Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend information
BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WBRC) - Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend of Events, presented by Birmingham Marathon, Inc. and Mercedes-Benz U.S. International (MBUSI), announces its final race weekend to take place in Birmingham Feb. 10-12, 2023.
The 21-year partnership with Mercedes-Benz U.S. International has attracted more than 200,000 runners, has helped local charities raise in excess of 5 million dollars and provided more than $60 million in direct economic impact for the Greater Birmingham region. Comprised of a Full Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay, The Bell Center Children’s Run, Regions Superhero 5K and Kids Marathon presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama, each race will still start and finish at Birmingham’s Linn Park, where more than 10,000 runners are expected to participate. Founded in 2001, the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend of Events benefits The Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs along with other local charities.
WHAT: Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend of Events – Full Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay, The Bell Center Children’s Run, Regions Superhero 5K and Kids Marathon.
WHEN: Friday, Feb. 10 to Sunday, Feb. 12
WHERE: Races held at Linn Park (710 20th St. N.; Birmingham, AL 35203) Expo and After Party held at Boutwell Auditorium (1930 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd.; Birmingham, AL 35203)
Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend Q&A
The Final Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend is happening this weekend! Valerie Cuddy, one of the founders of the Mercedes-Benz Marathon tells us a little about the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend.
A: The Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend of events has been going on in Birmingham since 2001 and has attracted more than 200,000 runners from all over the world. The events and those participating in them have raised over 5 million dollars and provided more than 60 million dollars in direct economic impact for the Greater Birmingham region. The events include a Full Marathon, Half Marathon, Marathon Relay, The Bell Center Children’s Run, Regions Superhero 5K and Kids Marathon presented by Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama. We hope this year will be the biggest and best race weekend we’ve ever put on, and we can’t wait to give participants an incredible experience!
Q: With this being the last race, what do you want people to remember about this event?
A: The biggest takeaway most people get from watching and participating in the events is the cause and community behind it. Not only does the marathon support the Birmingham community and bring everyone together, but it also gives back in more ways than one. Each runner can choose a charity of their own to raise money for and support as they participate in the races, or they can participate as a BellRunner and be paired with a child who is receiving life-changing early intervention therapies at The Bell Center. BellRunners agree to raise $100 per mile for their match, and even wear a photo of the child on their backs as they run so everyone knows who they are doing the event for. It is an amazing, life-changing experience to dedicate hours of training and focus for a child at risk for developmental delay and then share the race day adventure by wearing a photo of The Bell Center child.
Q: The Bell Center has been the main beneficiary of the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend since the beginning. For those who don’t know, how does The Bell Center help children in our community?
A: The Bell Center provides early intervention services in a center-based program in Birmingham. Children from birth to three years of age that are at risk of developmental delay receive services from The Bell Center’s team of physical therapists, occupational therapists, speech-language pathologists and special education teachers to help them work on individual developmental goals. The child tremendously benefits from their services, as well as the whole family.
After working with them for the past 21 years, children from The Bell Center that had people running for them when they were little are now old enough to run themselves and support children as BellRunners. Even though this is the last Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend, The Bell Center will continue their life-changing work for the children and families that need their services.
Q: That’s amazing! If people still want to sign up or participate somehow, can they?
A: Yes! While registration for the Full, Half, Relay and Kids Marathon is closed, runners can sign up to run or walk in the Regions Superhero 5K until the morning of the race on Saturday, Feb. 11. This is the official kick-off to the weekend and offers everyone with a variety of different fitness abilities the chance to be a part of the exciting event. Superheroes can walk or run the 5K course through downtown Birmingham while helping a great cause and being a part of the marathon experience. Bystanders are sure to see superheroes dressed in their uniforms and capes running and walking with purpose, many taking advantage of the 5K as a warm-up for the marathon.
Q: Where can viewers go to find more information about the Mercedes-Benz Marathon Weekend?
A: Head to www.mercedesmarathon.com for all the details!
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