and eliminate any lineups at the end when our legs are tired. Also, this may sound picky but, I would rather have a long sleeve cotton shirt that I can wear around town instead of either the hat or technical shirt - this is not a complaint just an opinion.
Not sure if other observed this, but I found that the mile markers were quite a bit out of sync with my Garmin watch. I believe the final distance was pretty close, but not the mile markers.
The post run party was nice but way too crowded. Additional beer lines would go a long way
I am very impressed with the speed at which the results were posted both on the board and on the web site.
So to bring everything together: I had fun, the route was good, but many areas were overly crowded (starting line, some streets, the finish area). I might change my mind, but right now I don't think I will run this again next year. Not that it was a bad race, but because there is no "WOW" factor to it. Kind of like "been there, done that" type thing.
I have done this race for 3 years now. I feel for such a large event it is always pretty organized, but this year I actually have 2 complaints. While I do like my hat, I really missed receiving my long sleeve Mercedes Marathon T-shirt in my packet. I always LOVE that shirt and was bummed we didn't get them this year. Second, the placement of the "Finisher Shirt" pick up was terrible! After running 13.1 miles the last thing want to do is STOP and STAND in a line which was total madness and we had no idea which tent was which because you couldn't see the posted signs until you were right on top of them. I think you need to get these when you finish after getting the medals. In prior years this is how it has been done and it was much easier. Because while I was in this crowded confusing pack of people which was supposed to be a line there was a medical emergency and she had to find a away to get though the mass.
Other than that, great race, great weather, great course!
Hope you see you next year!
I don't see anything wrong with wanting a nice shirt from a race. I have shirts from 30 years ago that I enjoy wearing more every year.
If you don't care anything about the shirt, medal, expo, party, etc. etc. then why even come out? Just donate the money directly to a charity and cut out the middle man. And go run somewhere else.
Plenty of folks come to these things that are not really runners. (When it comes down to it only about 1 percent of the people behind the starting line are truly competitive at some level) They just want to get out and do something fun and challenging. There's no law that says you can't have a good time at a race and get something to remember it by. If you have a positive experience, you might come back next year. More entries - more donations to the Bell Center. Hmmm. What an interesting idea. You might even start running regularly. It's running snobs (like you) that have little actual competitive ability that seem to want to have bad experiences so they can brag about them to people who have no idea what you are talking about. And help turn others off to the sport. Is 'reevaluating' really a word? If so, you are the one who needs to 'reevaluate'.
I love the Mercedes. I plan to run it next year. I did not like the hat at all. I missed the shirt in my packet. I don't mind the packet costing more to cover the shirt. I did think having to buy it for $25 was high.... The girls finisher shirts ran very small. I guess maybe you tried to get as girls cut but I think the other cut was better. Fit more shapes and sizes of people. I loved the shirt colors to go with the Valentine Day theme and I loved the heart on them. I miss the embroidered sweat shirts but figure they must be expensive but would not mind spending more to get one. Great race - Great cause - Great volunteers - hope it just gets better and better. Thank you so much.