5K FAQ

5K FAQ

General Information

Click on a question to view the answer

1. What do I get for my entry fee?

2. Are there participant limits?

3. How do I register for the races?

4. How much does the race cost online?

5. Can I register using a hard copy form?

6. How do I know for sure if I am registered?

7. Will I receive a confirmation email?

8. How close is the Sheraton Birmingham and The Westin Birmingham (host hotels) to the race activities?

9. How far is the Sheraton Birmingham and The Westin Birmingham from the Birmingham International Airport?

10. What is the Expo?

11. Where is the Expo and what are the hours?

12. How do I get my race packet?

13. Can I pick my race packet up on race morning, Saturday the 10th?

14. Can someone else pick up my packet for me?

15. What is in my race packet?

16. What happens if I lose my Bib and timing device?

17. Where can we park for the races?

18. Where does the race start and finish?

19. Can I register on race day?

20. Do you take credit cards for registration at the Expo?

21. What are the event start times?

22. What sports drinks will be available on the course?

23. How do I get a refund if I cannot attend?

24. Can I push my child in a stroller on the course?

25. What is NOT allowed on the course?

26. Is there a "Bag Check" available?

27. What if I lose something at the race?

28. Why haven’t I received a confirmation email?

29. What does my registration fee go to?

30. What will the weather be like on race day? What if it is raining or snowing?

31. What time should I arrive on race morning?

32. Is there a time limit? Why?

33. Where will the water stations, medical aid stations and portalets be located on the course?

34. Is chip time or gun time used to determine awards?

35. What are the age groups for awards?

36. Will there be an awards ceremony?

37. What are the best places to watch the race?

38. Can I use this event to raise money for my own charity?



1. What do I get for my entry fee?
You will receive a race bag with goodies and a Region’s Superhero cape! You will also get a technical race shirt up front (short sleeved, men’s sizing only). When you finish the race you will get a Region’s Superhero medal. We will also have water and PowerAde waiting for you. We will only have shirts and capes for the first 1,700 participants.
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2. Are there participant limits?
Yes! We will only have shirts and capes for the first 1,700 participants.
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3. How do I register for the races?

Go to www.mercedesmarathon.com and click on the Runsignup.com link or the "Registration" link. Online registration will close on February 5, 2018. After that, we will have  registration at the Expo on Friday and Race Day Registration will be in the front lobby of Boutwell Auditorium and it will open at 6:30 a.m.
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4. How much does the race cost online?

Region’s Superhero 5K through August 31, 2017 - $25
through December 31, 2017 - $30
through February 5, 2018 - $35
Race Weekend Expo Registration - $40


