This was my first Half-marathon experience (participated in 5Ks and Sprint Triathlons)...I found the experience to be enjoyable and the venue to be as well organized as you can expect for such a large event...Nice challenging course and lots of support from those volunteers working the watering stations (THANKS)...I really liked the drum line somewhere around mile 4 (I think?...Thanks for the beat!)...Overall a nice event and I am hoping to step up next year to the full...Again thanks to the volunteers and sponsors for organizing and supporting this event
Mercedes is one of the best races you will ever run! The course is challanging but not too much so. Plenty of water, powerade and GU stations. The nicest SWAG you'll get anywhere. I can't believe people complain about not getting 2 shirts. The hat, gloves, long sleeve technical shirt, the coolest medal ever, Jim and Nick's BBQ and FREE beer just aren't enough for some people I guess. Go to Chicago and pay almost twice as much and get nothing more than a short sleeve tech shirt and a square medal, then come back and complain about this WONDERFUL race.
My first half. Everything was good, the course was very flat and well marked. The swag was excellent, more than any of the other races I've looked at doing. Definitely one I will run again.
This was my first marathon, having never done a half, and i loved it. glad birmingham represents with the mercedes race each year. i have heard about it for several years now and because its in town, i decided to run the whole marathon. the expo was fabulous! props to trak shak for the throw away gloves. everyone i met associated with the race was very helpful and informed. it was easy and so fun and i will probably be back for years to come.
It's so discouraging to hear people picking apart this race. This was my first Half and I couldn't have been more pleased with how things went. Sure, you may fire back at me saying that I have nothing to compare it to, but hey, if you're firing back at me, you're probably one of the same people whining about not getting a free shirt.
Someone griped that there were, "Not many spectators. Community doesn't seem very excited about it." Are you kidding me? Hmm, local news covering the whole race? Yeah-not supportive?... The KIDS who were volunteers at aid stations? Yeah-not supportive?... That last aid station handing out mints and beer? Yeah-not supportive? (keep in mind they probably shelled out their own money to buy that beer).. Yeah-not supportive... I was so impressed with the number of people standing out in front of their houses cheering on total strangers that early in the morning... If you think the community isn't "supportive", you try standing out in front of your house at 7 am on a cold morning to cheer for people you'll probably never see again... If you're concerned about not having people cheer you on every step of the way, then I'd say you have a problem with your massive ego, not this race. This isn't Boston, it's Birmingham.
I can't wait for next year... For all you complainers out there, do those of us who loved this race a favor and stay home next year...
I have participated in the Mercedes Marathon for the last 2 years, twice as a relay runner and finally this year as a Half-Marathon Finisher! Yea! The feeling of true accomplishment has been great!
I thought the course was easy and scenic, and although not very many people lined the sidewalks but there were some people and I'm thankful for them. Birmingham is my hometown and we have GREAT community supporters. For those of you who think that there were not many "cheerleaders" .....how many people did you invite to come out and support the race? Furthermore were your personal friends and family our there?
The water stops were perfect and well organized and well supplied....last year I was EXTREMELY thirsty and one water stop ran out of WATER...so I was grateful for all the water, powerade, fruit, and GU at the stops. I was excited at ALL the volunteers of all ages despite the weather, great job volunteers!
For all the comments about the "FREE" long-sleeve race shirt that we did not recieve, there was an opporunity to purchase one. I was disappointed that we did not receive the pre-race shirt, but I decided that I wanted it bad enough and I brought one.....problem solved!
We need another method for picking up "Finishers" shirt. That was a bit unorganized and chaotic. Dates on the medals would be nice, but totally not necessary!
I totally agree with the post about being grateful that you have the ability to run. I'm really impressed with the runner who's car broke down and he ran with a handwritten number....good well done sir! Let's not lose focus on what this Marathon is about and who it is supporting! The Merecedes Marathon supports a great and NECESSARY charity, and whether I get a shirt, a medal, a meal, or nothing at all.... I will still RUN because I have the ability and because the money goes to a place that is necessary in my hometown!
It was my first half-marathon but not my last! I had a great time training for this event, and participating in the race and I will never forget the experience!
COMING FROM CALIFORNIA AND NOW LIVING IN MICHIGAN I HAD ONLY HEARD OF "SOUTHERN HOSPITALITY", BUT AT THE MERCEDES MARATHON I EXPERIENCED IT!!! GREAT COURSE, SUPPORT, HEART SHAPED DONUTS, CANDY, BEER AND BARBEQUE AFTER THE RACE. AWSOME SHIRT AND MEDAL TOO!! LOVED IT!!!
