Race recap time
So I picked the Mercedes Benz Half to be my Alabama race in my goal to run a race in all 50 states. And let me tell you, it was a good pick. It is a nice mid sized race, let me tell you about it.
When I signed up for the race, the race recommend the 2 race hotels, The Westin or The Sheraton. I chose the The Westin, a very nice hotel and about a 5 minute walk from the race start and finish. Plenty of restaurants nearby and you can easily walk into Birmingham. The weekend I was there it rained all weekend, so I didn’t get to explore much, but I did get to check out the city a bit and it is a nice place. I also got a race discount with the hotel, which is always nice.
The expo was a smaller one, but nice. Very easily got my bib and swag, and they even had the shirt switch right near by just in case you picked a size too small or big. There were some shops there, so I scoped it out, and of course bought myself a race sweatshirt, because I have an addiction to sweatshirts. The building where the expo is located has many venues in it, so it’s a bit hard to figure out where to go, but the people who work there are super nice and helpful.
The race was great, again, 5 minute walk from my hotel. It is a self seed race, I HATE SELF SEED but it’s a smaller race so I get it, but seriously people, if you are going to walk, don’t start with the 10 minute runners, come on now. The race is hilly, but nothing crazy, and you go through all of Birmingham, which is so cool. You run by some Historical things and through many of the neighborhoods, and it really is a beautiful course. The half and full run together until about mile 11 where they split off. There are plenty of signs to let you know. Also, plenty of water stops, and plenty of gatorade too. The volunteers were great and the local police did amazing job directing traffic, I even saw one cop doing push ups with some runners.
I didn’t go to the afterparty, it was rainy, and I didn’t feel great so I just went back to my hotel. I did get a finisher towel after the race and the medal is so cool
There was not a ton of crowd support, but it was a rainy weekend so I chalk it up to that. But Birmingham itself seems to love the race and there were still some people out cheering us on.
I would highly recommend this race, especially if you are not into huge races, it a nice sized race, but nothing overwhelming and it is so well run, everything was so smooth and easy. If you want to run in Alabama, run this race.