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5. Can I register using a hard copy form?
Yes, you can find a hard copy form on our website. Hard copy registration is $40.
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6. How do I know for sure if I am registered?
Go to www.mercedesmarathon.com and click on Check Entry.
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7. Will I receive a confirmation email?
Yes. Our online registration host, runsignup.com, will email you a confirmation after you register. If you don’t see it in your inbox, please check your spam or better yet add info@mercedesmarathon.com to your email address book before you register.
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8. How close is the Sheraton Birmingham and The Westin Birmingham (host hotels) to the race activities?
The Sheraton Birmingham and the Westin Birmingham are located a block from the Expo and the Start/Finish line. Click on our travel page for additional information.
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9. How far is the Sheraton Birmingham and The Westin Birmingham from the Birmingham International Airport?
It is less than 5 miles away - a short 10 minute or so drive.
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10. What is the Expo?
The St. Vincent’s Health System Health and Fitness Expo and Packet Pickup is held on Friday and Saturday, February 9-10 in the  Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) East Ballroom. The ballroom is located on street level next to the Alabama Sports Hall of Fame.  This is where you’ll come to pick up your race packet on FRIDAY only, peruse the vendors, purchase Mercedes-Benz Marathon merchandise and in general have a good time while hanging out with other runners. Your race packet contains your race bib and timing device which you must have to run!! Saturday race day registration and packet pick up will be in Boutwell Auditorium.
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11. Where is the Expo and what are the hours?
The Expo will be held in the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex (BJCC) East Ballroom.  The hours are Friday, February 9th from12:00 Noon - 7:00 p.m. and Saturday, February 10th from 8:30 a.m. - 6:00 p.m.
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12. How do I get my race packet?
Race packets will not be mailed. You must come to the Expo on Friday, February 9 in order to get your race packet and you will need to present your photo ID and race bib number. (A copy of your confirmation email is a good choice too in case a registration problem has occurred.) You can find your race bib number on our website beginning Monday of race week or you can look it up in our race bib books at the Expo. And if all goes well, you’ll receive an email race week from our timers with your bib number in it. The race packet will have your race number and timing device and you will not be allowed on the course Saturday morning without your race bib. If you choose to pick up your race packet on Saturday race morning, DO NOT come to the Expo. We will be distributing packets on the arena floor in Boutwell Auditorium. Please allow plenty of time to park and pick up your race bag. We recommend a Friday pick up for your convenience. 
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13. Can I pick my race packet up on race morning, Saturday the 10th?
YES!! THERE WILL BE RACE DAY PACKET PICK UP! Packet pick up will be on the arena floor in Boutwell Auditorium beginning at 6:30 a.m. Allow plenty of time to get your race packet before the start of the race. You can also register for the Region’s Superhero 5K on race morning!
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14. Can someone else pick up my packet for me?
NO! - Due to security reasons with the official race bibs, we only have individual packet pick up this year.  Every person must pick up their own race packet. You must present your Photo ID and race bib number to our volunteers. Only family members are allowed to pick up their 18 year old or younger child's race packet. We also suggest to bring your confirmation email in case a registration problem has occurred then you'll have proof of your registration.
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15. What is in my race packet?
Your race bib, timing device and final instructions along with other goodies from vendors and businesses will be in your race bag. You MUST have your race bib and timing device in order to run the race.
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16. What happens if I lose my Bib and timing device?
Your timing device is securely located on the back of your race bib number. You must wear your race bib number to be on the course. Do not remove your timing or lose your bib.
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17. Where can we park for the races?
Try this website - www.bhamparking.com - for a map of all parking decks available in downtown Birmingham. There is some street parking around the facilities just make sure that you don’t park on the course on Saturday. Parking is also available near the East Ballroom where Expo is taking place. 
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18. Where does the race start and finish?
The race starts and finishes right in front of Boutwell Auditorium located at 1930 Reverend Abraham Woods Jr. Blvd, Birmingham, AL 35203.
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19. Can I register on race day?
Yes! There is race day registration on the arena floor in Boutwell Auditorium on race morning! It will open at 6:30 a.m.
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20. Do you take credit cards for registration at the Expo?
Yes. We take Visa, MasterCard, Discover and American Express. We will also accept checks and cash.
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21. What are the weekend event start times?

Saturday: Regions Superhero 5K - 8:00 a.m.
The Bell Center Children EIP Run - 10:00 a.m. (subject to change)
The Blue Cross and Blue Shield of Alabama Kids Mercedes Marathon - 11:00 a.m.
Fifth graders will begin at 11:00 a.m. followed by each descending grade in 10 minute increments.
   
Sunday: Mercedes Marathon - 7:03 a.m.
Mercedes Half Marathon - 7:03 a.m.
Mercedes Marathon 5 Person Relay - 7:03 a.m.