Also from MI and running with Wayne'sgirl I also have to say that I was very impressed with the marathon. I have done other small events that have run out of water and had less than enthusiastic spectators. I will say that if you are not used to the loneliness of being a marathoner after the halfers split off it may have been odd for you and seemed deserted. But that is how small events are. If you want constant cheering you have to go big, pay big for entry and accommodation's and then deal with the other 20,000, or more, in front of you.
I have to say that I enjoyed myself. I helped a first timer finish and in the process I experienced true southern charm. As I thanked the police officers and volunteers I was thanked back for coming. I also enjoyed a cookie, the beer stop, both times, and a wonderful heart shaped donut as well. I am guessing that all of these things were paid for by those stops and I appreciated it. I found ample water stops full of powerade and had plenty of opportunity to grab a gu had I needed one. There were also more than plenty of bathroom stops. Some out of paper, but at least they were there. Having run in the 5 hour range I still found people on the course cheering for us and appreciated it. For the locals it was a cold day for them to stay out. And the icing on the cake was the great medal. I am not sure what I missed out on in previous years for shirts, but was very happy with mine. It is my first that says I was a finisher.
The post race expo would be all that I could find any argument about. It was extremely loud in there and was pretty much total overload right after the run. The food line was also a bit confusing. But there was still food left for us slower ones so that is better than some I have been to.
I will recommend this race to all of our running group and would put it on a list of marathons to return to.
I loved it!! This was my first half-marathon and after it was over I was already talking about doing it next year! I thought the organization, support, water stops and course were incredible. I was disappointed with the pre/post convention though. Maybe I was expecting too much since I had never participated in an event like this, but I was anticipating something more (I missed my massage). The vendors that were present were helpful, informative and encouraging of those of us participating. The drum line was tre cool, I wish I had them along the entire course! I love my bling, i.e. finisher's medal, my shirt is INVALUABLE, loved the SWAG and the BBQ was dynamite! I could not have asked for a better experience as a new inductee to the half-marathon experience. Thank you so much and if it is God's will, I will be back in 2011!
I completed the half. This was my very first marathon ever and I loved it!!!!! I had so much fun, and there was so much to do! I am a member of the club now. Not everyone can say that! I loved the cheering and the encourgement that I got from everyone. Wow! I didn't even know these people!!!! The pumping music going up hill just pass 5-points helped me so much! All the police officer who helped and wished me Happy Valentines Day! Man! that was Awesome!!! All the behind the scene people,Thank you so much! The lady who called my name out as I crossed the finish line (I did not know they did that), even pronounced my name correctly!!! I love it!!!
There was only one problem. I wanted my name and time engraved on my metal. Well they engraved the wrong time and did not have any extra metals to correct their mistake! I gave them the correct time, wrote it down and they still got it wrong. Oh well, live and learn. I had a great time. Thank you all so much. I will be back next year!!
did the half this year,have done one or the other every year. you can't beat the organization, post race party, or medal. looking forward to next year it was great!! good job to all the hard working volunteers and organizers!!!
The 2010 event was my 19th marathon. It was definitely one of my favorites. This race was small enough that it was not terribly inconvenient to access, but was large enough (probably with the corporate sponsorship) to have the advantages of the races with more participants.
Every liquid station was not only well equipped, but had volunteers that were supporting and that cheered you through their stations. In addition, there were plenty of other supporters along the way; music at many locations; lots of oranges, cookies and other goodies to boost your performance. The medal and finishers shirt are both of good quality.
Yes, I would recommend this marathon to other runners.
GREAT RACE!! perfect size with lots of cheerleaders along the way...even the police! every water station was equipped with not only every thing you would need but also additional cheerleaders! perfect weather usually in the 40's! this was my second time to run the Mercedes marathon, both awesome!
*I really enjoyed the course...... the hills were not that bad
*The water and POWERAiDE was great!!!!
*Love the goo along the course!
*The community support and cheering was great!
*Loved that coke (not pepsi, YUCK) products are served at the after party!
*The live coverage is great!
The band was really good, (just a little loud)
*Dissappointed in the amount of cheering at the finish line for marathoners...
*The massage people quit before the marathoners were even finished...I would suggest them taking a break then coming back for a bit when they are complete....
*The after party and doors prizes seemed a little unorganized....We could never figure out if door prizes were being given out this year (as in years past) and someone said they were done out front. Well if you are inside or back on the course waiting to see friends finish then how do you claim your prize? OR was it just for the relay teams? Just a little confusing.
*Also, i was a little upset with the entry tee, or lack thereof...AND i wish that the half marathon finishers would have received a long sleeve tee as well..I love the pink! I understand the whole 1/2 sleeve - 1/2 marathon concept, but even the same shirt short sleeve shirt in pink would have been great! FOR V-Day!