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22. What sports drinks will be available on the course?
We will be serving lemon-lime PowerAde.
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23. How do I get a refund if I cannot attend?
Due to the upfront nature of event costs, we have a uniform policy of no refunds, transfers or deferrals to a future year. We know that plans change and unexpected things come up, but we feel it is most fair to apply a uniform policy to all, instead of an arbitrary line of who merits a refund and who doesn't. During your registration you must agree to this policy in order to participate in our event. Thank you for understanding.
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24. Can I push my child in a stroller on the course?
Strollers are not allowed on the course. See question #25.
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25. What is NOT allowed on the course?
Baby joggers, in-line skates, bicycles, unauthorized vehicles and unregistered runners are prohibited on the course. No pets or smoking on the course PLEASE! Any participant breaking one of these rules will be removed from the course, disqualified and will not receive finisher’s medal. These rules are mandated by our insurance policy and board of directors and are for your safety and the safety of the hundreds of other runners on the course.
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26. Is there a "Bag Check" available?
No. There will not be a bag check for the Region’s Superhero 5K.
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27. What if I lose something at the race?
Lost and Found will be at the Boutwell Auditorium. You can check after the race or you can call Boutwell Auditorium at 205-254-2820. Items that are discarded along the race route will NOT be returned to the Lost and Found. They will be donated to local charities.
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28. Why haven’t I received a confirmation email?
In most cases the culprit is your spam filter that blocks our emails. Please add info@runsignup.com to your email address book.
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29. What does my registration fee go to?
Registration fees help cover the operating cost of the event including your shirt, medal, course amenities, timers, etc. Race proceeds help the children at The Bell Center for Early Intervention Programs.

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30. What will the weather be like on race day? What if it is raining or snowing?
No predictions from us - just averages.
Normal High: 58
Normal Low: 35
Normal Average: 47
The race will take place if it is raining. The race will only be cancelled/delayed if weather conditions pose imminent danger to our participants. In 16 years, this has never happened! Check out www.wbrc.com/weather for race weekend weather info.
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31. What time should I arrive on race morning?
We recommend arriving at the Boutwell Auditorium no later than 7:00 a.m. This will give you plenty of time for parking, stretching and taking care of personal needs.
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32. Is there a time limit? Why?
The 5K time limit is 1 hour. This is to ensure the safety of our runners and because the Birmingham Police will only close the roads for the course for a certain amount of time.
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33. Where will the water stations, medical aid stations and portalets be located on the course?
Please see our course map located on our web site for all of these locations. There will be portalets at the water stop and medical will be available at the finish line. For emergencies on the course, police will be readily available at every intersection.
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34. Is chip time or gun time used to determine awards?
Chip time is used to determine age group awards. Overall awards will be awarded based on gun time.
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35. What are the age groups for awards?
Age group awards are 3 deep in each age group and each gender as follows: 8 & Under, 9-11, 12-14, 15-19, 20-24, 25-29, 30-34, 35-39, 40-44, 45-49, 50-54, 55-59, 60-64, 65-69, Female - 70 & Above, Male-70-74 and 75 & Above. The Regions Superhero 5K Awards Ceremony will take place about 9:00 a.m. in Boutwell Auditorium. Keep in mind that we do not mail awards so if you think you’ve won an award you will need to make plans to stick around and pick it up.
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36. Will there be an awards ceremony?
Yes. The awards ceremony for the 5K will begin approximately at 9:30 am and will take place in the Birmingham Jefferson Convention Complex East Exhibit Hall. 
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37. What are the best places to watch the race?
The course is VERY spectator friendly as it is a double loop course for the full marathon. Some of the best places that we have found for watching are:

  • Regions Field: 1401 1st Ave., South 35233
  • Good People Brewing Company: 114 14th St S, Birmingham, AL 35233
  • Railroad Park: 1600 1st Ave., South 35233
  • Final stretch on the sidewalks of 20th St., North


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38. Can I use this event to raise money for my own charity?
Yes, as long as your charity is an official 501 C3 non-profit organization. Visit our Crowdrise.com fundraising page to set up your fundraising team. Your participants will need to register for the Regions Superhero 5K through our registration process and then they can get family and friends to make a donation to your team through Crowdrise.com.
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